Henriette Adelheid of Savoy

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Princess Henriette Adelheid of Savoy, later Electress of Bavaria
Henriette Adelheid of Savoy

Princess Henriette Adelheid Maria of Savoy , Electress of Bavaria (born November 6, 1636 in Turin , † March 13, 1676 in Munich ) was Electress of Bavaria by marriage.


She lost her father, Viktor Amadeus I, at the age of one. Her mother, Duchess Christina of Savoy , was the daughter of the French King Henry IV and sister of his successor Louis XIII.

On December 8, 1650, she was solemnly married to the Bavarian heir to the throne and later Elector Ferdinand Maria by procurationem in Turin Cathedral . Her brother Karl Emanuel II took the place of the absent groom .

The marriage ultimately went back to an initiative of Cardinal Mazarin , who had proposed the marriage project in a message to the Bavarian ambassadors who were at the Spanish court in 1647. However, the Savoyard marriage was not the first choice for either side. For a long time, the mother had sought a marriage between Henriette Adelaide and the French Crown Prince, who later became the Sun King Louis XIV . The Munich court, on the other hand, was interested in a bride who should speak German if possible, but who should definitely be Catholic. Before the marriage pact was signed on May 14, 1650, the Munich court had obtained extensive information about the Savoyard ducal family and sent the spy Ferdinando Egartner to Turin under the code name Aloise Rizzi . Its secret reports, which u. a. Henriette Adelheid's legendary beauty, which was already legendary at the time, had prompted the Bavarian Elector Maximilian I to insist that his son marry Henriette Adelheid and not her sister Margherita.

With the death of his father, Ferdinand Maria became Elector of Bavaria and Henriette Adelheid just one year after the wedding, in a country whose soil she had never set foot on. On May 16, 1652, she set off for Munich with a train of 336 horses and 350 baggage vehicles, where she arrived on June 21. The couple met for the first time in Kufstein . Ferdinand gave her a letter from her mother as a sign of identification. On June 25, 1652 the marriage took place again in Munich.

Because of the prolonged childlessness, she and her entourage stayed in Bad Heilbrunn for a cure in 1659 . The cure was successful, and the Adelheid spring, so named in 1832, is a reminder of the Electress's stay. In 1663 she founded the Congregation of the Noble Servants of Mary .

Henriette Adelheid's coffin in the Theatinerkirche

As the Electress, Adelheid was an important advisor to her husband. She played a key role in the construction of Nymphenburg Palace and the Theatinerkirche and attracted foreign artists to the Munich court.

Adelheid also exerted a strong influence on Bavarian politics in favor of France, which eventually led to an alliance between Bavaria and France directed against the Habsburgs . The festivals she designed were famous for their splendor until a devastating fire destroyed the residence on April 9, 1674 . In the absence of Ferdinand, she saved her children barefoot and at risk of death. She caught a cold in the process, which led to her death after suffering for two years.

She was buried in a coffin in the royal crypt in the Theatine Church, which she helped build. Also in the crypt, her heart and bowels rest separately in a pewter vessel.


  1. Maria Anna Victoria (November 28, 1660; † April 20, 1690), ⚭ March 7, 1680 in Châlons-sur-Marne Louis of France, Grand Dauphin (* November 1, 1661; † April 14, 1711)
  2. Maximilian II. Emanuel (July 11, 1662 - February 26, 1726), Elector of Bavaria July 15, 1685 Maria Antonia, Archduchess of Austria , ⚭ January 2, 1695 Therese Kunigunde, Princess of Poland .
  3. Luise Margarete Antonie (September 18, 1663 - November 10, 1665)
  4. Ludwig Amadeus Victor (April 6, 1665 - December 11, 1665)
  5. Stillbirth (* / † 1666)
  6. Kajetan Maria Franz (May 2, 1670 - December 7, 1670)
  7. Joseph Clemens Kajetan (* December 5, 1671 - † November 12, 1723), Elector of Cologne.
  8. Violante Beatrix (January 23, 1673 - May 29, 1731) ⚭ January 19, 1689 in Florence Ferdinand de 'Medici, Hereditary Prince of Tuscany .


  • Preuss:  Henriette Adelheid, Electress of Baiern . In: Allgemeine Deutsche Biographie (ADB). Volume 50, Duncker & Humblot, Leipzig 1905, pp. 198-200.
  • Roswitha von Bary: Henriette Adelaide. Electress of Bavaria . Unchanged reprint of the original Munich edition 1980. Pustet, Regensburg 2004, ISBN 3-7917-1873-8 .
  • Britta Kägler : Cultural Conflicts in the Alpine Region . The Italian entourage of Electress Henriette Adelaide at the Munich court (1651–1676) . In: Anna Orlowska, Anna, Werner Paravicini, Jörg Wettlaufer (eds.), Atelier. Role model, exchange, competition. Courtyards and residences in mutual perception (communications from the Residences Commission of the Academy of Sciences in Göttingen, special issue 12) , Kiel 2009, 119–137.
  • Cornelia Kemp: The Cabinet of Hearts of Electress Henriette Adelaide in the Munich Residence. A precious love concept and its iconography . In: Münchner Jahrbuch der bildenden Kunst 33, 1982, ISSN  0077-1899 , pp. 131–154.
  • Reinhold Baumstark : Depiction and exaggeration in court painting under Henriette Adelaide and the young Max Emanuel . In: Hubert Glaser (Ed.): Elector Max Emanuel. Bavaria and Europe around 1700 . Volume 1: On the history and art history of the Max Emanuel period . Hirmer, Munich 1976, ISBN 3-7774-2790-X , pp. 171-205.
  • Else Strobl:  Adelheid (Henriette Maria Adelaide). In: New German Biography (NDB). Volume 1, Duncker & Humblot, Berlin 1953, ISBN 3-428-00182-6 , p. 58 f. ( Digitized version ).
  • Julia Hübner: Electress Henriette Adelaide of Savoy at the Bavarian court. About female scope for action in early modern external relations , Dresden: Thelem 2020, ISBN 978-3-95908-505-2 .

Web links

Commons : Henriette Adelheid von Savoyen  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Notes and individual references

  1. a b Bary: Henriette Adelaide . 2004, p. 29 .
  2. ^ Bary: Henriette Adelaide . 2004, p. 27, 39 ff .
  3. ^ Bary: Henriette Adelaide . 2004, p. 37 .
  4. ^ Bary: Henriette Adelaide . 2004, p. 66 .
  5. ^ Bary: Henriette Adelaide . 2004, p. 79 .
  6. on June 17th
  7. ^ Bary: Henriette Adelaide . 2004, p. 76 f .
predecessor Office Successor
Maria Anna of Austria Electress of Bavaria
Maria Antonia of Austria