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Monday, 24 October 2011
Alexandra Pavlovna: The Forgotten Grand Duchess
Topic: Alexandra Pavlovna GD

In the small picturesque town of Uremia (Irem, as noted in Russian documents of the 19th century), a suburb of Budapest, there is a street named Pavlovna. The street leads to the mostly forgotten, but equally important Russian Orthodox Church of the Holy Martyr Alexandra. Built in the early 19th century, the church is the final resting place for the Grand Duchess Alexandra Pavlovna.

Alexandra was born at Tsarskoye Selo on 9 August, 1783, the third child and eldest daughter of Emperor Paul I and Empress Maria Feodorovna. In 1799 she was married to Archduke Joseph of Austria, a younger brother of Emperor Franz II. The couple settled in the castle of Alcsut in Hungary.

Sadly, her life at the Austrian Court was an unhappy one. The Empress Maria Theresa was jealous of her young beauty and fine jewels, while her Orthodox faith roused hostility among the Roman Catholic Court.

Alexandra died on 16 March, 1801, the same day she gave birth to a daughter. Her death occurred the same week that her father was murdered in St. Petersburg.

Archduke Joseph had a mausoleum built, but the Austrian Court refused her burial in a Catholic cemetery. Her coffin remained unburied until her brother, Emperor Alexander I had the small church built where she was at last laid to rest.

© Royal Russia. 24 October, 2011


   


Posted by Paul Gilbert at 12:01 AM EDT
Updated: Saturday, 29 October 2011 7:26 AM EDT
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