The Princess of Midnight: The Mystery of Evdokia Golitsyna, the hostess of the St. Petersburg salon

The Princess of Midnight: The Mystery of Evdokia Golitsyna, the hostess of the St. Petersburg salon

Categories: History

Princess Evdokia Golitsyna was one of the most famous personalities of the XIX century. Perfectly educated and charming, she drove men crazy with her beauty and intelligence, but at the same time her reputation remained impeccable. In high society, Golitsyna became famous for the idea of opening a St. Petersburg salon, which was visited by the most famous people of the era. 

She held receptions exclusively at night, for which she soon became known as the Princess Nocturne, or the Princess of Midnight. The reason for this was a terrible prediction, once heard from the fortune-teller Lenormand…

The Princess of Midnight: The Mystery of Evdokia Golitsyna, the hostess of the St. Petersburg salon

Evdokia Golitsyna (nee Izmailova) received her last name from her husband, the famous Prince Sergei Golitsyn, for whom, by the great mercy, Emperor Paul married her. However, the marriage was not happy, the newlyweds were too different. They lived in Russia for several years, and later were forced to move to Dresden, because Sergei Golitsyn fell into disgrace. 

The Princess of Midnight: The Mystery of Evdokia Golitsyna, the hostess of the St. Petersburg salon

Golitsyn returned from exile alone, and Evdokia decided to stay in Europe and build a new life. Here she managed to meet her true love-Prince Mikhail Dolgorukov. Evdokia could not get a divorce, so an official marriage with Dolgorukov was impossible. And life had a short story for lovers-in 1808, the prince was killed in the war.

The Princess of Midnight: The Mystery of Evdokia Golitsyna, the hostess of the St. Petersburg salon

Evdokia Golitsyna's reputation has always remained unsullied. Returning to Russia, she opens a salon, she is surrounded by the best people of that time. Zhukovsky, Karamzin, Batyushkov and, of course, Pushkin (the future great poet was 18 years old at that time). The great poet falls under the charm of Evdokia and begins to spend all night in her salon. Of course, the princess was flattered by such attention, but her attitude towards the poet was only condescending.

The Princess of Midnight: The Mystery of Evdokia Golitsyna, the hostess of the St. Petersburg salon

Pushkin dedicates three poems to Evdokia Golitsyna, one of which perfectly characterizes the poet's attitude to his muse.

The Princess of Midnight: The Mystery of Evdokia Golitsyna, the hostess of the St. Petersburg salon

Golitsyna's salon worked exclusively at night. In her youth, the girl heard a prophecy that her life would end at night, and since then she has vowed to stay awake after sunset, and sleep during the day. Interestingly, there is no information about the death of Evdokia, so it is not possible to judge whether Lenormand's prediction came true. At the end of her life, Evdokia was engaged in self-education. According to some accounts, there is no trace of her former beauty left. So ended the life of the Princess of Midnight…

Keywords: St. Petersburg | History | Princess

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