My father had a framed marriage cirtificate of Frederick William Stuttmeister to a women named Charlotte. Vicki Presco did not have this cirtificate as I hoped. Vic’s mother’s middle name was Charlotte. Some citation on the web have Charlottenburg as the meaning of the name Stuttmeister. No. 1 Berlin Way was the address on this cirtificate. This street was founded by a King of Prussia who was into the Arts, thus one finds several famous Art Colleges here.
Berlin Way appears to have been the Bohemian district. The theatre and early cinima was here, as was an amusement park named ‘Flora’. Consider Carl Janke’s theme park in Belmont. It appears my grandfathers were German Bohemians, perhaps related to the Prince of Orange and who was a Rosicruican. Consider Falcon art college and Godschalk Rosemondt. The House of Orange married into the Kings of Prussia. Here is the unseen Enlightentment. Here is the core of British Royalty, even its creative branch.
When I died I beheld my kindred, some who are buried in Berlin, and others in Colma where I took my daughter and my newborn grandson. This was the resurrection from the dead of the Artists of the World, and the Rose of the world. On my birth cirtificate is the name Rosemary Rosamond. My cousin, Dayrl Bulkley, said her father said the Stuttmeisters had another name. I believe that name was Chalottenburg. From this name sprang William and Mary.
When I died I behled the War of the Worlds. My Prussian ancestors were Teutonic Knights. Half of my kindred were Artists and Scholars, the other half, murderous warriors. Due to World War one and Two, the Bohemian Creative branch of my family got buried, never to see the light of day. Howevxer, I was born on October 8, 1946 at 6:10 P.M. (time not shown on cirtificate) eight minutes past sunset. My mother was too spent to go to the window where the nurses were being amazed by a start shower. My birth has everything to do with Revelations 12 ‘The Woman and the Dragon’.
I am the Angel with no Name. I have resurrected the Rose of the World. I am the Judge. I have washed your sins away so that what has been lost in the fall from grace can be refreshed. What is good in you, what is best, can now come to the forefront, and be in the light………..again.
Jon the Nazrite Judge
P.S. Note the black cat on the Stuttmeister tomb. Happy Holloween!
Esplanade, term from the French for a large space or forecourt.
Esplanade, term from the French for a large space or forecourt, as we can see it between rows of houses or fortifications and the associated city.
in 1874 the road was created by the landowner Stuttmeister (Charlottenburg), which probably belonged to this terrain. The route still without a name is drawn on the map from 1877. Originally should at the end of the Esplanade, a free place on a map of 1902 called Wilhelm Platz, built. On that map, runs the Esplanade also at right angles. That running to the North, as the Wilhelmplatz only projected piece, was however not the Esplanade annexed to, but was subsequently named Trienter road. The South side of the Esplanade ranks to Prenzlauer Berg, the northern side to Pankow.
Everything is important to Esplanade in Berlin, house number accurate information about PLZ, district, local powers, site profile, and more. Esplanade has the numbers 1-65, belongs to the districts Pankow and Prenzlauer Berg and has the postal code 13187. find something about the history or start an arbitrary search from here.
Recreational and residential area
In the late 18th century, Charlottenburg’s development did not depend only on the crown. The town became a recreational area for the expanding city of Berlin. Its first true inn opened in the 1770s, in the street then called Berliner Straße (now Otto-Suhr-Allee), and many other inns and beer gardens were to follow, popular for weekend parties especially. Berliners seeking leisure and entertainment came by boat, by carriage and later by horse-drawn trams, above all to a large amusement park at the shore of the Spree river called Flora, that went into bankruptcy in 1904.
From the 1860s on the wealthy Bourgeoisie of Berlin discovered Charlottenburg as a residential area, among the first were Gerson von Bleichröder and Ernst Werner von Siemens, who had a villa built in the Berliner Straße in 1862. At the same time industrial companies like Siemens & Halske and Schering erected large factories in the north-east, at the border with the Moabit district of Berlin. In 1877 Charlottenburg received town privileges and until World War I saw an enormous increase of population with 100,000 inhabitants as of 1893 and a population of 306,000 in 1920, being the second largest city within the Province of Brandenburg, after Berlin.
The Invalids’ Cemetery (German: Invalidenfriedhof) is one of the oldest cemeteries in Berlin. It was the traditional resting place of the Prussian Army, and is regarded as particularly important as a memorial to the German Wars of Liberation of 1813-15.
The development was accompanied by an urban planning of broad streets and sidewalks, parks and spacious residential buildings, especially around the southern Kurfürstendamm area, which enabled large parts of Charlottenburg to preserve their affluent residential character. “The richest town of Prussia” established a Royal Technical College in 1879 (which later became the Berlin Institute of Technology), followed by the Physikalisch-Technische Reichsanstalt and the College of the Fine Arts. A new town hall with a 88 m (289 ft) tall spire was erected on the occasion of its 200-year jubilee in 1905 and an opera house opened in 1912. The history of Charlottenburg as a municipality in its own right ended with the Greater Berlin Act of October 1, 1920, when the town became a part of Berlin. The Province of Brandenburg was administered in Charlottenburg from 1918 until the province’s dissolution in 1946 after World War II.
In the 1920s the area around the Kurfürstendamm evolved into the “New West” of Berlin, a development that had already started around 1900 with the opening of the Theater des Westens, the Café des Westens and the Kaufhaus des Westens, followed by several theatres, cinemas, bars and restaurants, which made Charlottenburg the Berlin centre of leisure and nightlife. Artists like Alfred Döblin, Otto Dix, Gottfried Benn, Else Lasker-Schüler, Bertolt Brecht, Max Liebermann, Stefan Zweig and Friedrich Hollaender socialized in the legendary Romanisches Café at the Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church. However the days of the Golden Twenties came to an end with the rise of the Nazi Party. In World War II the area around the Breitscheidplatz was heavily damaged by air raids and the Battle of Berlin.
Nevertheless after 1945 the Kurfürstendamm area quickly regained its importance, as with the partition of the city in the Cold War it became the commercial centre of West-Berlin. It was therefore the site of protests and major demonstrations of the late 1960s German student movement, that culminated on June 2, 1967 when student Benno Ohnesorg was shot by a police officer during a demonstration against Mohammad Reza Shah Pahlavi at the Deutsche Oper.
Before the reunification of Berlin, Charlottenburg was the center of West Berlin, with many high market bars and restaurants. After 1990 German reunification Charlottenburg struggled with the rise of the Mitte borough as Berlin’s historic centre. The “City West” is still the main shopping area, offering several major hotels, theatres, bars and restaurants.
Town hall, about 1905
Theater des Westens
Beside the palace, Charlottenburg is also home to:
the old and new Kaiser Wilhelm Memorial Church on the Breitscheidplatz, built in 1895 by Franz Schwechten and in 1961 by Egon Eiermann, the former West Berlin landmark
the Europa-Center, Berlin’s first shopping mall opened in 1965
Bahnhof Zoo, the main railway station in Berlin until the opening of Berlin Hauptbahnhof in 2006
the adjacent Berlin Zoological Garden, opened in 1844, officially located on the territory of the neighbouring Tiergarten locality
Kurfürstendamm avenue, first laid out about 1542, today together with the Tauentzienstraße Berlin’s main shopping area
Technical University of Berlin with about 27,000 students, founded in 1879
Berlin University of the Arts with about 4,500 students
Charlottenburg Town Hall, built in 1905
Luisenkirche on Gierkeplatz, built in 1823 by Karl Friedrich Schinkel
the Amerika Haus on Hardenbergstraße, built in 1957 by the United States Information Agency
the Malteser-Hilfsdienst (Order of Malta) building at Alt-Lietzow str. 33
the Literaturhaus on Fasanenstraße and the nearby Institute for Media and Communication Policy
Deutsche Oper Berlin on Bismarckstraße, opened in 1912, one of the three Berlin opera houses with relief in memory of Benno Ohnesorg by Alfred Hrdlicka, 1971 (installed in 1990)
Theater des Westens musical theatre on Kantstraße, built in 1896
Renaissance-Theater on Hardenbergstraße, 1902, rebuilt in Art deco design by Oskar Kaufmann in 1927
Schillertheater by Max Littmann, 1906
Tribüne theatre, 1919
Theater am Kurfürstendamm, 1921
Museum Berggruen for classic modern art
Museum Scharf-Gerstenberg for surrealist art
both located in the former Gardes du Corps barracks at Charlottenburg Palace, built by Friedrich August Stüler 1859
Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte (Museum for Pre- and Early History)
Museum of Photography and Helmut Newton Foundation, next to Bahnhof Zoo
Bröhan Museum for Art Nouveau and Art Deco
Literaturhaus Berlin and
Käthe Kollwitz Museum on Fasanenstraße
Gipsformerei (Replica workshop) of the Berlin State Museums
Beate Uhse Erotic Museum
From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
For the neighborhood Charlottenburg-Nord, see Charlottenburg-Nord. For the village in Timiş County, Romania, see Bogda.
This article needs additional citations for verification. Please help improve this article by adding citations to reliable sources. Unsourced material may be challenged and removed. (October 2009)
Quarter of Berlin
Location of Charlottenburg in Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf and Berlin[show]
52°31′0″N 13°18′0″E / 52.516667°N 13.3°E / 52.516667; 13.3Coordinates: 52°31′0″N 13°18′0″E / 52.516667°N 13.3°E / 52.516667; 13.3
10.6 km2 (4.1 sq mi)
52 m (171 ft)
118,704 (31 December 2008)
11,198 /km2 (29,004 /sq mi)
(nr. 0401) 10585, 10587, 10589, 10623, 10625, 10627, 10629, 14052, 14055, 14059
Charlottenburg is an affluent locality of Berlin within the borough of Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. Established as a town in 1705 and named after late Sophia Charlotte of Hanover, Queen consort of Prussia, it is best known for Charlottenburg Palace, the largest surviving royal palace in Berlin, and the adjacent museums.
Charlottenburg was an independent city to the west of Berlin until 1920 when it was incorporated into “Groß-Berlin” (Greater Berlin) and transformed into a borough. In the course of Berlin’s 2001 administrative reform it was merged with the former borough of Wilmersdorf becoming a part of a new borough called Charlottenburg-Wilmersdorf. Later, in 2004, the new borough’s districts were rearranged, dividing the former borough of Charlottenburg into the localities of Charlottenburg proper, Westend and Charlottenburg-Nord.
2.1 Early settlements
2.2 Charlottenburg palace
2.3 Recreational and residential area
2.4 Borough of Berlin
5 External links
View to Berlin city centre
Charlottenburg is located in Berlin’s inner city, west of the Tiergarten park. Its historic core, the former village green of Alt Lietzow, is situated on the southern shore of the Spree River running through the Berlin glacial valley. The Straße des 17. Juni road, former Charlottenburger Chaussee, which runs eastwards from Charlottenburg Gate through the Tiergarten park to Brandenburg Gate, connects Charlottenburg with the historic centre of Berlin-Mitte.
In the north and west, the Berlin Ringbahn and the Bundesautobahn 100 (Stadtring) mark the border with the Charlottenburg-Nord and Westend suburbs. Adjacent in the south is the territory of Wilmersdorf. Charlottenburg also borders on the districts of Halensee in the southwest as well as Moabit, Hansaviertel, Tiergarten and Schöneberg in the east.
 Early settlements
Archaeological findings in the area of Alt Lietzow date back to the Neolithic era. Within the Margraviate of Brandenburg, on the land occupied by nowadays Charlottenburg there were three settlements in the late Middle Ages: the farmsteads Lietzow (pronounced leat-tsow) south of the Spree and Casow (pr. caasow) beyond the river, as well as a further settlement called Glienicke (pr. gleanicke). Although these names are of Slavic origin, the settlements are likely to have had a mixed Slavic and German population.
Lietzow (also called Lietze, Lutze, Lutzen, Lütze, Lützow, Lusze and Lucene) is first documented in a 1239 deed. In 1315, Lietzow and Casow became the property of the Sankt Marien nunnery in nearby Spandau. As a result, the Lietzow farmstead probably was expanded to a village. In the course of the Protestant Reformation, Elector Joachim II Hector of Brandenburg confiscated the estates and dissolved the nunnery in 1558.
While the Lietzow area has been populated continuously, Casow and Glienicke were abandoned. From old field names it is believed that Glienicke lay in the area of the present day streets Kantstraße, Fasanenstraße, Kurfürstendamm and Uhlandstraße at the former Gliniker Lake (now dry, there’s another Glienicke Lake in the Wannsee locality).
The development of Lietzow is well documented. For more than four hundred years, members of the Berendt family were mayors and thus had to pay lower taxes. Ecclesiastically, Lietzow came under the Wilmersdorf parish, the priests reached it from there by the so-called Priesterweg (priest’s way), on the line of the streets now called Leibnizstraße, Konstanzer Straße and Brandenburgische Straße.
 Charlottenburg palace
Main article: Charlottenburg Palace
In 1695, Sophia Charlotte of Hanover received Lietzow from her husband, Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg, in exchange for her estates in Caputh and Langerwisch near Potsdam. Frederick had a summer residence built there for Sophie Charlotte by the architect Johann Arnold Nering between 1695 and 1699. After he had crowned himself Frederick I, King in Prussia, the palace was extended into a stately building with a cours d’honneur. This work was supervised by the Swedish master builder Johann Friedrich Eosander. Shortly after the death of Sophie Charlotte, the settlement facing the palace was called Charlottenburg – the palace itself Schloss Charlottenburg – and chartered as a town on April 5, 1705. The king was the town’s mayor until the historic village of Lietzow was incorporated into Charlottenburg in 1720.
Frederick’s successor as king, Frederick William I of Prussia, rarely stayed at the palace, which depressed the small town of Charlottenburg. Frederick William even tried to revoke the town’s privileges. It was not until 1740, at the coronation of his successor Frederick II, that the town’s significance increased, as regular celebrations were held again at the palace. The eastern New Wing was built by Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff between 1740 and 1747 as Frederick the Great’s residence. Later, Frederick II preferred the palace of Sanssouci, which he had partly designed himself.
When Frederick II died in 1786, his nephew Frederick William II succeeded him, and Charlottenburg became his favourite residence, as it was for his son and successor Frederick William III. After the defeat of the Prussian army at Jena in 1806, Charlottenburg was occupied by the French. Napoleon occupied the palace, while his troops made camp nearby. Charlottenburg became part of the new Prussian Province of Brandenburg in 1815 after the Napoleonic Wars.
e Universität der Künste Berlin, UdK (Berlin University of the Arts) is a public art school in Berlin, Germany, one of the four universities in the city. A Hochschule until November 2001, the university is one of the largest institutions of music and arts in the world.
It has four colleges specialising in fine arts, architecture, media and design, music and the performing arts with around 3,600 students. Thus the UdK is one of only three universities in Germany (along with the University of the Arts Bremen and the Folkwang University of the Arts) to unite the faculties of art and music in one institution.
2 Exchange Program
3 Notable alumni
4 Notable teachers
6 External links
Its roots institutions date back to the foundation of Academie der Mahl-, Bild- und Baukunst (Academy of the Art of Painting, Pictorial Art and Architecture), the later Prussian Academy of Arts, at the behest of Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg. The two predecessor organisations were Königlich Akademischen Hochschule für ausübende Tonkunst (Royal Academy of Musical Performing Art) established in 1869 under Joseph Joachim, which also had adopted the tradition of the famous Stern Conservatory, and the Berlin State School of Fine Arts founded in 1875.
In 1975, both art schools merged under the name Hochschule der Künste Berlin, HdK. The organization received the title of a university on 1 November 2001.
 Exchange Program
The exchange program with UDK is a direct enrollment program offered during the fall, spring and academic year to students interested in the arts and with four semesters of German language study. Each academic year the school receives 100 exchange students on the basis of institutional agreements. Students participating in the exchange are required to subsidies their own accommodations with little help from the school.
The Prussian Academy of Arts (Preußische Akademie der Künste) was an art school set up in Berlin, Brandenburg, in 1694/1696 by prince-elector Frederick III, in personal union Duke Frederick I of Prussia, and later king in Prussia. It had a decisive influence on art and its development in the German-speaking world throughout its existence. It dropped ‘Prussian’ from its name in 1945 and was finally disbanded in 1955 after the 1954 foundation of two separate academies of art for East Berlin and West Berlin in 1954. Those two separate academies merged in 1993 to form Berlin’s present-day Akademie der Künste.
After the Accademia dei Lincei in Rome and the Académies Royales in Paris, the Prussian Academy of Art was the oldest institution of its kind in Europe, with a similar foundational mission to other royal academies of that time, such as the Real Academia Española in Madrid, the Royal Society in London, the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences in Stockholm or the Russian Academy of Sciences in St Petersburg. For an extended period of time it was also the German artists’ society and training organisation, whilst the Academy’s Senate became Prussia’s arts council.
Sophia Charlotte of Hanover (30 October 1668 – 1 February 1705) was the Queen consort of Prussia as wife of Frederick I of Prussia. She was the daughter of Ernst August, Elector of Hanover, and Sophia of the Palatinate. Her eldest brother George Louis succeeded to the British throne in 1714 as King George I.
4 Titles, styles, honours and arms
4.1 Titles and styles
6 External links
As a girl, Sophia Charlotte visited France with her mother in hopes of marrying Louis of France, the “Grand Dauphin”, heir to the throne of France. He later married Maria Anne Victoria of Bavaria instead, but Sophia Charlotte was also proposed as a possible bride for Louis’s father, King Louis XIV, after he lost his wife in 1683. Nothing came of this plan either. A marriage to Frederick, the heir of the Electorate of Brandenburg and Duchy of Prussia, was therefore arranged. By marrying Frederick, she became Electress of Brandenburg in 1688, and after the elevation of Brandenburg-Prussia to a kingdom in 1701, she became the first Queen in Prussia. Her only child to reach maturity became King Frederick William I of Prussia. Her husband was so much in love with her that while he had an official mistress at his palace—in imitation of Louis XIV—he never made use of her services.
Wax portrait of Sophie Charlotte, c. 1700
Sophia Charlotte is mainly remembered for her friendship and correspondence with her mother’s good friend and tutor Gottfried Leibniz, whose avowed disciple she became. In addition to German, she spoke French, Italian and English. In 1696, she had the Charlottenburg Palace (originally Lützenburg Palace) constructed at Lützow by Arnold Nehring: here, she lived independently from her spouse and had her own court. Her spouse was only allowed there by invitation, such as in 1699, when she hosted a birthday party for him there. From 1700, she regularly lived there in the summer months. She surrounded herself with philosophers and scientists and inspired the foundation of the Prussian Science academy. She was interested in music, sang and played the cembalo, had an Italian opera theater constructed, and employed the musicians Attilio Ariosti and Giovanni Battista Bononcini. The composer Arcangelo Corelli did her the honor of dedicating to her his Op. 5 sonatas for solo violin (Rome, 1700). The latter was one of the most significant and influential publications of compositions for violin in the history of Western music. Nonetheless, the nature of her relationship with Corelli remains obscure.
Sophia Charlotte was such a formidable personage that when Peter the Great first met her and her mother on his Great Embassy in 1697, he was so overwhelmed and intimidated that he could not speak. Both women put him at ease, and he reciprocated with his natural humour and trunks full of brocade and furs.
Sophia Charlotte died of pneumonia on 21 January 1705, when she was 36 years of age.
Charlottenburg, the Charlottensee, and the Sophie-Charlotte-Oberschule in Berlin are all named after her.
1. Frederick August of Brandenburg (6 October 1685 – 31 January 1686) died in infancy.
2. Frederick William I of Prussia (14 August 1688 – 31 May 1740) married Sophia Dorothea of Hanover and had issue.
The Akademie der Künste, Berlin (Academy of the Arts, Berlin) is an arts institution in Berlin, Germany. It was founded in 1696 by Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg as the Prussian Academy of Arts, an academic institution where members could meet and discuss and share ideas. As early as 1699, the academy served as the arts council to the government and since 1931 has been exclusively tasked with this function. The academics arm ultimately developed into the Universität der Künste Berlin (Berlin University of the Arts) of today. The Academy is used to promote art, as well as advise and support the states of Germany.
The Akademie der Künste, Berlin was set up in 1696 by crown-prince Frederick III of Brandenburg, later king Frederick I of Prussia as an “Academy of Painterly, Sculptural and Architectural Art”, providing a model of the learned society for the “Prussian Royal Academy of Art and Mechanical Sciences” (1704–1790) and the “Royal Academy of Berlin for Fine Arts and Mechanical Sciences” (1790–1809). Later renamed the Academy of Arts, Frederick’s first academy later became the “Royal Prussian Academy of Arts” (1809–1882), the “Royal Academy of Arts” (1882) and finally the “Prussian Academy of Arts” (1926–1945). In its current form it was set up on 1 October 1993 by merging the “German Academy of Arts in [East] Berlin (set up in 1950 and renamed the “Academy of Arts of the German Democratic Republic” in 1972 then the “Berlin Academy of Arts” from 1990 to 1993) and the “German Academy of Arts in [West] Berlin” (founded in 1954).
Frederick I (German: Friedrich I.) (11 July 1657 – 25 February 1713), of the Hohenzollern dynasty, was (as Frederick III) Elector of Brandenburg (1688–1713) and Duke of Prussia in personal union (Brandenburg-Prussia). The latter function he upgraded to royalty, becoming the first King in Prussia (1701–1713). From 1707 he was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel (German: Fürstentum Neuenburg). He was also the paternal grandfather of Frederick the Great.
1.2 King in Prussia
4 External links
Born in Königsberg, he was the third son of Frederick William, Elector of Brandenburg by his father’s first marriage to Louise Henriette of Orange-Nassau, eldest daughter of Frederick Henry, Prince of Orange and Amalia of Solms-Braunfels. His maternal cousin was King William III of England. Upon the death of his father on 29 April 1688, Frederick became Elector Frederick III of Brandenburg and Duke of Prussia. Right after ascending the throne Frederick founded a new city southerly adjacent to Dorotheenstadt and named it after himself, the Friedrichstadt.
Mary, Princess Royal, Princess of Orange and Countess of Nassau (Mary Henrietta; 4 November 1631 – 24 December 1660) was the eldest daughter of King Charles I of England, Scotland, and Ireland and his queen, Henrietta Maria of France. She was the wife of William II, Prince of Orange and Count of Nassau (27 May 1626 – 6 November 1650) and the mother of King William III of England and Ireland, II of Scotland (14 November 1650 – 8 May 1702). Mary Stuart or Mary of Orange, as she was also known, was the first daughter of a British Sovereign to hold the title Princess Royal. She was co-regent in the regency of her son, 1651–1661.
Frederick Henry was born on 29 January 1584 in Delft, Holland, Dutch Republic. He was the youngest child of William the Silent and Louise de Coligny. His father William was stadtholder of Holland, Zeeland, Utrecht, and Friesland. His mother Louise was daughter of the Huguenot leader Gaspard de Coligny, and was the fourth wife of his father. He was thus the half brother of his predecessor Maurice of Orange, deceased in 1625.
Frederick Henry was born six months before his father’s assassination on 10 July 1584. The boy was trained to arms by his elder brother Maurice, one of the finest generals of his age. After Maurice threatened to legimitize his illegitimate children if he did not marry, Frederick Henry married Amalia of Solms-Braunfels in 1625. His illegitimate son by Margaretha Catharina Bruyns (1595–1625), Frederick Nassau de Zuylenstein was born in 1624 before his marriage. This son later became the governor of the young William III of England for seven years.
Frederick William was born in Berlin, the son of Prince Augustus William of Prussia (the second son of King Frederick William I of Prussia) and of Louise Amalie of Brunswick-Lüneburg. His mother’s elder sister, Elisabeth, was the wife of Augustus William’s brother King Frederick II (“Frederick the Great”). He was born in Berlin and became heir-presumptive to the throne of Prussia on his father’s death in 1758, since Frederick II had no children. The boy was of an easy-going and pleasure-loving disposition, averse to sustained effort of any kind, and sensual by nature.
His marriage with Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Lüneburg, daughter of Charles I, Duke of Brunswick-Lüneburg, contracted 14 July 1765 in Charlottenburg, was dissolved in 1769. He then married Frederika Louisa of Hesse-Darmstadt, daughter of Ludwig IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt on 14 July 1769 also in Charlottenburg. Although he had a numerous family by his second wife, he was completely under the influence of his mistress, Wilhelmine Enke (afterwards created Countess Wilhelmine von Lichtenau), a woman of strong intellect and much ambition, and had many children by her.Frederick William before the corpulence of his middle age was a man of singularly handsome presence, not without mental qualities of a high order; he was devoted to the arts—Beethoven and Mozart enjoyed his patronage, and his private orchestra had a Europe-wide reputation. But an artistic temperament was hardly what was required of a king of Prussia on the eve of the French Revolution; and Frederick the Great, who had employed him in various services—notably in an abortive confidential mission to the court of Russia in 1780—openly expressed his misgivings as to the character of the prince and his surroundings.
King of Prussia
The misgivings appear justified by the event. Frederick William′s accession to the throne (17 August 1786) was, indeed, followed by a series of measures for lightening the burdens of the people, reforming the oppressive French system of tax-collecting introduced by Frederick, and encouraging trade by the diminution of customs dues and the making of roads and canals. This gave the new king much popularity with the masses; while the educated classes were pleased by his removal of Frederick′s ban on the German language, by the admission of German writers to the Prussian Academy, and by the active encouragement given to schools and universities.
But these reforms were vitiated in their source. In 1781 Frederick William, then prince of Prussia, inclined to mysticism, had joined the Rosicrucians, and had fallen under the influence of Johann Christoph von Wöllner (1732–1800), and by him the royal policy was inspired. Wöllner, whom Frederick the Great had described as a “treacherous and intriguing priest,” had started life as a poor tutor in the family of General von Itzenplitz, a noble of the Margraviate of Brandenburg. After the general′s death and to the scandal of king and nobility, he married the general′s daughter, and with his mother-in-law′s assistance settled down on a small estate. By his practical experiments and by his writings he gained a considerable reputation as an economist; but his ambition was not content with this, and he sought to extend his influence by joining first the Freemasons and afterwards the Rosicrucians. Wöllner, with his impressive personality and easy if superficial eloquence, was just the man to lead a movement of this kind. Under his influence the order spread rapidly, and he soon found himself the supreme director (Oberhauptdirektor) of several circles, which included in their membership princes, officers and high officials. As a Rosicrucian Wöllner dabbled in alchemy and other mystic arts, but he also affected to be zealous for Christian orthodoxy, imperilled by Frederick II′s patronage of “Enlightenment”, and a few months before Frederick′s death wrote to his friend the Rosicrucian Johann Rudolph von Bischoffswerder (1741–1803) that his highest ambition was to be placed at the head of the religious department of the state as an unworthy instrument in the hand of Ormesus (the prince of Prussia’s Rosicrucian name) “for the purpose of saving millions of souls from perdition and bringing back the whole country to the faith of Jesus Christ.”