The House of Metternich was a German noble house originating in Rhineland. The most prominent member of the House of Metternich was Klemens von Metternich, who was the dominant figure at the Congress of Vienna (1814–1815).
The House of Metternich originated as a cadet branch of the rulers of Hemmerich (which today is a district of Bornheim, near Bonn). The head of the family rose to have the position of hereditary chamberlain of the Archbishop of Cologne. This branch of the family drew its name from the village of Metternich in Weilerswist beginning in the 13th century.
In 1635, the family of Archbishop of Trier Lothar Johann Reinhard von Metternich (1515–1623) acquired the County of Beilstein and began styling themselves Freiherren von Metternich-Winneburg zu Beilstein. Their title was upgraded to Graf in 1679. Lothar Johann Reinhard von Metternich's nephews, Karl von Metternich and Emmerich von Metternich, were opposed to the policies of Archbishop of Trier Philipp Christoph von Sötern.
In 1623-30, the Imperial Quartermaster General, Lothar von Metternich and his brother Wilhelm purchased the lordships of Lázně Kynžvart and the village of Metternich near Koblenz. Wilhelm's eldest son Karl Heinrich von Metternich-Winneburg was Archbishop of Mainz and Bishop of Worms in 1679. The younger son, Philip Emmerich von Metternich (died 1698), was raised to the rank of Graf. The last Count of Metternich-Winneburg was Franz Georg Carl Joseph Johann Nepomuk von Metternich-Winneburg, who lost the County to France by the 1801 Treaty of Lunéville. In compensation, Francis II, Holy Roman Emperor gave him the secularized Ochsenhausen Abbey and raised him to the rank of Fürst.
His son, Klemens von Metternich worked in the service of the Austrian Empire; he was a major diplomat at the Congress of Vienna and was Minister-President of Austria from 1821 to 1848. He acquired Schloss Johannisberg in the Rheingau.
His son, Richard von Metternich was married to his niece, Princess Pauline von Metternich (Pauline was the daughter of Klemens' half-sister Leonore).
Richard and Pauline von Metternich had three daughters, but no sons, so upon the death of Richard, the title of Fürst passed to Richard's half-brother Paul von Metternich (1834–1906). The title then passed to his son, Klemens Wenzel von Metternich (1869–1930). His son, Paul Alfons von Metternich-Winneburg (1917–1992) was the president of ADAC. He was the last male Metternich and the title of Fürst became extinct with his death. The situation had forced him to sell his family estate Schloss Johannisberg with its famous winery to the Oetker family in 1974.
The family name however passed to Franz Albrecht Metternich-Sándor (1920–2009), whose mother was a descendant of Klemens von Metternich and who had been adopted by his aunt Clementine von Metternich-Sándor (1870–1963). Franz Albrecht Metternich-Sándor, the son of Victor III, Duke of Ratibor and Prince of Corvey (a branch of the princely house of Hohenlohe) inherited his father's titles. Franz Albrecht's eldest son is Viktor Metternich-Sándor (born 1964) who has headed the ducal House of Ratibor and Corvey since his father's death.
Lothar Johann Reinhard von Metternich (1551–1623), Archbishop and Elector of Trier
Johann Reinhard Freiherr von Metternich, Protestant administrator of the pin Halberstadt.
Johann Burchard von Metternich († 1637), canon of Trier, Bamberg and Münster, provost of Mainz, Magdeburg and administrator of Halberstadt and provost of St. Bartholomew in Frankfurt am Main
Karl von Metternich († 1635), canon of Trier, Liège, Eichstätt and Augsburg, archdeacon of St. Kastor in carding and provost of Aachen Cathedral
Emmerich von Metternich († 1653), Canon in Trier, Worms, and Paderborn and provost in Trier
Lothar von Metternich († 1663), Imperial Chamberlain, Privy Councillor, Colonel and Quartermaster General
Wilhelm von Metternich († 1652), of imperial court and Council of war
Heinrich von Metternich zu Brohl († 1654), first minister later soldier, governor of the occupied lower Palatinate of Bavaria and Major General
Lothar Friedrich von Metternich-Burscheid (1617–1675), Archbishop of Mainz
Karl Heinrich von Metternich-Winneburg (1622–1679), Archbishop of Mainz
Ernst von Metternich (1656–1727), Prussian diplomat
Wolfgang von Metternich († 1731), diplomat, civil servant and alchemical writer
Franz Georg Karl von Metternich (1746–1818), politician
Klemens von Metternich (1773–1859), Austrian diplomat and politician
Richard von Metternich (1829–1895), Austrian politician and diplomat
Tatiana von Metternich-Winneburg (1915–2006), patron
Paul Alfons von Metternich-Winneburg (1917–1992), president of Fédération Internationale de l'Automobile (1975–1985)
Princess Pauline Clémentine von Metternich - Winneburg zu Beilstein née Countess Pauline Clémentine Marie Walburga Sándor de Szlavnicza (25 February 1836 in Vienna – 28 September 1921 in Vienna) was a famous Viennese and Parisian socialite of great charm and elegance. She was an important promoter of the work of the German composer Richard Wagner and the Czech composer Bedřich Smetana.
Princess Pauline von Metternich (also known as "de Metternich" and "von Metternich-Winneburg") was born into the Hungarian noble family of Sándor de Slawnitza. Her father, Moritz Sándor, described as "a furious rider", was known throughout the Habsburg empire as a passionate horseman. Her mother, Princess Leontine von Metternich, was a daughter of the Austrian chancellor Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich (architect of the Concert of Europe). It was at his home in Vienna that Pauline spent almost her whole childhood.
In 1856, she married her uncle, Prince Richard von Metternich, a son of chancellor Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich. They lived a happy conjugal life, despite his frequent love-affairs with actresses and opera prima donnas, and had three daughters.
Pauline accompanied her husband, an Austrian diplomat, on his missions to the royal court in Dresden and then the imperial court in Paris, where they lived for almost eleven years (1859 to 1870). She played an important role in the social and cultural life of Dresden and Paris, and, after 1870, Vienna. She was a close friend and confidante of French Empress Eugénie, and, with her husband, was a prominent personality at the court of Emperor Napoleon III. She introduced fashion designer Charles Frederick Worth to the Empress and thus started his rise to fame.
Pauline was an ardent patron of music, and became a leader of fashionable society. Whether in Paris or Vienna, she set the latest social trends. She taught French and Czech aristocrats to skate, and ladies to smoke cigars without fear of their reputations. She was acquainted with many composers and writers, including Richard Wagner, Franz Liszt, Charles Gounod, Camille Saint-Saëns, Prosper Mérimée and Alexandre Dumas), and corresponded with them. She was an advocate for the music of Wagner in Paris and Czech music composer Bedřich Smetana in Vienna. She organised salon performances of abridged versions of many famous operas, including Richard Wagner's Der Ring des Nibelungen, in which she took part both as a stage director and singer.
In her private life, Pauline suffered several crises and disasters. As a child, she was an eyewitness to the revolution of 1848 in Vienna. In 1870 she remained at the side of Empress Eugénie in Paris during the Franco-Prussian War. Later she aided the Empress' escape from Paris to Great Britain by secretly sending Eugénie's jewels to London in a diplomatic bag.
In August 1892, she participated in an emancipated duel with Countess Kielmannsegg, with the Princess Schwarzenberg and Countess Kinsky as seconds, and Baroness Lubinska providing medical assistance. Pauline was slightly wounded on the nose, while the countess was wounded in the arm. The cause of the duel is reputed to be an argument over arrangements for the Vienna Musical and Theatrical Exhibition.
The Emancipated Duel
In the summer of 1892, Princess Pauline was the Honorary President of the Vienna Musical and Theatrical Exhibition and Countess Kielmannsegg was the President of the Ladies’ Committe of the Exhibition, and the two clashed over some of the arrangements for the Exhibition. (Several sources claim it had something to do with the floral arrangements.) Heated words were exchanged, and the two women agreed to settle their differences with a duel.
Robert Baldick, in his book The Duel: A History of Duelling, explains that women sometimes had male champions fight on their behalf in duels. However, in late 19th century Europe, there was a movement toward encouraging “new women” to fight for themselves. (He cites the example of Séverine, a female journalist who had a colleague fight for her in a duel to defend an article she had written. She was censured by the Paris League for the Emancipation of Women.) Gisèle d’Estoc (who herself supposedly dueled with another woman, actress Emma Rouër, and inspired Emile Bayard’s lithograph “Une Affaire d’Honneur” [NSFW]) said that a woman who employed a male champion was committing a “deed of inferiority.”
The Metternich-Kielmannsegg duel was therefore an “emancipated duel,” because all the parties involved were women. The duelists seconds were the Princess Schwarzenberg and Countess Kinsky, and a woman even presided over the duel: Baroness Lubinska, a Polish woman who had a degree in medicine.
So why on Earth were they topless? According to Atlas Obscura and the Women of Action Network, that was Baroness Lubinska’s idea. The duel was not supposed to be a deadly one, but the baroness noted, that if a piece of dirty clothing was pushed into a wound, that would would be more likely to become infected. It would be much safer, she reasoned for the rapiers to touch only bare skin. So she instructed the combatants to strip down to the waist and ordered the male servants off in the distance to look away.
The combatants met in August 1892 Vaduz, the capital of Liechtenstein, and dueled with rapiers to first blood. The Princess Pauline was the victor in the third round, when she was injured slightly on the nose but also drew blood from the countess’s arm. The report in the Pall Mall Gazette says that, once the round ended, the seconds “advised them to embrace, kiss, and make friends.” But the idea of topless duelists captured the imagination of many folks, with images of women, breasts bared and swords crossed, appearing in paintings and erotic photographs of the era.
Pauline's first child was Sophie (1857–1941); her second daughter, Pascaline (b. 1862), married Count George of 'Waldstein', an insane and alcoholic Czech aristocrat who was said to have murdered her in delirium in Duchcov (today in the Czech Republic) in 1890. Her youngest daughter, Clementine (b. 1870), was badly injured by her dog as a child and decided never to marry due to her scarred face.
Princess Pauline died in Vienna in 1921. She lived through the glory and fall of the Austrian and French empires and was believed to be a living symbol of these two lost worlds.
A portrait of her by French impressionist Edgar Degas, painted from a photograph, now hangs in the National Gallery, London.
Princess Pauline was a notable patron of contemporary arts. She befriended music composers Richard Wagner (who dedicated a piano composition to her) and Franz Liszt, and helped them. She also organised the Parisian première of Wagner's opera Tannhäuser in 1861. The project failed (it closed after three performances) and became a celebrated fiasco and one of the greatest music-related scandals of the nineteenth century. Nevertheless, Pauline continued to spread the music of Wagner and other now-famous composers. One of her protégés was the leading Czech musician of that time, Bedřich Smetana, whom she introduced to the music circles of Vienna and Paris. Thanks to Pauline, Smetana's comic opera The Bartered Bride was produced in Vienna in 1892, to popular acclaim.
Pauline's regular travels between, and extended stays in, Paris and Vienna, permitted her to act as a cross-cultural transmitter of the many trends that interested her in music, political ideas, and sport.
She wrote two books of memoirs. The first, Gesehenes, geschehenes, erlebtes, in German, honored her grandfather, Chancellor Metternich, and father, Count Moritz Sándor, and the second, Éclairs du passé, in French, recalled her life and times in the court of Emperor Napoleon III and Empress Eugénie. Both were published posthumously in the 1920s.
Richard and Pauline von Metternich had three children :
Princess Sophie von Metternich (1857–1941)
Countess Pascalina Antoinette von Metternich-Sandor Winneburg (1862–1890)
Countess Klementina Marie von Metternich-Sandor Winneburg (1870-1963)
Since the marriage produced no sons, Richard's title of "Prince von Metternich" passed to his half-brother, Paul von Metternich.
|Click for Realhistoryww Home Page|