"Alléen i Pyrmont er et aristokratisk tableau"

Charlotte Schimmelmann på kurophold i Bad Pyrmont 1789-1794


  • Kristine Dyrmann


Going to the spa was a popular activity amongst the Scandinavian eighteenth-
century élite. This article examines the activities and agency of Charlotte
Schimmelmann, a Danish noblewoman and politician’s wife, who visited
the spa at Bad Pyrmont no less than six times in her life.
I argue that Charlotte Schimmelmann distinguished herself as part of
the spa’s exclusive beau monde by undergoing a special treatment, prescribed
by Pyrmont’s famous Doctor Marcard. This included staying in a fitting
guesthouse, also inhabited by an Austrian diplomat, by participating in the
spa’s rituals of joining the dejeuner, bathing, taking the waters, and going
on walks, in addition to shopping for clothes and even a plot of American
land on Pyrmont’s famous shopping avenue.
Moreover, I argue that these activities enabled Charlotte Schimmelmann
to meet with and create a network of contacts, consisting of diplomats,
ministers, and royalty, both male and female, from all over Europe. This
network is explored in further detail by exploring the example of Mr. and
Mrs. Schlanbusch, a diplomatic couple, whom Charlotte Schimmelmann
helped achieve a posting in the Danish administration in 1789–1790.
Finally, Charlotte Schimmelmann’s role as an informal diplomatic agent
and advisor is at the center of the article’s concluding analysis of the visit
by Danish Crown Prince Frederik to Bad Pyrmont in 1792. I argue that the
information gathered by Charlotte on the opinions of foreign diplomats
regarding the Danish reign, as well as her dining with the Crown Prince
and the Duchess of Mecklenburg and her plans to bring back a school
book to Denmark from Hanover, may be interpreted as acts of informal