Park Rosenhöhe – A tragic destiny

Photo by Moniek Bloks

Park Rosenhöhe is located on a hill in Darmstadt and is the final resting place of several members of the Hesse-Darmstadt family. The park contains a small cemetery and two mausoleums.

At the very beginning of the cemetery is the impressive angel tomb of Princess Elisabeth of Hesse and by Rhine (1895–1903). She was the daughter of Ernst Ludwig, Grand Duke of Hesse and by Rhine and his first wife, Princess Victoria Melita of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. She died of virulent typhoid at the age of 8. You then reach the main part with the graves of Ernst Ludwig and his second wife Princess Eleonore of Solms-Hohensolms-Lich. Next to them are their eldest son and his family, who along with Eleonore, died in an aeroplane crash on their way to England to Louis’s (Ernst Ludwig’s second son) wedding. They are Hereditary Grand Duke Georg Donatus (the Grand Duchy had been abolished in 1918), his wife Cecilie (of Greece and Denmark, the sister of the Duke of Edinburgh) and their sons Ludwig and Alexander. I presume the child that Cecilie was carrying at the time of the crash is buried with her. His or her remains were found after the crash.

In front of them are the graves belong to Louis, Georg Donatus’s brother, and his wife Margaret (born Geddes). They adopted their niece Johanna, who had not been on the plane with her parents, but she died of meningitis before her third birthday. She is buried a few metres from the main cemetery.

The new mausoleum (which looks older than the old mausoleum!) was built by Grand Duke Ernst Ludwig for his parents Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse and Princess Alice of the United Kingdom, the daughter of Queen Victoria. Buried with them are two of their children who died in childhood, Marie and Friedrich Wilhelm.

The old mausoleum (which looks newer than the new mausoleum) was built in 1826. Princess Alice was originally buried there before being transferred to the new mausoleum. Buried there are Princess Elisabeth (1821-1826), a daughter of Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse, Prince Emil (1790-1856), a brother of Louis II, Grand Duke of Hesse, Prince Wilhelm (1845-1900), a younger brother of Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, Prince Henry (1838-1900), a younger brother of Louis IV, Grand Duke of Hesse, Grand Duke Louis I (1753-1830) and his wife Grand Duchess Louise (1761-1829, born Princess Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt).

Park Rosenhöhe is open to the public and free to visit.

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About Moniek Bloks 2749 Articles
My name is Moniek and I am from the Netherlands. I began this website in 2013 because I wanted to share these women's amazing stories.

1 Comment

  1. Wonderful and articulate history of this interesting park in Darmstadt, my home town. Have you been able to link the history of Alexandria, the wife of the last Tsar of Russia, Nicolás to this site? Alexandria was from Darmstadt, and I have a recollection that my Darmstadt lawyer’s wife told me, that the Rosenhoehe property had until 1980 still been the property of the Russian Government. I am not able to confirm this assertation. Any link that you have been able to find on that connection? Yours, Peter Irlenborn in Marin California of the last 40 years.

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