Countess Palatine Caroline of Zweibrücken

Caroline of the Palatinate-Zweibrücken (Henriette Caroline Christiane Louise; 9 March 1721 30 March 1774) was Landgravine of Hesse-Darmstadt by marriage to Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt. She was famed as one of the most learned women of her time and known as The Great Landgräfin.

Landgravine of Hesse-Darmstadt
Portrait of Countess Palatine Caroline of Zweibrücken
Born9 March 1721
Died30 March 1774 (aged 53 years)
SpouseLouis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
IssueCaroline, Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg
Frederika Louisa, Queen of Prussia
Louis I, Grand Duke of Hesse
Amelie, Hereditary Princess of Baden
Wilhelmina Louisa, Grand Duchess of Russia
Luise, Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
Landgrave Frederick
Landgrave Christian
FatherChristian III, Count Palatine of Zweibrücken
MotherCaroline of Nassau-Saarbrücken


Henriette Caroline was the daughter of Christian III, Duke of Zweibrücken and his wife Caroline of Nassau-Saarbrücken.

She married on 12 August 1741 in Zweibrücken, Louis IX, Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt. The marriage was arranged and unhappy: Caroline was interested in music and literature, while her consort was interested in military matters, and she lived separated from him at Buchsweiler. She founded a factory to ease the states economy. In 1772, she promoted the politician Karl Friedrich von Moser.

Caroline was better known as The Great Landgräfin, a name given to her by Johann Wolfgang von Goethe. She befriended several writers and philosophers of her time, such as Johann Gottfried Herder, Christoph Martin Wieland and Goethe. Wieland wished he had the power to make her Queen of Europa. She also had contact with Frederick II of Prussia. She was one of the few women that the Alte Fritz respected, and he famously referred to her as the Glory and Wonder of our century; after her death, he sent an urn to Darmstadt with the text femina sexo, ingenio vir ('A woman by sex, a man by spirit'). [1]


Landgravine of Hesse-Homburg
2 March 174618 September 1821Married Frederick V, Landgrave of Hesse-Homburg, had issue
Frederika Louisa
Queen of Prussia
16 October 175125 February 1805Married in 1769 Frederick William II of Prussia, had issue.
Louis I
Grand Duke of Hesse
14 June 17536 April 1830Married in 1799 Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt, had issue
Hereditary Princess of Baden
20 June 175421 June 1832Married in 1775 Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden, had issue
Wilhelmina Louisa
Grand Duchess Natalia Alexeievna of Russia
25 June 175526 April 1776Married in 1773 the future Emperor Paul I of Russia, no surviving issue
Louisa Augusta
Grand Duchess of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach
30 January 175714 February 1830Married in 1775 Charles Augustus of Saxe-Weimar-Eisenach, had issue
Landgrave of Hesse-Darmstadt
25 November 176317 April 1830Died unmarried



  • Marita A. Panzer: Die Große Landgräfin Caroline von Hessen-Darmstadt, Verlag Friedrich Pustet Regensburg, 2005


  1. Philipp A. Pauli: Darmstadt: Eine historisch-topographische Skizze und Excursionen in die Umgegend. Will, 1815, S. 89.
  2. Genealogie ascendante jusqu'au quatrieme degre inclusivement de tous les Rois et Princes de maisons souveraines de l'Europe actuellement vivans [Genealogy up to the fourth degree inclusive of all the Kings and Princes of sovereign houses of Europe currently living] (in French). Bourdeaux: Frederic Guillaume Birnstiel. 1768. p. 93.
Countess Palatine Caroline of Zweibrücken
Cadet branch of the House of Wittelsbach
Born: 9 March 1721 Died: 30 March 1774
German royalty
Title last held by
Dorothea Charlotte of Brandenburg-Ansbach
Landgravine consort of Hesse-Darmstadt
17 October 1768 – 30 March 1774
Title next held by
Louise of Hesse-Darmstadt

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