Queen Elisabeth of Romania

June 2, 2012 | In: Famous Women in history


Queen Elisabeth of Romania, with her full name Elisabeth Pauline Ottilie Luise zu Wied, was born on the 29th of December 1843, in Neuwied, Germany, and died on the 18th of February 1916, in Curtea de Arges, Romania.

She was the first Romanian Queen, wife of Carol I Hohenzollern- Sigmaringen, the first Romanian King from the world-renowned Hohenzollern- Sigmaringen dynasty.

Elisabeth was an art patron, founder on many charitable institutions, a poet, an essayist and a writer.

In Romania she was and still is called Queen Elisabeth of Romania, but in Europe, you probably heard of Princess Elisabeth von Wied, and as a patron of arts, she chose the pseudonym Carmen Sylva, meaning The Song of the Woods, in a free translation. As I said, she made possible the existence of many charitable institutions, and was a nurse on the battlefield. That’s why the soldiers knew her as the Mother of the Wounded.

She came to Romania in 1869, at the age of 26, where she was to marry Karl von Hohenzollern, who governed by the name of Carol I of Romania. In the 19th century, Romania was under the wardship of the Ottoman Empire. After the Independence War, in 1877 and the Treaty of Berlin (1878), Romania was recognized as a Kingdom, and so Elisabeth became the first Romanian Queen in history.

On the battlefield of the Independence War, Elisabeth founded hospitals, ambulance services and bought medicine for the wounded. Also, after the war she was an influent supporter of the philanthropist society, through which she encouraged the high society ladies the have an active role in raising founds for different causes. And so, in 1893, The Queen Elisabeth Society was founded, and treated almost 17.000 patients every year, free of charge, it distributed free medicine and monitored the helpless families.

She also had the initiative of identifying the high potential Romanian handcraft had. She usually dressed in the national Romanian clothes, and also encouraging other high-ranked ladies to do so, giving it a high social value.

She made a duty to encourage young talented boys and girls to study through a scholarship program, which she founded. She had many artist friends, including the world renowned conductor George Enescu.

Elisabeth was conscious of the major benefits of tourism in a country that didn’t have an international turist circuit. She initialized in this field a publicity based campaign in order for the World to know her beautiful, adoptive country. One of the major benefits of her program can still be seen today in Romania, once a year. The Orient Express, I’m sure you all heard something about it, passes every year through Romania, making two stops, in the mountain town of Sinaia, and in Bucharest, staying for the night.

Her literature talent helped her to publish many poems in French, German and English, with the pseudonym of Carmen Sylva, making Romania notorious around the World. Mark Twain said: that enchanting, adorable, German poet and princess remembers that the hood flowers spoke to her.

Queen Elisabeth died little before Romania declared war on Germany and was buried at Curtea de Arges Monastery.

I bring this astounding figure in your attention hoping you’ll discover many precious faces which you almost certain didn’t heard of, and open yourselves to other beautiful countries and rulers. Plus, no classmate will make an essay about Queen Elisabeth of Romania.


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