Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna

Born: 1786, St Petersburg
Died: 1859, Weimar

Grand Duchess Maria Pavlovna was the fifth child and third daughter of Paul I and Maria Fyodorovna. She was born in St Petersburg in 1786.

In 1804, Maria married Grand Duke Charles Frederick of Sachsen-Weimar-Eisenach, whose father was the heir to the throne of Weimar. Her husband was also the nephew of the first wife of Emperor Paul.

Maria lived a long and happy life in the small German duchy, which was famous throughout Europe for its cultural traditions. Weimar was the home of Goethe, Schiller and many figures of the Enlightenment. Clever and well-educated, Maria was ideally suited for life in the centre of Europe.

Maria became the grand duchess in 1828, when her husband inherited the throne from his father. She was a personal friend of Goethe, who wrote: “I have known the duchess since 1804, and have had many opportunities to be amazed by her mind and character. She is one of the finest and most outstanding women of our time – and would be so, even if she were not a sovereign.”

Maria invited Franz Liszt to Weimar as Kapellmeister Extraordinaire in 1843. She had four children and died at Belvedere near Weimar in 1859.

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