CM: Alexander I of Russia (23 December 1777 - 1 December 1825), also known as Alexander the Blessed served as Emperor of Russia from 23 March 1801 to 1 December 1825 and Ruler of Poland from 1815 to 1825, as well as the first Russian Grand Duke of Finland and Lithuania. § He was born in Saint Petersburg to Grand Duke Paul Petrovich, later Emperor Paul I, and Maria Feodorovna, daughter of the Duke of Württemberg. Alexander was the eldest of four brothers. He succeeded to the throne after his father was murdered, and ruled Russia during the chaotic period of the Napoleonic Wars. In the first half of his reign Alexander tried to introduce liberal reforms, while in the second half he turned to a much more arbitrary manner of conduct, which led to the revoking of many early reforms. In foreign policy Alexander gained certain successes, mainly by winning several military campaigns. In particular under his rule Russia acquired Finland and part of Poland. The strange contradictions of his character make Alexander one of the most interesting Tsars. § On 9 October, 1793, Alexander married Louise of Baden, known as Elisabeth Alexeyevna after her conversion to the Orthodox Church. He later told his friend Frederick William III that the marriage, a political match devised by his grandmother, Catherine the Great, regrettably proved to be a misfortune for him and his wife. Their two children of the marriage died young. However, Alexander had nine illegitimate children. § In the autumn of 1825 the Emperor undertook a voyage to the south of Russia due to the increasing illness of Alexander's wife. During his trip he himself caught a cold which developed into typhus from which he died in the southern city of Taganrog on 19 November (O.S.)/1 December, 1825. His wife died a few months later as the emperor's body was transported to Saint Petersburg for the funeral. He was interred at the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral of the Peter and Paul Fortress in Saint Petersburg on 13 March 1826.