“There is terror hidden in those mountains, combined with beauty…” The image of the Alps in Teofila Konstancja Morawska née Radziwiłł’s travelogue
In 1773–1774 Teofila Konstancja Morawska née Radziwiłł (1738–1807) travelled across Europe, also visiting the Alps. The princess recorded her impressions in her diary, which enables us to examine her attitude to newly discovered spaces. The diary fragments dealing with her stay in the Alps describe her impressions and emotions that accompanied her during the journey. It turns out that mountain landscapes aroused not only fear in her but also awe and admiration. Konstancja Morawska was very interested in every element of Alpine landscape; she contemplated wild nature, was excited by mountain cascades and streams, noted the state of the roads, ways of travelling and changing atmospheric conditions, recorded information about history and sightseeing, was in raptures over the noble, mysterious and dangerous beauty of the mountains, and noted down her observations concerning plants or even types of rocks. The Alps provided the princess with both profound experiences and interesting specimens for her natural history cabinet. The accounts of mountain treks show Morawska not only as an intelligent, sensitive and observant lady, but also as a courageous and active traveller seeking new experiences. Significantly, Teofila Konstancja was able to appreciate the beauty of nature and look at it from an emotional and aesthetic perspective as it is evidenced, for example, by the literary images from her diary, very interesting in many respects.