august coburg

August Coburg

Grandiose wedding in the St. Stephen’s Dome in Vienna connected the Coburg and Kohary families on January 2, 1816. Mary Antonia Gabriela Kohary married Ferdinand Georg Coburg after a short acquaintance but exceptionally for love. By this marriage Ferdinand Georg, acquired great estates that spread from Slovakia through Hungary as far as to Austria. He took a good care of this property and he even enlarged it. His first born son Ferdinand married the Portuguese Queen Mary II da Gloria in 1836 and he accepted the title of King as Don Fernando II.

After the death of their father, the younger brother of Ferdinand Louis Victor August (1818 – 1881) received the family estates in ownership. He married the French princess Clementine Orleans (1817 – 1907) and they had five children. First three of them – Philip, Louis August and Clotilde were born in France; Amelia was born in Coburg, Germany, and the youngest Ferdinand (future Bulgarian tsar) in Vienna.

All children entered marriages that complied with their high social status. Clotilde married the archduke Joseph Habsburg, Amelia married Maximilian Bavarian (brother of empress Sissi), August married the Brazilian princess Leopoldine and Philip married the daughter of Belgian king Leopold. After the death of their father, Phillip became the administrator of family estates. His hobbies included travelling, numismatics and hunting.

In 1868, he set on a journey to Brasil with his brothers, and in 1872 – 1873 they went on a journey around the world. In 1875, Philip Sachsen Coburg-Gotha married the Belgian princess Luisa. Their wedding took place in Brussels. When Luisa’s sister Stephanie married Rudolph Habsburg, the successor to throne, Coburgs became close relatives with the emperor’s family. Philip and Luisa had two children – Dorothea and Leopold.

 

filip sachen coburt gotha Lujzin salón Belgická princezna Luiza
Filip Sachsen Coburg-Gotha Lujzin salón Belgická princezná Lujza

However, the marriage of Luisa and Philip Coburg was not happy and ended in a scandal. Luisa in her unhappiness started to live a wanton life of a rich noblewoman, for whom expensive clothes, jewellery, gossips and entertainment were the essence of days. Near the end of 19th century, Luisa was introduced to a young military officer Gejsza Mattasich-Keglevich. They both fell fatefully in love that later brought only suffering, poverty and disapproval of society to them. Philip and Luisa were divorced in 1906.

Luisa’s parlour is located in the corner of the south and west wings of the manor house with a view of the mystical hill of Sitno. It was furnished according to that time’s fashion. The windows are decorated by original hand-embroidered curtains (19th century) with motifs of exotic plants and birds.

Ferdinand Bulgarian

Ferdinand Coburg

Ferdinand Coburg

Coburgovci Ferdinand a Lujza

Ferdinand Coburg a Mária Lujza

The youngest child of August and Clementine, Ferdinand Maximilian Karl Leopold Mary (wearing a winter tsar uniform in the portrait), was born in Vienna, in 1861. He received both military and civil education. When he was 26, he took over the government in Bulgaria and he swore on the Constitution in Veliky Tamov in 1887. He spoke a number of languages and after ascending to the Bulgarian throne he quickly learned to speak Bulgarian, too. His political focus was in foreign policy where he managed to establish independence on Turkey and Russia. In 1908, he declared Bulgaria independent empire and had himself crowned the tsar of Bulgaria.

Ferdinand married Mary Luisa of Parma (together in picture) in 1893. They had four children: Boris (1894 – 1943), Cyril (1895 – 1945), Eudoxia (1898 – 1985) and Nadezda (1899 – 1958). Shortly after giving birth to her last child, Mary Luisa died. Ferdinand got married again in 1908; he had no children with his second wife Eleonora von Reuss – Köstritz. In ten years, however, she died of a serious disease. The critical political situation after two Balkan wars and the World War I made Ferdinand to abdicate the throne.

Coburg mercedes Botanicky stolik mercedes coburg

He went to exile where he could finally dedicate his time to his life-lasting hobbies: botanic, entomology, ornithology, travelling and hunting. He enjoyed visiting Slovakia where he used to stay in the manor house at Predna Hora and in Saint Anton. He had his rheumatics treated number times in the spa of Piestany. He, too, used to spend time in the spas of Sliac and Korytnica. He loved going to Sitno, Cabrad and Muran. Ferdinand owned a terrain vehicle Mercedes that especially children used to adore when passing by his beloved places. He definitely left Slovakia for Coburg in 1944 where he died in 1948. He left behind an abundance of scientific studies and nature collections.

They are placed in the museums in Coburg and Sofia that were founded by him. Ferdinand led his children to love of nature too; he enjoyed going for walks with them.The evidence of his interest in science is his botanic desk that is placed in Ferdinand’s library. His own drawings and notes can be found on it. He made his first drawing on the desk as a boy of age 16 and the last one as a 73 years old man.

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