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Duke Karl-Theodor in Bavaria
Duke Karl-Theodor in Bavaria.jpg
Personal details
Born (1839-08-09)9 August 1839
Possenhofen Castle, Bavaria
Died 30 November 1909(1909-11-30) (aged 70)
Kreuth, Germany
Spouse(s) Princess Sophie of Saxony
Infanta Maria Josepha of Portugal

Duke Karl-Theodor in Bavaria (9 August 1839 – 30 November 1909) was a member of the House of Wittelsbach and a professional oculist. He was the brother of the Empress Elisabeth of Austria, and father of Queen Elisabeth of the Belgians .


Karl-Theodor was born at Possenhofen Castle, the third son of Duke Maximilian in Bavaria and of his wife, Princess Ludovika of Bavaria.

At the age of fourteen Karl-Theodor joined the Bavarian Army. In 1866 he fought in the Austro-Prussian War. When he left active duty, he became a student at the Ludwig Maximilians University of Munich, where he studied philosophy, law, economics, and medicine. Among his teachers were the chemist Justus von Liebig, the pathologist Ludwig von Buhl, and the physicist Philipp von Jolly.

In 1870 Karl-Theodor's studies were interrupted by the Franco-Prussian War in which he served as a proprietary colonel of the 3rd Bavarian Light Horse. After the war he returned to his studies. In 1872 he was named an honorary Doctor of Medicine by the Ludwig Maximilians University; the following year he completed the requirements for the degree. Then he studied ophthalmology under Professor Deutschland and continued his education under Professor Arlt in Vienna and Professor Horner in Zürich.

In 1877 Karl-Theodor began practicing medicine in Mentone on the Côte d'Azur, often assisted by his wife Maria Josepha. In 1880 he opened an eye-clinic in his castle at Tegernsee. In 1895 he founded the Augenklinik Herzog Carl Theodor (English: Duke Charles Theodore Eye Clinic) in Munich; the clinic in the Nymphenburger Strasse remains one of the most respected eye clinics in Bavaria to the present day. Between 1895 and 1909 Carl Theodor personally carried out more than 5,000 cataract operations as well as treating countless other eye disorders.


Karl-Theodor received a number of honours:

Karl-Theodor died at Kreuth in 1909. He is buried in the family crypt in Schloss Tegernsee.

Herzog Carl Theodor und Gattin 1890

Karl-Theodor and his second wife, Infanta Maria Josepha of Portugal, 1890

Marriages and familyEdit

On 11 February 1865, at Dresden, Karl-Theodor married his first cousin Princess Sophie of Saxony (1845–1867), daughter of King John of Saxony and his maternal aunt Princess Amalie Auguste of Bavaria. They had one child:

On 29 April 1874, at Kleinheubach, Karl-Theodor married Infanta Maria Josepha of Portugal (1857–1943), daughter of exiled King Miguel I of Portugal and Princess Adelaide of Löwenstein-Wertheim-Rosenberg, and had issue:


Elisabeth and Carl Theodor

Karl Theodor, Duke in Bavaria, with his sister Elisabeth at 11 years old, and their dog "Bummerl" at Possenhofen Castle


  • Sexau, Richard. Fürst und Arzt, Dr. med. Herzog Carl Theodor in Bayern: Shicksal zwischen Wittelsbach und Habsburg. Graz: Verlag Styria, 1963.
  • Trevor-Roper, Patrick Dacre. "The Royal Oculist". British Journal of Ophthalmology 43 (1959): 1–2.


  1. Albert I;Museum Dynasticum N° .21: 2009/ n° 2.

External linksEdit

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