Finckenstein Palace

Finckenstein Palace (German: Schloss Finckenstein) was a baroque palace, designed by the architect John von Collas between 1716 and 1720 in the former West Prussia, about 25 mi. (40 km) south of Elbląg in present-day Poland. It was built by Prussian Field Marshal, Marquess, and Count Albrecht Konrad Reinhold Finck von Finckenstein and remained in the possession of the Finck von Finckenstein family until 1782.[1] After that the Counts Dohna-Schlobitten lived in it until 1945. Red Army soldiers set the palace on fire January 22, 1945, during their conquest of East Prussia.[2] The ruins are still visible.

The palace became famous in 1807, when Napoleon made it his residence from April through June of that year. When he saw the palace for the first time, he said:Enfin un chateau ("Finally, a castle").[3] The Treaty of Finckenstein between France and Persia was signed here.[3] Here, Napoleon met his mistress Maria Walewska, with whom he lived in the palace.[3] The Hollywood movie Conquest was filmed in the palace in 1937 with Greta Garbo and Charles Boyer.[4]

Schloss Finckenstein (Westen)
Photo of Schloss Finckenstein (1931)
Kamieniec Przód
Ruins of palace, 2006.

See also

The Persian Envoy Mirza Mohammed Reza Qazvini Finkenstein Castle 27 Avril 1807 by Francois Mulard
Persian Envoy Mirza Mohammed Reza-Qazvini meets with Napoleon to sign the Treaty of Finckenstein 27 April 1807 at Finckenstein Palace, by François Mulard.


  1. ^ History of Fickenstein part 1 (in German)
  2. ^ Big textkenstein_neu/finckenstein6/finckenstein_6.htm History of Finckenstein part 6 (in German)
  3. ^ a b c History of Finckenstein part 4 (in German)
  4. ^ History of Finckenstein part 7 (in German)

External links

Coordinates: 53°46′05.51″N 19°22′20.39″E / 53.7681972°N 19.3723306°E

Albrecht Konrad Finck von Finckenstein

Albrecht Konrad Reinhold Finck von Finckenstein (30 October 1660 – 16 December 1735) was a Prussian nobleman, Field Marshal and statesman.

Finck von Finckenstein came from ancient Prussian nobility or according to the Imperial Count Diploma originally from Carinthia and was the son of a Prussian chamberlain.

He was born in Saberau, East Prussia and became a Prussian Field Marshal and tutor to two Prussian crown princes, Governor of Pillau, general of a regiment, knight of the Order of the Black Eagle, Knight of the Order of St John, Captain to Krossen, as well as Master of the Finckenstein estate.

He went into Dutch, then French war service, but resigned from French service when Louis XIV mobilized against Germany and destroyed Heidelberg and the Heidelberg Castle in 1689. He acquired a position as a Prussian Major in 1689 through "prudence and moderation, as well as exceptional conduct". He was Lord Chamberlain for two crown princes, became in 1710 Imperial Count (Reichsgraf) of the Holy Roman Empire and Count (Graf) in Prussia after the Battle of Malplaquet in which he successfully led the Prussian forces under Prince Eugene. His military career culminated in 1733 when he was made Prussian Field Marshal.

In the years 1716 to 1720, Finck von Finckenstein had Finckenstein Palace built after the design of John von Collas.

Bruno Doehring

Bruno Doehring (February 3, 1879 – April 16, 1961) was a German Lutheran pastor and theologian. A preacher at the Berlin Cathedral from 1914 to 1960, Doehring was a popular figure in the Evangelical Church of the old-Prussian Union in Berlin. He was a strict conservative and was active in the Weimar Republic as a politician.

Claude Matthieu, Count Gardane

Claude-Matthieu, Comte de Gardane (11 July 1766 in Marseille – 30 January 1818) was a French general and diplomat. He entered the army and rose rapidly during the revolutionary wars, becoming captain in 1793.

In May 1799 he distinguished himself by saving a division of the French army which was about to be crushed by the Russians at the battle of Bassignana, and was named at once brigadier-general by Moreau. He incurred Napoleon's displeasure for an omission of duty shortly before the battle of Marengo (June, 1800), but in 1805 was appointed to be aide-de-camp of the emperor. His chief distinction, however, was to be won in the diplomatic sphere.

In the spring of 1807, when Russia and Prussia were at war with France, and the emperor Alexander I of Russia was also engaged in hostilities with Persia. The court of Tehran sent a mission to the French emperor, then at the Finckenstein Palace in East Prussia, with a view to the conclusion of a Franco-Persian alliance. The Treaty of Finckenstein was signed on 4 May 1807, at that castle; and Napoleon designed Gardane as special envoy for the cementing of that alliance. The secret instructions which he drew up for Gardane, and signed on 30 May, are of interest as showing the strong oriental trend of the emperor's policy.

France was to guarantee the integrity of Persia, to recognize that Georgia (then being invaded by the Russians) belonged to the shah, and was to make all possible efforts for restoring that territory to him. He was also to furnish to the shah arms, officers and workmen, in the number and to the amount demanded by him. Napoleon on his side required Persia to declare war against Great Britain to expel all Britons from her territory.

Gardane, whose family was well known in the Levant, had a long and dangerous journey overland, but was cordially received at Tehran in December 1807. The conclusion of the Franco-Russian treaty at Tilsit in July 1807 rendered the mission abortive. Persia longed only for help against Russia who had invaded its Caucasian territories and had no desire, when all hope of that was past, to attack India. The shah, however, promised to expel Britons and to grant to France a commercial treaty. For a time French influence completely replaced that of England at Tehran, and the mission of Sir John Malcolm to that court was not allowed to proceed. Finally, however, Gardane saw that nothing much was to be hoped for in the changed situation of European affairs, and abruptly left the country (April 1809). This conduct was not wholly approved by Napoleon, but he named him count and in 1810 attached him to Marshal Massena's army in Portugal. There, during the disastrous retreat from Santarém to Almeida, he suffered a check which brought him into disfavour.


A dragoman was an interpreter, translator, and official guide between Turkish, Arabic, and Persian-speaking countries and polities of the Middle East and European embassies, consulates, vice-consulates and trading posts. A dragoman had to have a knowledge of Arabic, Persian, Turkish, and European languages.

East Prussia

East Prussia (German: Ostpreußen, pronounced [ˈɔstˌpʁɔʏsən] (listen); Polish: Prusy Wschodnie; Lithuanian: Rytų Prūsija; Latin: Borussia orientalis; Russian: Восточная Пруссия) was a province of the Kingdom of Prussia from 1773 to 1829 and again from 1878 (with the Kingdom itself being part of the German Empire from 1871); following World War I it formed part of the Weimar Republic's Free State of Prussia, until 1945. Its capital city was Königsberg (present-day Kaliningrad). East Prussia was the main part of the region of Prussia along the southeastern Baltic Coast.The bulk of the ancestral lands of the Baltic Old Prussians were enclosed within East Prussia. During the 13th century, the native Prussians were conquered by the crusading Teutonic Knights. After the conquest the indigenous Balts were gradually converted to Christianity. Because of Germanization and colonisation over the following centuries, Germans became the dominant ethnic group, while Masurians and Lithuanians formed minorities. From the 13th century, East Prussia was part of the monastic state of the Teutonic Knights. After the Second Peace of Thorn in 1466 it became a fief of the Kingdom of Poland. In 1525, with the Prussian Homage, the province became the Duchy of Prussia. The Old Prussian language had become extinct by the 17th or early 18th century.Because the duchy was outside of the core Holy Roman Empire, the prince-electors of Brandenburg were able to proclaim themselves King beginning in 1701. After the annexation of most of western Royal Prussia in the First Partition of the Polish-Lithuanian Commonwealth in 1772, eastern (ducal) Prussia was connected by land with the rest of the Prussian state and was reorganized as a province the following year (1773). Between 1829 and 1878, the Province of East Prussia was joined with West Prussia to form the Province of Prussia.

The Kingdom of Prussia became the leading state of the German Empire after its creation in 1871. However, the Treaty of Versailles following World War I granted West Prussia to Poland and made East Prussia an exclave of Weimar Germany (the new Polish Corridor separated East Prussia from the rest of Germany), while the Memel Territory was detached and annexed by Lithuania in 1923. Following Nazi Germany's defeat in World War II in 1945, war-torn East Prussia was divided at Joseph Stalin's insistence between the Soviet Union (the Kaliningrad Oblast became part of the Russian SFSR, and the constituent counties of the Klaipėda Region in the Lithuanian SSR) and the People's Republic of Poland (the Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship). The capital city Königsberg was renamed Kaliningrad in 1946. The German population of the province was largely evacuated during the war or expelled shortly afterwards in the expulsion of Germans after World War II. An estimated 300,000 (around one fifth of the population) died either in war time bombing raids, in the battles to defend the province, or through mistreatment by the Red Army.


Finckenstein may refer to:

Finck von Finckenstein, a German aristocratic family, Imperial Counts of the Holy Roman Empire and Counts in Prussia

Finckenstein Palace, (Schloss Finckenstein) in former East Prussia, today Poland

Kamieniec Suski, Poland, prior to 1945: Finckenstein a village in former East Prussia

Treaty of Finckenstein (1807)

Finckenstein coat of arms

Finkenstein am Faaker See, town in Carinthia in Austria from where the Finck von Finckenstein family originally comes from according to the Imperial Count Diploma

Burgruine Finkenstein, the Finkenstein ruined castle in Carinthia, Austria

France–Asia relations

France–Asia relations span a period of more than two millennia, starting in the 6th century BCE with the establishment of Marseille by Greeks from Asia Minor, and continuing in the 3rd century BCE with Gaulish invasions of Asia Minor to form the kingdom of Galatia and Frankish Crusaders forming the Crusader States. Since these early interactions, France has had a rich history of contacts with the Asian continent.

Franco-Persian alliance

A Franco-Persian alliance or Franco-Iranian alliance was formed for a short period between the French Empire of Napoleon I and Fath Ali Shah against Russia and Great Britain between 1807 and 1809. The alliance was part of a plan to gather extra aid against Russia and by Persia's help, having another front on Russia's southern borders, namely the Caucasus region. The alliance unravelled when France finally allied with Russia and turned its focus to European campaigns.

François Mulard

François Henri Mulard (1769–1850) was a neoclassical French painter.He is known for painting the encounter of Persian envoy Mirza Mohammed Reza Qazvini with Napoleon at the Finckenstein Palace on 27 April 1807.

John von Collas

John von Collas born Jean de Collas (11 November 1678 – 16 June 1753) was a late Baroque architect of the 18th century.

Kamieniec, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship

Kamieniec [kaˈmjɛɲɛt͡s] or Kamieniec Suski (German: Finckenstein) is a village in the administrative district of Gmina Susz, within Iława County, Warmian-Masurian Voivodeship, in northern Poland. It lies approximately 4 kilometres (2 mi) north-east of Susz, 22 km (14 mi) north-west of Iława, and 75 km (47 mi) west of the regional capital Olsztyn. The village has a population of 430.

In the village are the ruins of the Finckenstein Palace, burned by the Soviets in 1945.

Marie Walewska

Maria Countess Walewska (née Łączyńska; 7 December 1786 – 11 December 1817) was a Polish noblewoman and a mistress of Emperor Napoleon I. In her later years she married count Philippe Antoine d'Ornano, an influential Napoleonic officer.


Napoléon Bonaparte (, French: [napɔleɔ̃ bɔnɑpaʁt]; Italian: Napoleone Buonaparte; 15 August 1769 – 5 May 1821) was a French statesman and military leader who rose to prominence during the French Revolution and led several successful campaigns during the French Revolutionary Wars. He was Emperor of the French from 1804 until 1814 and again briefly in 1815 during the Hundred Days. Napoleon dominated European and global affairs for more than a decade while leading France against a series of coalitions in the Napoleonic Wars. He won most of these wars and the vast majority of his battles, building a large empire that ruled over continental Europe before its final collapse in 1815. He is considered one of the greatest commanders in history, and his wars and campaigns are studied at military schools worldwide. Napoleon's political and cultural legacy has endured as one of the most celebrated and controversial leaders in human history.He was born Napoleone di Buonaparte (Italian: [napoleˈoːne di ˌbwɔnaˈparte]) in Corsica to a relatively modest family of Italian origin from minor nobility. He was serving as an artillery officer in the French army when the French Revolution erupted in 1789. He rapidly rose through the ranks of the military, seizing the new opportunities presented by the Revolution and becoming a general at age 24. The French Directory eventually gave him command of the Army of Italy after he suppressed a revolt against the government from royalist insurgents. At age 26, he began his first military campaign against the Austrians and the Italian monarchs aligned with the Habsburgs—winning virtually every battle, conquering the Italian Peninsula in a year while establishing "sister republics" with local support, and becoming a war hero in France. In 1798, he led a military expedition to Egypt that served as a springboard to political power. He orchestrated a coup in November 1799 and became First Consul of the Republic. His ambition and public approval inspired him to go further, and he became the first Emperor of the French in 1804. Intractable differences with the British meant that the French were facing a Third Coalition by 1805. Napoleon shattered this coalition with decisive victories in the Ulm Campaign and a historic triumph over the Russian Empire and Austrian Empire at the Battle of Austerlitz which led to the dissolution of the Holy Roman Empire. In 1806, the Fourth Coalition took up arms against him because Prussia became worried about growing French influence on the continent. Napoleon quickly defeated Prussia at the battles of Jena and Auerstedt, then marched his Grande Armée deep into Eastern Europe and annihilated the Russians in June 1807 at the Battle of Friedland. France then forced the defeated nations of the Fourth Coalition to sign the Treaties of Tilsit in July 1807, bringing an uneasy peace to the continent. Tilsit signified the high-water mark of the French Empire. In 1809, the Austrians and the British challenged the French again during the War of the Fifth Coalition, but Napoleon solidified his grip over Europe after triumphing at the Battle of Wagram in July.

Napoleon then invaded the Iberian Peninsula, hoping to extend the Continental System and choke off British trade with the European mainland, and declared his brother Joseph Bonaparte the King of Spain in 1808. The Spanish and the Portuguese revolted with British support. The Peninsular War lasted six years, featured extensive guerrilla warfare, and ended in victory for the Allies against Napoleon. The Continental System caused recurring diplomatic conflicts between France and its client states, especially Russia. The Russians were unwilling to bear the economic consequences of reduced trade and routinely violated the Continental System, enticing Napoleon into another war. The French launched a major invasion of Russia in the summer of 1812. The campaign destroyed Russian cities, but did not yield the decisive victory Napoleon wanted. It resulted in the collapse of the Grande Armée and inspired a renewed push against Napoleon by his enemies. In 1813, Prussia and Austria joined Russian forces in the War of the Sixth Coalition against France. A lengthy military campaign culminated in a large Allied army defeating Napoleon at the Battle of Leipzig in October 1813, but his tactical victory at the minor Battle of Hanau allowed retreat onto French soil. The Allies then invaded France and captured Paris in the spring of 1814, forcing Napoleon to abdicate in April. He was exiled to the island of Elba off the coast of Tuscany, and the Bourbon dynasty was restored to power. However, Napoleon escaped from Elba in February 1815 and took control of France once again. The Allies responded by forming a Seventh Coalition which defeated him at the Battle of Waterloo in June. The British exiled him to the remote island of Saint Helena in the South Atlantic, where he died six years later at the age of 51.

Napoleon's influence on the modern world brought liberal reforms to the numerous territories that he conquered and controlled, such as the Low Countries, Switzerland, and large parts of modern Italy and Germany. He implemented fundamental liberal policies in France and throughout Western Europe. His Napoleonic Code has influenced the legal systems of more than 70 nations around the world. British historian Andrew Roberts states: "The ideas that underpin our modern world—meritocracy, equality before the law, property rights, religious toleration, modern secular education, sound finances, and so on—were championed, consolidated, codified and geographically extended by Napoleon. To them he added a rational and efficient local administration, an end to rural banditry, the encouragement of science and the arts, the abolition of feudalism and the greatest codification of laws since the fall of the Roman Empire".

Pierre Amédée Jaubert

Pierre Amédée Emilien Probe Jaubert (3 June 1779 – 28 January 1847) was a French diplomat, academic, orientalist, translator, politician, and traveler. He was Napoleon's "favourite orientalist adviser and dragoman".

Russo-Persian War (1804–13)

The 1804–1813 Russo-Persian War, was one of the many wars between the Persian Empire and Imperial Russia, and began like many of their wars as a territorial dispute. The new Persian king, Fath Ali Shah Qajar, wanted to consolidate the northernmost reaches of his kingdom—modern day Georgia—which had been annexed by Tsar Paul I several years after the Russo-Persian War of 1796. Like his Persian counterpart, the Tsar Alexander I was also new to the throne and equally determined to control the disputed territories.

The war ended in 1813 with the Treaty of Gulistan which ceded the previously disputed territory of Georgia to Imperial Russia, and also the Iranian territories of Dagestan, most of what is nowadays Azerbaijan, and minor parts of Armenia.

Treaty of Finckenstein

The Treaty of Finckenstein, often spelled Finkenstein, was concluded between France and Persia (modern-day Iran) in Finckenstein Palace (East Prussia) on 4 May 1807 and formalised the Franco-Persian alliance. Napoleon I guaranteed the integrity of Persia, recognized part of Georgia and the other parts of Transcaucasia and a part of the North Caucasus (Dagestan) as Fath Ali Shah's possession, and was to make all possible efforts for restoring those territories to him. Napoleon also promised to furnish the Shah with arms, officers and workmen. France on its side required the Shah to declare war against the United Kingdom, to expel all British people from Persia, and to maintain an open way if France wanted to attack British possessions in the far east. Despite the Treaty of Finckenstein, France failed to win a diplomatic war around Persia and none of the terms of the treaty were realized. On 12 March 1809, the United Kingdom signed a treaty with Persia forcing the French out of that country.

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