Karl Eugen, Duke of Württemberg
Charles Eugene Duke of Württemberg (11 February 1728 – 24 October 1793) was the eldest son of Duke Karl I Alexander
Karl Alexander, Duke of Württemberg
Charles Alexander of Württemberg was a Württemberg noble from 1698 who governed the Kingdom of Serbia as regent from 1720 until 1733, when he assumed the position of Duke of Württemberg, which he had held until his death....

 and Princess Maria Augusta of Thurn and Taxis
Princess Maria Augusta of Thurn and Taxis
Princess Maria Augusta Anna of Thurn and Taxis was a Regent of Württemberg. She was a member of the Princely House of Thurn and Taxis as a daughter of Anselm Franz, 2nd Prince of Thurn and Taxis and his wife Maria Ludovika Anna Franziska, Princess of Lobkowicz...

 (11 August 1706 – 1 February 1756).


Born in Brussels
Brussels , officially the Brussels Region or Brussels-Capital Region , is the capital of Belgium and the de facto capital of the European Union...

, he succeeded his father as ruler of Württemberg at the age of 9, but the real power was in the hands of Administrators Carl Rudolf, Duke of Württemberg-Neuenstadt
Carl Rudolf, Duke of Württemberg-Neuenstadt
Carl Rudolf was third and last Duke of Württemberg-Neuenstadt, army commander in Danish service and Field Marshal of the Holy Roman Empire.- Life :...

 (1737–1738) and Carl Frederick von Württemberg-Oels (1738–1746).

He was educated at the court of Frederick II of Prussia
Frederick II of Prussia
Frederick II was a King in Prussia and a King of Prussia from the Hohenzollern dynasty. In his role as a prince-elector of the Holy Roman Empire, he was also Elector of Brandenburg. He was in personal union the sovereign prince of the Principality of Neuchâtel...

. In the Seven Years' War
Seven Years' War
The Seven Years' War was a global military war between 1756 and 1763, involving most of the great powers of the time and affecting Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines...

 against Prussia
Prussia was a German kingdom and historic state originating out of the Duchy of Prussia and the Margraviate of Brandenburg. For centuries, the House of Hohenzollern ruled Prussia, successfully expanding its size by way of an unusually well-organized and effective army. Prussia shaped the history...

, Charles Eugene advanced into Saxony
The Free State of Saxony is a landlocked state of Germany, contingent with Brandenburg, Saxony Anhalt, Thuringia, Bavaria, the Czech Republic and Poland. It is the tenth-largest German state in area, with of Germany's sixteen states....

. He ruled until his death in 1793, when he was succeeded by his younger brother.

He was an early patron of Friedrich Schiller
Friedrich Schiller
Johann Christoph Friedrich von Schiller was a German poet, philosopher, historian, and playwright. During the last seventeen years of his life , Schiller struck up a productive, if complicated, friendship with already famous and influential Johann Wolfgang von Goethe...

. In 1765, Charles Eugene founded a public library in Ludwigsburg
Ludwigsburg is a city in Baden-Württemberg, Germany, about north of Stuttgart city centre, near the river Neckar. It is the largest and primary city of the Ludwigsburg urban district with about 87,000 inhabitants...

 (now the Württembergische Landesbibliothek
Württembergische Landesbibliothek
The Württembergische Landesbibliothek is a large library in Stuttgart, Germany, which traces its history back to the ducal public library of Württemberg, founded in 1765. It holds c. 3.4 million volumes and is thus the fourth-largest library in the state of Baden-Württemberg...

, Stuttgart) and was responsible for the construction of a number of other key palaces and buildings in the area including the New Palace
New Castle (Stuttgart)
The New Palace is a building which stands on the south edge of Schlossplatz, the central square in Stuttgart, Germany. The castle is built in late Baroque style....

 which still stands at the centre of Schlossplatz, Castle Solitude
Castle Solitude
Castle Solitude in Stuttgart, Germany , was built as a hunting lodge between 1764 and 1769 under Duke Karl Eugen of Württemberg. It is not a true castle, but rather a rococo palace. Since 1956 the area is part of the urban district of Stuttgart-West. The castle is located on a high plain between...

 and Castle Hohenheim.

Charles Eugene married twice, first to Elisabeth Fredericka Sophie of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
Elisabeth Fredericka Sophie of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
Margravine Elisabeth Fredericka Sophie of Brandenburg-Bayreuth , was a German princess member of the House of Hohenzollern and by marriage Duchess of Württemberg.-Early life:...

 with whom he had one daughter who died after 13 months. Elisabetha left Charles Eugene in 1756 to return to her parents' court in Bayreuth although they never divorced. In the meantime, Charles Eugene kept a string of mistresses and fathered eleven children by them. The last of these mistresses was Franziska von Hohenheim
Franziska von Hohenheim
Franziska Theresia Reichsgräfin von Hohenheim was a German noblewoman. From 1774 she was known as Freiin von Bernerdin and from 1765 onwards as Freifrau Leutrum von Ertingen. She was the official mistress of Charles Eugene, Duke of Württemberg from 1772 to 1785, when she became his second wife...

, whom he raised to the status of Countess and married in 1785.

Charles Eugene was known for his interest in agriculture and travel and is considered the inspiration behind today's Hohenheim
Stuttgart-Hohenheim is a quarter of Plieningen, one of the 18 outer districts of Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, Germany...

 university. His original botanical gardens form the basis for today's Landesarboretum Baden-Württemberg
Landesarboretum Baden-Württemberg
The Landesarboretum Baden-Württemberg is a historic arboretum now maintained by the University of Hohenheim. It is located next to the Botanischer Garten der Universität Hohenheim, the university's botanical garden, on Garbenstrasse in the Hohenheim district of Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg,...

 and Botanischer Garten der Universität Hohenheim
Botanischer Garten der Universität Hohenheim
The Botanischer Garten der Universität Hohenheim is a botanical garden maintained by the University of Hohenheim. It is located next to the historic Landesarboretum Baden-Württemberg on Garbenstrasse in the Hohenheim district of Stuttgart, Baden-Württemberg, Germany, and is sometimes called the...

, which still contain some of the specimens he planted. He also built a large number of palaces and bankrupted his lands through courtly extravagance, accepting huge French government loans in exchange for maintaining large numbers of support troops in Württemberg.

In his early years he ruled with an iron fist. However, he also displayed humanist tendencies. For example in 1744 he ordered that the corpse of Joseph Süß Oppenheimer
Joseph Süß Oppenheimer
Joseph Süß Oppenheimer was a Jewish banker and financial planner for Duke Karl Alexander of Württemberg in Stuttgart...

 - the executed Jewish financial advisor of his father, Charles Alexander - whose decaying corpse had been suspended in an iron cage by Stuttgart's Prag gallows for six years - be taken down and given a decent burial. He was also well known for his extensive library and interest in large scale horticulture for the feeding of the masses.

Between 1751 and 1759 Karl Eugen was involved in an increasingly bitter struggle with his adviser, the eminent Liberal
Liberalism is the belief in the importance of liberty and equal rights. Liberals espouse a wide array of views depending on their understanding of these principles, but generally, liberals support ideas such as constitutionalism, liberal democracy, free and fair elections, human rights,...

 jurist Johann Jakob Moser
Johann Jakob Moser
Johann Jakob Moser was a German jurist, publicist and researcher, whose work earned him the title "The Father of German Constitutional Law" and whose political commitment to the principles of Liberalism caused him to lose academic positions and spend years as a political prisoner.After attending...

 who strongly opposed the Duke's absolutist
Absolutism (European history)
Absolutism or The Age of Absolutism is a historiographical term used to describe a form of monarchical power that is unrestrained by all other institutions, such as churches, legislatures, or social elites...

 tendencies. In 1759 Charles Eugene had Moser charged with authoring "a subversive writing" and cast into prison for the next five years. However, in 1764 Moser was released, due in part to the intercession of Friedrich the Great of Prussia, and was rehabilitated and restored to his position, rank and titles.

Charles Eugene died in Hohenheim
Stuttgart-Hohenheim is a quarter of Plieningen, one of the 18 outer districts of Stuttgart, the state capital of Baden-Württemberg, Germany...



The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.