Esperanza de Sarachaga

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Doña Esperanza Felicitas Alexandra de Sarachaga y Lobanov Rostovsky was a 19th-century courtier and socialite of Spanish and Russian descent. Born in St. Petersburg, she was informally known as “Spera”. She was the eldest daughter of Don Jorge de Sarachaga y Uría and his Russian wife Princess Ekaterina Lobanov-Rostovskaya.[1] Her father, also known as Georg von Sarachaga-Uria (23 April 1811 – 14 December 1843) was born in Manzanares, Spain and killed near Mannheim in a duel. Esperanza married Bavarian diplomat, Friedrich Freiherr Truchseß von Wetzhausen.

Esperanza's maternal grandparents, Prince Aleksei Lobanov-Rostovsky and his wife Countess Kucheleff.

Family and childhood

Esperanza was a member of the Basque noble family of Sarachaga.[2] The family belonged to the landed nobility, although in some Russian circles they were referred to as of baronial rank,[3] While the family never had a listing in the Almanach de Gotha's publications, whenever mentioned the family was referred to without hereditary title.[4] Her paternal grandmother, Maria Micaela de Uria y Alcedo, who married Florentino de Sarachaga, had been a courtier during the Spanish reign of Joseph Bonaparte.[5] She left Spain for Karlsruhe in 1813 with a Baden general in French service, Carl von Lasollaye, and accompanied by her children, one of whom became Spera's father Jorge. After the death of her husband who had been left behind in Spain, she married Lasollaye.[6] In 1833, Esperanza’s mother became a maid of honour to Empress Alexandra Fjodorovna.[citation needed] She was the eldest daughter of Russian Prince Aleksey Aleksandrovich Lobanov-Rostovsky and his wife Countess Alexandra Grigorievna Kucheleff. Doña Esperanza’s father and mother met in St. Petersburg as children, although he eventually joined the military service in Baden. Esperanza would later write that her childhood was happy, but that it was also very sad because by the time she was almost ten years old she had lost both her parents and her grandfather. When Esperanza was six years old, she and her brother inherited her father’s fortune upon his death in a duel with Moritz von Haber in 1843. Haber was a Jewish banker who, according to a group of aristocratic army officers to which Jorge belonged, had an undue influence on the Grand Ducal house. A series of duels followed, in the final one of which Jorge was a victim.[1][7][8] After his death, Esperanza and her brother were placed under the guardianship of their maternal grandparents, Prince and Princess Lobanov-Rostovsky.[1] Her grandmother died in Paris during the French Revolution of 1848, and Esperanza was sent to be brought up in St. Petersburg away from her brother Alexis. She was summoned to and joined the Russian imperial court at the age of sixteen. She and her brother spent their childhood apart between Russia, France, Norway, and Spain. Alexis, together with the Jesuit Victor Drevon, later became the founder of the Hiéron du Val d'Or, a Roman Catholic esoteric political cabal that sought to prepare the political landscape in Europe for the second coming and reign of Christ. They also founded the Musée du Hiéron[9]


Doña Esperanza wed Bavarian diplomat Friedrich Freiherr Truchseß von Wetzhausen on 15 July 1862.[1] Esperanza first met Wetzhausen when he was working as a diplomat at the Russian court, and they were married soon after. During their marriage she often took him back to Bilbao, Spain to visit her family. Once, when they were newly-wed, she took her new husband on a long hiking trip in Spain where they came upon a beautiful country palace. Her husband loved it and said that he wanted to know more about the owners because he was going to buy it for her. The gardener was the one to reveal to him that Esperanza was the owner all along.[10] Prince Philipp zu Eulenburg-Hertefeld commented that Esperanza was considered, at age 44, to have beauty, generosity and intelligence.[10] The couple remained childless. In 1885, Doña Esperanza and her brother became guardians of their recently orphaned family members, Don Ricardo de Sarachaga y Arribalzaga and Doña Gloria de Sarachaga y Arribalzaga[citation needed]. Esperanza died in Cannes, France on January 28, 1914.[11]

Diplomacy and politics

As a courtier she had friends in many circles. Sometimes her friends had loyalties to governments in conflict with each other. Philipp zu Eulenburg-Hertefeld relays that when Esperanza found out that King Ludwig II of Bavaria was about to be institutionalized for mental illness, she attacked the commission that came to get him at the entrance to Hohenschwangau Castle, protesting and flailing at the men with her umbrella. She then rushed to the king’s apartments to identify the conspirators. Ludwig had the commissioners arrested, but after holding them captive for several hours, released them, [10][12] and was taken into their custody.

Charitable work

Esperanza founded many charitable institutions, including a Bavarian Kindergarten[13] and "Friedrichsheim", a Bavarian elder care home in Stadtlauringen[14] named after her husband. She was also a benefactress of her brother's legacy, the Musée du Hiéron.

See also


  1. ^ a b c d Sentencias del Consejo de Estado. Madrid : Impr. del Ministerio de Gracia y Justica, [18--]-1867. pg. 513
  2. ^ Becke-Klüchtzner, Edwund von der, Stamtafeln des Adels des Grossherzogtums Baden, Baden Baden 1886, p 399
  3. ^ Russian genealogical collection volume 1-4, 1841 by Peter Dolgorukov
  4. ^ Gothaisches Taschenbuch der freiherrlichen Häuser, Vol 42, 1892 p 920
  5. ^ Euskomedia
  6. ^ Congreso Internacional de las Ciencias Genealógica y Heráldica, Volume 2, pp 349-350
  7. ^ Blick in die Geschichte Nr. 77 vom 21. Dezember 2007: Verlauf und Hintergründe des "Haber-Skandals"
  8. ^ George von Sarachaga-Uria, Georg v. Sarachaga's Vermächtniß oder Neue Folgen in der Göler-Haber'schen Sache, Stuttgart 1843, Nachtrag
  9. ^ Politica Hermetica, Les contrées secretes, pp 79 - 101
  10. ^ a b c Prince Philipp zu Eulenburg-Hertefeld (1934), Princess Augusta of Eulenburg-Hertefeld, ed., The end of King Ludwig II and other experiences, Fri Wilh. Grunow publisher, retrieved 2012-04-08
  11. ^ Archives Journaux Ville Cannes
  12. ^ Werner Bertram, King Ludwig II of Bavaria: A royal recluse; memories of Ludwig II of Bavaria
  13. ^ Gemeindekindergarten (1934), Konzeption (PDF), retrieved 2012-04-08
  14. ^ Main Post

External links

  • Freifrau von Truchsess
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