2016: Scientists resolve myth about the identity of the Dark Countess

Marie-Thérèse in Vienna in 1796 soon after her exile from France. Image from Wikipedia. The Countess and the Princess In 1807 an enigmatic couple arrived in the village of Hildburghausen in Central Germany and lived in the castle of Eishausen for the next 30 years. The villagers referred to the solitary duo as the Dunkelgrafen or the “Dark Counts” because when the couple was seen outside of the castle they were either in a carriage or the woman hid behind a veil. The woman known as the Dark Countess died in 1837 and was buried under the name of Sophia Botta in a cemetery in Hildburghausen, and her partner, who went by Vavel de Versay, died in 1845. Versay was later identified as Leonardus Cornelius van der Valck, secretary of the Dutch embassy in Paris. Drawing of the tomb of the Dark Countess, or Dunkelgräfin from ca. 1863. Image […] Read More