Princess Theresa of Bavaria

Princess Therese of Bavaria ( born November 12, 1850 in Munich, † September 19, 1925 in Lindau) was a German ethnologist, zoologist, botanist, travel writer and engaged social- charitable. Your official botanical author abbreviation is " Therese ".


Princess Therese Charlotte Marianne Augusta of Bavaria was the only daughter of the Prince Regent Luitpold of Bavaria and his wife Auguste Ferdinands of Austria; mother she was a descendant of Empress Maria Theresa. Along with her ​​brothers, Ludwig ( later King Ludwig III. ), Leopold and Arnulf, she was taught by his mother. Therese was interested in as a child for plants, animals and cultures and showed an extraordinary talent for languages ​​.

1864 died Therese's mother. In the same year her cousin Ludwig, 18 years old, was crowned King Ludwig II of Bavaria. Therese fell in love with his brother Otto (1848-1916), but was mentally ill and later as well as Ludwig II found unfit to govern.

Therese remained unmarried. It was regarded as self-willed and self-confident and had, for a woman in the late 19th century, unusual interests. Your broad-based education in natural and social sciences in geology, botany, zoology and anthropology they earned through self-study, because girls and women were admitted at that time neither schools nor universities. The Women's Studies has been introduced in Bavaria in 1903 by Therese's father, Prince Regent Luitpold.

At age 21, she began to tour Europe and North Africa and so learned a total of 12 languages ​​in speech and writing. During their expedition similar journeys she lived spartan and always traveled incognito with a maximum of three personal servants. 1892 Therese and the Bavarian Academy of Sciences of Bavaria was an honorary member of the Geographical Society, was appointed. 1897 she received - for self-taught and a woman at that time a rarity - of the Faculty of Arts of the University of Munich an honorary doctorate.

Of the more than half a year-long bus trip across South America in 1898 brought Therese of Bavaria, an extensive collection of zoological, botanical and ethnological objects. Her research led her first trip to the Caribbean and from there to Colombia. She crossed the Andes and traveled from the Colombian Pacific coast about Ecuador and Peru to Argentina. On October 14, she went to Valparaíso on land. Up to their embarkation in Buenos Aires was just a week's time. With a team of horses which travel company crossed the 3970 m high Upsallata pass and began on 17 October, the descent from the Andes to Punta de los vacos. Your ultimate goal, Buenos Aires was more than 1,000 kilometers away. They met on the morning of October 20 with the train in Buenos Aires. On October 21, 1898 at 5:00 clock put the ship "Portugal" from.

But the fish yield of the trip was 228 fish from 91 species. From their Collections describes the Vienna ichthyologist Franz Steindachner in the years 1900 and 1902 a total of 8 new species. She experienced and described numerous, in Europe as yet unknown peoples and collected " curios " and rare plants. In 1893 she toured North America with them especially the Indians of the Plains and the Southwest devoted himself. Her extensive ethnological collections are now in the Munich Museum of Ethnology. The entire zoological estate was bequeathed in 1926 handed over to the Zoological State Collection Munich, including the fish collection of the trip to South America in 1898 and the copies of the Mexico trip of 1893, which were probably almost completely destroyed during the Second World War.

After the death of her father Therese hired traveling and devoted himself instead social and political issues in their home. In particular, she was active in the Catholic Women's League and campaigned for the improvement of girls' and women's education.

Therese lived from 1914 in their villa on Lake Constance, where she died at the age of 74 years. She was buried under the main altar of the Theatinerkirche.

According to it, a foundation is named, which is committed to the promotion of women in science, and is located at the Munich Ludwig- Maximilians- University.

Since April 2009, her bust stands in the hall of fame in Munich.

Works (selection)

  • Excursion to Tunis In: Youth leaves 26.1880, S.545 - 571st
  • Travel impressions and sketches from Russia. Stuttgart 1885.
  • About the Arctic Circle. Leipzig 1889.
  • About some species of Mexico and the lakes in which they occur. Vienna 1895.
  • My trip to the Brazilian tropics. Dietrich Reimer, Berlin 1897.
  • Some of the Pueblo Indians. In: Völkerschau, 2 in 1902, 4-6, 38-42.
  • Travel studies from western South America. 2 vols. Dietrich Reimer, Berlin, 1908.