Today in History - March 30th. 1633 - Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg

March 30th. 1633 marks the birth of Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg.
He was a member of the noble House of Hesse.

Frederick II, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg - Source picture: Wikipedia

His parents had been Frederick I, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg and
Margaret Elisabeth of Leiningen-Westerburg. Frederick was their
seventh and youngest child.

Frederick was educated by the private tutors of the sons of his cousin,
George II, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt.

At the age of 16, Frederick started his Grand Tour of Europe. He visited
Italy and France. He 'studied' at the University of Geneva. There Frederick
learned dancing, riding, fencing and he polished his acknowledge of the
French Language.

In 1654 he became a colonel in the army of King Charles X Gustav of Sweden.
In 1659 Frederick was seriously wounded during the storming of Copenhagen.
His lower right leg even had to be amputated. He was promoted as General-Major
and had since then a wooden leg. He left the army in 1661.

That year Frederick married Countess Margaret Brahe, a wealthy Swedish
widow. She died in 1669. With her money, Frederick bought estates in
Brandenburg where he became a friend of Frederick William I,
Elector of Brandenburg.

In 1670 Frederick married the niece of the Elector, Princess Louise Elisabeth of
Courland. They would have 12 children. Frederick entered the army of
Brandenburg where he served as general. In 1672 he received the command of
all forces of Brandenburg.

In 1681 after the death of his brother Wilhelm Cristoph of Hesse-Homburg,
Frederick took over the governance and ruled as Frederick II. There his
Court alchemist made for him a prosthetic leg. He received the nickname:
the man with the silver leg.

In 1690 Frederick's wife died. He married for the 3rd time. This time
Countess Sophie Sybille of Leiningen-Westerburg was the happy one.
She bore him 3 more children.

Frederick died on January 24th. 1708 in Homburg due to pneumonia.
He had the illness from his last journey to Leipzig where he met
King Charles XII of Sweden.

Happy Weekend Picture - Ypres - Belgium

My Happy Weekend Picture was taken in Ypres. This city is located in the
Province of West Flanders in Belgium.

Ypres - own picture

Ypres was already known by the Romans in the first century BC.

During the Middle Ages, Ypres was a prosperous Flemish City, renowned 
for its linen trade with England, which was mentioned inthe Canterbury Tables. 
Ypres became very important for its textile industry.
Textiles from Ypres could even be found on the markets of Novgorod in Russia
in the early 12th. century. 

Unfortunately Ypres was involved in many important battles, including the
Battle of the Golden Spurs, the Battle at Mons-en-Pélève and the 
Battle of Cassle. 

On March 25th. 1678 Ypres was conquered by the forces of King
Louis XIV of France. In 1697, after the Treaty of Ryswick, Ypres was returned
to the Spanish Crown.

In 1713 it was handed over to the Habsburgs and it became a part of the 
Austrian Netherlands. 
In 1830, Belgium became independent and the neutral position of the 'new'
country was granted by inter alia the British Empire.

During World War I Ypres had a strategic position. The city stood in the path
of Germany's plans to cross Belgium on their way to France.  

After the war, the town was rebuilt and the buildings were as close to the
original designs as possible. The Cloth Hall (on the picture) is nowadays
the famous In Flanders Fields Museum, dedicated to the important role
of Ypres during World War I.

With this piece of History, I'd like to wish you all a very Happy Weekend.
I also want to thank you for reading, your nice comments, the likes and 
the reshares!

Tree Tuesday Picture - The Olive Tree: a great symbol

My Tree Tuesday picture was taken during a holiday in 2013 in Corfu.
This was the favorite Isle of Empress Elisabeth of Austria also called Sisi.

Tree Tuesday - olive tree own picture

I always am fascinated by the Olive Tree because it was the symbol of the whole
Mediterranean area during ancient times and it played an important role in the
Greek mythology.

The origin of the Olive Tree in Athens is even explained through the intervention
of the Goddess Athena (daughter of Zeus and Metis). Athena was a warrior Goddess
whose attributes were the spear, helmet, owl and the olive tree.

Generally the olive tree symbolises peace, prosperity and hope.
It is also present in many traditional religious celebrations.

Olive Tree - own picture

Today it is still used as an important symbol. You even can see an olive
branch on the Great Seal of the United States.

Source picture: Wikipedia

Today in History - March 24th. 1441 - Ernest, Elector of Saxony

March 24th. 1441 marks the birth of Ernest, Elector of Saxony.

Ernest, Elector of Saxony - Source picture: Wikipedia

Ernest was the second son of eight children of Frederick II, Elector of Saxony
and Margaret of Austria (sister of Frederick III, Holry Roman Emperor).

In 1451 Ernest's elder brother Frederick died. This made him the new
heir of Saxony.

In 1455 Ernest and his brother Albert were kidnapped by the knight
Kunz von Kaufungen. This episode in German History was known as
the "Prinzenraub" translated "stealing of the Princes".

On November 19th. 1460 Ernest married Elisabeth of Bavaria.
They would have 7 children.

Ernest was the founder of the Ernestine line of the Saxon Princes.
Ernest was inter alia the ancestor of:
King George I of Great Britain;
Queen Victoria of the United Kingdom;
King Leopold I of Belgium;
Prince Albert of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha (husband of Queen Victoria).

In 1464 Frederick II died and Ernest succeeded his father.
In 1482 Ernest annexed Thuringa but he devided his possissions with
his brother Albert in the Treaty of Leipzig.

On August 26th. 1486, at the age of 46, Ernest died in Colditz.