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The Royal Wedding and Civil Contributions

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In the beginning, there was a wedding. On October 12, 1810 the Bavarian Crown Prince Ludwig, later King Ludwig I of Bavaria (1786-1868, reigned. 1825-1848) married Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen (1792-1854). The wedding celebrations lasted several days.  During the festivities, on  October 17, 1810, there was a horse race at the gates of the royal capital city of Munich. This horse race, which from then on was repeated every year, is the origin of today's Oktoberfest

The origins of today's "greatest folk festival in the world" came at a turbulent time. The wake of the French Revolution and the rule of Napoleon Bonaparte (1769-1821) saw Europe, Germany and Bavaria in unprecedented upheaval. The borders of Bavaria, which became a kingdom in 1806, changed several times in the period from 1801-1816. United within Bavaria were various regions with different cultural and religious roots, and socio-economic conditions. The reform policies of Maximilian of Montgelas (1759-1838) created a modern, centralized state based on the French model.

Bavaria was visited by war several times.  In 1809, a year before the wedding, an insurgency was sparked by the ruthless policies of the Bavarian Government in the newly acquired province of Tyrol. Only through the assistance of the French could the young kingdom suprress the insurgency.  At the same time,  the older traditional Bavarian parts of the country  experienced heavy troop movement and military conflicts as part of the Napoleonic Wars.

In this situation, the Royal Wedding provided the means to establish cohesion in the new kingdom, evoke patriotic feelings, and strengthen the public's connection to the dynasty.


Content

Bavaria and Munich in 1810
The Royal Wedding
Poems about the Wedding
The Horse Race of the Cavalry Division of the Royal Bavarian National Guard, Third Class
A Few Words by Karl Theodor von Heigel and the Official Version of History

 


Bavaria and Munich in 1810

The original Oktoberfest  was celebrated on October 17,  1810, when the last change to the territorial shape of Bavaria was just seven and a half months in the past. In the Peace of Paris, February 28, 1810,  Bavaria had lost the county of Etsch, which included  the capital city of Trento and extended to Gardalake, as well as the cities of Ulm and Crailsheim.  However, the cities of Berchtesgaden, Salzburg and Regensburg, the area of the Innviertel and the principality of Bayreuth were added. The kingdom was divided into nine "counties", based on the French model , which named the counties (kreis) after the rivers  (Innkreis, Salzachkreis, Illerkreis, Isarkreis, Oberdonaukreis, Regenkreis, Unterdonaukreis Rezatkreis, Mainkreis).

Bavaria still emcompassed the provinces of Vorarlberg, Tirol and the northern parts of South Tirol, the province of Salzburg and the Upper Austrian Innviertel. However, Lower Franconia and the Coburg region were not a part of Bavaria at that time.

The royal city of Munich was located in the center of the kingdom. The area of the city consisted largely of the medieval town center. Since 1791 the medieval city wall had fallen gradually  away, and was successively being replaced by a modern fortified city wall. In 1802/03, the Munich monasteries were abolished. A number of churches and chapels were demolished or profaned. The English Garden and the Max-Joseph-Platz near the residence were newly established.

The physician, geographer and statistician Frederick Albert Klebe (presumably 1769-1843), editor of the semi-official "Bavarian National Newspaper", summarized the many changes with the optimism typical of the time: "The exterior becomes more pleasing every day" (p. 41/42) .

 

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Zum Digitalisat. A. von Coulon
Postcard from Bayern.
Designed by the order of His Majesty the King, from the royal bayerischen geographic engineer at the statistical topgraphic office A. von Coulon.

Munich, 1810

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Friedrich Albert Klebe (1779–1843)
Written Sketch of Munich from the Year 1810.
First Publication.

Munich,1810

 

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The Royal Wedding

Jacob Beiel a librarien from 1809 - 1813 at the Royal Court Library in Munich (today's Bavarian State Library), who cataloged  the prints of Italian poets and writers, published a description of the wedding festivities in 1811. In the form of letters, he describes the journey of the bride to Munich, her arrival, the marriage ceremony, and the honeymoon of the couple. The "Seventh Letter" is a "description of the great horse race on the new meadow at Theresienwiese in Sendling" (p. 41).

Particularly evident  is the propagandist attitude of the descriptions, in Beiel's 11th letter, he describes Ludwig's trip to Innsbruck. Two days after his wedding, the Crown Prince had been appointed by his father as the Governor-General of the Inn and the Salzach counties.  He was to reside in both cities alternately.

In Tirol, where only a year before, the rebellion against Bavarian rule was brutally suppressed, the royal couple was received - if we are to believe the report – with  "loud (r) drunken cheers of joy of  the people" (p. 86).

IThe author describes the 1816 wedding of Caroline Charlotte Auguste of Bavaria (1792-1873) to Emperor Franz I of Austria (1768-1835) in a similar manner.


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Jacob Beiel
Monuments of Love and Devotion from the Loyal Citizens.
Dedicated to their Royal Highnesses of Bavaria, Ludwig and Therese.
or: A Full Description of all Public Ceremonies, Which Have Taken Place since the Departure of Her Royal Highness ,the Crown Princess of Saxony-Hildburghausen until the Festive Entrance of the Royal Couple in Innsbruck. In Letters from Munich to a Friend in Insbruck.
Second, expanded original edition.

Munich, 1810

 

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Jakob Beiel
A Day of Rejoicing for the Fatherland at the Glorious Wedding Ceremony of His Imperial Majesty, King Francis I, Emperor of Austria to Her Royal Highness the Princess Caroline Augusta of Bavaria.
A Complete Description of All the Celebrations and Festivals, Which Took Place in the Royal Capital from  October 27 to November 5, Along with a Collection of Poems, Sonnets, Inscriptions, Chronograms, and a View of the Cemetery.
Supplement: The Celebrations in Alt-Oetting, Simbach and Braunau.

Munich, 1816

 

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Poems about the Wedding

The propagandistic and patriotic value of the  wedding is demonstrated by the numerous poems that were written to honour the wedding celebrations. The authors are to be found in the circles of both the Munich merchants and the state employees.  Among the authers were the Germanist Joseph Bernard Docen (1782-1828), who was also employed at the court library; and Joseph of Mussinan (1766-1837), a lawyer in the Bavarian civil service, who acted as a historian and was a corresponding member of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences in 1810.

The poems presented here are from the portfolio "Don.Lud." (Donatio Ludovici) of the Bavarian State Library. These books were donated to the then Royal Library in 1846,  in exchange for duplicates from the state library to the private library of the king.


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Bernhard Joseph Docen
Ode to the Marriage Feast of HRH the Crown Prince of Bavaria, Ludwig Karl August with Her Ducal Highness Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen.
Written in the Meter of the Bavarian Knight, Wolfram von Eschenbach, a Troubadour of the Thirteenth Century.
Munich, October 13, 1810 (The Evening of Illumination)

Munich,1810

 

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Joseph von Mussinan
Wishes for the Wedding Celebrations of HRH Ludwig, Crown Prince of Bavaria with Her Highness Theresia, Prinzessin von Sachsen-Hildburghausen.
Straubing, October 1, 1810.
[Diptychon]

S.l., 1810

 

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Anonymous
At the Highly Pleasing Marriage of the Royal Wedding Couple,Ludwig Karl, Kronprinzen von Baiern, und Theresa, Princess of Sachsen-Hildburghausen. Expressions of Joy from the Highly Praised Marksmen's Association of Munich, den 12. Okt. 1810.

[Munich], [1810]

 

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Anonymous
Song to Celebrate the Marriage of HRH the Crown Prince of Bavaria, Karl Ludwig August with Theresa, Princess of Sachsen-Hildburghausen.

S.l., 1810

 

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Anonymous
Ode to the Marraige Bed of HRH the Crown Prince of Bavaria, LUDWIG, and Her Ducal Highness THERESE, Princess of Hildburghausen.

Munich 1810

 

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Anonymous
Patriotic Wishes on Occasion of the Marriage of HRH our Beloved Crown Prince Carl Ludwig August with Her Highness Princess Therese of Hildburghausen.
Presented by the Citizens of Regensburg

[Regensburg], 1810

 

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Anonymous
TheresIa CaroLIna SaXonIae CaroLo LVDoVICo BaVarIae aeqVe aC gratIa VIrtVtI heroICae perpetVo foeDere IVnCta.
[Chronodistichon created for the marriage of His Royal Highness the Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria]

S.l., 1810

 

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The Horse Race of the Cavalry Division of the Royal Bavarian National Guard, Third Class

The 1808 constitution of the Kingdom of Bavaria introduced compulsory military service and provided for a standing army. Based on the French model, in the event of war the safety of the interior was the responsibility of the "National Guard". The third class of the national guard, which should provide for the security of citizens in their local jurisdiction, was merged into the previously established (1807) citizen militia of the cities and markets. Since 1814, these units recieved the name "Landwehr" (Army). These units were subordinate to the civil authorities.

The horse races organized by the Munich National Guard was the contribution of the urban middle class to the wedding. The city of Munich could not contribute as a result of the municipal edict of 1808, when the local self-government was abolished.

Andreas Michael von Dall'Armi, the Initatior of the Horse Races

Organizer of the race horse was a  banker and merchant from Trent, Michael Andreas Dall'Armi (1765-1842), an Italian who had established himself firmly into the merchant elite of Munich. Dall'Armi worked since 1784 in the bank and trading business of his brother-in-law, Jacob Nockher. In 1786 he married Elizabeth Nockher (1750-1793), the main heir of the Nockher assets. The following year he gained the Munich citizenship. In 1792 Dall'Armi was elevated to the hereditary nobility. His second wife was from a Munich innkeeping family, who owned the famous inn "Zum Goldenen Hirschen" in Theatinerstrasse.

He was a successful businessman, who organized not only the horse race, but also made the suggestion to name the location  "Theresa's Meadow" (Theresienwiese). At his own expense, he printed a description of the celebrations and encouraged - in vain – the construction of a Bavarian "National Monument" at the Oktoberfest. For his services in creating and perpetuating the celebration of Oktoberfest, the city of Munich gave Dall'Armi the Golden Public Service Medal in 1824.

In 1811 Dall'Armi joined the civil service and became an inspector at the newly established State Debt Commission. The bank, in which his sons from his first marriage showed no interest, passed on to his nephew Franz Nockher, who went bankrupt in 1817 (suicide 1820). In 1821 Dall'Armi was dismissed from government service and retired to private life.

Bibliography:

 


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Andreas Michael von Dall'Armi
Program.
Organisation of the Celebration.

Munich, 1810

 

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Andreas Michael von Dall'Armi
P.P.
[Program for the Commemoration of the Marriage of Crown Prince Ludwig and Princess Therese of Saxony-Hildburghausen the Reason for the Horse Race].

Munich, 1810

 

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Andreas Michael von Dall'Armi
The Horse Race for the Marriage Celebration of HRH the Crown Prince of Bavaria.
Organized by the Cavalry Division of the Royal Bavarian National Guard Third Class of Munich on October 17, 1810.

Munich, 1811

 

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Andreas Michael von Dall'Armi (?)
Invitation for a Donation to Erect a Monument on the Theresienwiese in Munich.

[Munich,], [1811]

 

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A Few Words by Karl Theodor von Heigel and the Official Version of History

The first scholarly biography of Ludwig I was presented on behalf of the Royal Government of Munich by historian Karl Theodor von Heigel (1842-1915) in 1872. In the biography he mentions Oktoberfest only briefly, and rather reservedly  (p. 32)

In 1866 Heigel was at the Royal National Archives in Munich, where the Bavarian Central State Archives operates today. In 1885 he became Professor of History at the University of Munich, where he was also Dean of the History Department. In 1904 he became president of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. Among his   interests was the history of Bavaria and its rulers.


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Karl Theodor von Heigel
Ludwig I, King of Bavaria.

Leipzig, 1872

 

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Karl Theodor von Heigel
The Transition of the Duchy of Bavaria from the Family of the Welfs to the House of Wittelsbach. 1180 Inaugural Essay.

Munich, 1867

 

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Karl Theodor von Heigel
Sigmund Otto Riezler
The Duchy of Bavaria at the Time of  Henry the Lion and Otto I of Wittelsbach.

Munich,1867


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Karl Theodor von Heigel
The Diary of Emperor Charles VII. from the Time of the Austrian War of Succession.
Copied  from the Autograph.

Munich, 1883

 

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Karl Theodor von Heigel
The Wittelsbachs.
Commemorative Publication in Honor of the Seven Hundred Year Anniversary of the Reigning House of Wittelsbach.

Munich, 1880

 

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Karl Theodor von Heigel
Sources and Treatises on the Modern History of Bavaria.

Munich,1884

 

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Karl Theodor von Heigel
Sources and Treatises on the Modern History of Bavaria.
New Edition.

Munich, 1890

 

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