Today in History - July 23rd. 1802 - María Cayetana de Silva, 13th. Duchess of Alba

When Maria Cayetana de Silva married in 1776 José Maria Alvarez de Toledo y
Gonzaga, she became the 13th. Duchess of Alba. The two also were the wealthiest
couple of Spain.

13th. Duchess of Alba - Source picture: Wikipedia

In 1776 her husband died. There were rumors that the Duchess had a
relationship with the famous painter Francisco Goya. He accompanied
the widowed Duchess many times and made several paintings of her.

On July 23rd. 1802, the Duchess of Alba died under mysterious 
circumstances. A lot of speculations came although it was proven that
she died of tuberculosis and fever. But a strong theory that she was 
poisoned remained. This was dramatized in the film: The Naked Maja
with Ava Gardner as the Duchess. 

Treetuesdaypicture - Volksgarten - Wien / Vienna - Austria

This week's treetuesdaypicture is taken in september 2011 in the Volksgarten in Wien

Volkgarten - own picture

Some History ....

Originally on the site of the Volksgarten in Vienna, there were  fortifications but in
1809 these buildings were destroyed by Napoleon's French troops.

On March 1st. 1823 the park was officially opened.

Since 1825 the name Volksgarten was used.

Today in History - July 22nd. 1510 - Alessandro de' Medici

de' Medici's always were an important, but interesting family who ruled in Florence (Italy).

On July 22nd. 1510 a boy was born, he received the name: Alessandro.

Alessandro de' Medici - Source picture: Wikipedia

There were a lot of speculations about his birth. 

Many people believed that he was the son of Giulio de' Medici 
(later pope Clement VII) .

Other people believed that he was the son of a servant from African
descent who was working at the de' Medici household.
His nickname became 'il Moro' or 'The Moor'.

But he was recognized by Lorenzo de' Medici (grandson of Lorenzo the

In 1532 Alessandro became Duke of Florence. His many enemies declared
that his rule was corrupt and incompetent. Later this was discussed by

In 1536, Alessandro married Margaret of Austria (natural daughter of 
Emperor Charles V) but the Duke of Florence stayed faithful to 
one mistress: Taddea Malaspina. 

On January 6th. 1537 Alessandro was murdered by his cousin
Lorenzino (nicknamed the bad Lorenzo). Alessandro only became 26
years old.

Special Today in History - July 21st. - National Day in Belgium

There will be no normal Today in History due to the National Day in Belgium.

own picture of (our ) Belgian flag

On July 21st. 1831, King Leopold I of Belgium swore allegiance to the laws
of the Constitution.

King Leopold I - own picture taken from a painting

A lot of festivities will take place in the capital of Belgium: Brussels.
There is inter alia a Te Deum in the Cathedral of St. Michael and St. Gudula,
in presence of King Philipe and Queen Mathilde of Belgium.

Inside view - own picture

In the afternoon there is a military and civil parade also in presence of members
of the Belgian Royal Family.

screenshot of King Philippe of Belgium - before the parade

King Albert & Queen Poala of Belgium are having a holiday at the moment.
They won't be present at the festivities of the National Day ...

But I wish all the Belgian readers of this blog:

a happy National Day
een leuke Nationale Feestdag
Une agréable Fête Nationale
Feinen Nationalfeiertag!

Queen Elizabeth II of the United Kingdom sent her congratulations to 
King Philippe of Belgium on the occasion of the National Day of Belgium

'It gives me a great pleasure to send Your Majesty my congratulations
and my warmest greetings on the celebration of your National Day,
together with my best wishes for the good fortune and happiness of the
people of Belgium coming year.'

Royal Destination - Inside Schloss Sanssouci (1) - Germany

Sanssouci is the beautiful former summer palace of Frederick the Great,
King of Prussia.

It is located in Potsdam (near Berlin). The Schloss was built and designed by
Georg Wenzeslaus von Knobelsdorff between 1745 and 1747 in Rococo style.

Outside view of the palace - own picture

My husband and I visited this wonderful palace one year ago and it was all
very good organized. We could take pictures inside the Schloss without flash.
These are some results:

As you can see on the pictures, all the rooms where ornated well.
I like the style of these kind of palaces very much, what do you think?

With this post, I like to wish you all a very good Sunday!