Who is Saint Germain

He was supposedly able to remove impurities from diamonds, which is still not reliable to this day. The Count of Saint German boasted at the court of Louis XV. in addition, to be able to produce a large one of perfect purity from twelve small diamonds without any loss of weight.

In 1758 the king set up an alchemist's laboratory for him in the Loire castle Chambord for his scientific experiments. It is possible that the bon vivant, supported primarily by the legendary mistress Madame de Pompadour, also lured her with a miracle medicine to preserve "eternal" youth.

It has been proven that Saint Germain concentrated on manipulating diamonds on the production of dyes for fabrics without the need for expensive exotic substances. This scientific "line of business" runs through life and is one of the promises he made to his last sponsor, Landgrave Karl von Hessen-Kassel, before he died in 1784 in what is now the Baltic Sea resort of Eckernförde under naturally puzzling circumstances and in the St Nicolai Church was buried.

Together with Karl, the governor of the Danish king, he had apparently experimented with preforms for aniline production in his "alchemist tower" in the summer palace Louisenlund and set up a dye works. He called the artificial gold produced there "Similor" - that is, "similar to gold". But it quickly turned black and revealed itself as a joke.

In fact, little is known for certain about the Count of Saint Germain. He appeared somehow: in the prime of manhood, financially carefree and well educated, the ideal embodiment of the "man of honor" in the evening light of the absolutist age that was racing towards its end with the French Revolution.

Giacomo Casanova met him repeatedly at his patroness Madame d'Urfe. His very friendly description of Saint Germain in his memoirs sounds a bit like he saw himself very much:

"He pretended to be a boy prodigy in every way, he wanted to amaze and actually amaze. He had a decisive way of speaking, but it was not displeasing because he was learned, spoke all languages ​​fluently, was very musical, and a great connoisseur of chemistry , had pleasant traits and knew how to make himself popular with all women. "

Indeed, some excused his gullibility towards Saint Germain with his consummate demeanor. Even if he was regarded by many as a charlatan and impostor: Hardly anyone dared to doubt the adventurous life story, which, in addition to alchemical exploits, apparently included secret political activities on behalf of the most potent great powers of his time.

The old Fritz considered him one of the "unsolved riddles of the time"

Frederick the Great considered it to be one of the "unsolved riddles of his time" and suspected that Saint Germain, as a spy, kept things flowing between France and England.

French Foreign Minister Choiseul went to the "Free Lance Diplomat" Saint Germain, with whose help Louis XVI. occasionally conspired past him, so on his nerves that he even had him persecuted in Holland.

In addition, Saint Germain was later said to have participated in the revolt of the Orlov brothers to enthrone Catherine the Great, and he was also repeatedly associated with Masonic circles.

As an adventurer, spy and alchemist, Saint Germain served many ladies and gentlemen and boasted as many roles as names, of which "Count Welldone" became the most famous.

Only about his origins did he persistently remain silent. Opposite the Landgrave of Hesse-Kassel he at least pretended to be the son of the Transylvanian prince Franz II Rákóczi. But he grew up with the last Medici Duke Gian Gastone de 'Medici in Italy.

The Pompadour, however, suspected that he was the illegitimate son of the last Spanish Habsburg queen Maria Anna of Pfalz-Neuburg.

Casanova, himself well versed in music, assured that he recognized the Italian violinist Catalani in him. He writes that he last saw the count turn into an avenue before he disappeared without a trace.

In fact, in 1750 a London music publisher published 42 arias by the Count. Also an opera and "Seven Solos for a Violin" are known in the London Chronicle there are reports of concerts that the Count held singing and making music. In any case, that goes well with the all-rounder Saint Germain.

Even his special abilities do not sufficiently explain the source of his apparently never-ending wealth. When asked about his age, about which the wildest speculations had spread, as well as his activities and origins, Saint Germain was generally silent.

In an exchange of letters with Frederick the Great, Voltaire scoffed: "The man is immortal and omniscient." Some suspected it was at least 300 years old - because of its "elixir of eternal youth."

Frederick the Great allegedly preferred to tell the following anecdote: "The well-known count pretended that he was over 2000 years old and had also stayed in the Promised Land." He knew Jesus very well, but he was extremely romantically inclined and careless: "I have often told him that he would end up badly."

In the meantime there was such a web of lies and legends about the count that even doubles and free riders of the greatest of all magicians, forgers and adventurers appeared in courtly society, who attracted attention with sleight of hand and false lightning bolts twitching in the next room.

Karl May set a literary monument to the swindler

So it is not surprising that the enigmatic count survived his own death. Even Karl May set a monument to him in the story "The Magic Water". With him, the inventor of an "Aqua Benedetta" promising eternal life is exposed as a swindler and actually shot.

But the great narrator and mystic Karl May was not entirely satisfied with this and suspected in a postscript that one could also believe that he had moved on as an eternal traveler.

So Saint Germain still haunts in the twilight of the obscure through occult rituals and websites. Yet perhaps he was just - impostor or miracle man - a final flare-up of the flagging absolutist spirits.