Empress Elisabeth of Austria (born Duchess Elisabeth in Bavaria; 24 December 1837 – 10 September 1898) was Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary by marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph I. She was born into the royal Bavarian House of Wittelsbach.
Elisabeth, (born December 24, 1837, Munich, Bavaria [Germany]—died September 10, 1898, Geneva, Switzerland), empress consort of Austria from April 24, 1854, when she married Emperor Franz Joseph. She was also queen of Hungary (crowned June 8, 1867) after the Austro-Hungarian Ausgleich, or Compromise.
Sep 28, 2018 · Empress Elisabeth (born Elisabeth of Bavaria; December 24, 1837 – September 10, 1898) was one of the most famous royal women in European history. Famed for her great beauty, she was also a diplomat who oversaw the unification of Austria and Hungary. She holds the title of the longest-serving Empress of Austria in history.
May 14, 2019 · Married at 16 to the emperor of Austria, Elisabeth—nicknamed Sisi—was a reluctant empress, struggling with royal life and sympathetic to the democratic struggles of the people in her new nation. 10...
- Portrayal of Elisabeth in The Arts
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Duchess in Bavaria
Born Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie on 24 December 1837 in Munich, Bavaria, she was the fourth child of Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria and Princess Ludovika of Bavaria, the half-sister of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Maximilian was considered to be rather peculiar; he had a childish love of circuses and traveled the Bavarian countryside to escape his duties. The family's homes were the Herzog-Max-Palais in Munich during winter and Possenhofen Castlein the summer...
Empress of Austria
After enjoying an informal and unstructured childhood, Elisabeth, who was shy and introverted by nature, and more so among the stifling formality of Habsburg court life, had difficulty adapting to the Hofburg and its rigid protocols and strict etiquette. Within a few weeks, Elisabeth started to display health problems: she had fits of coughing and became anxious and frightened whenever she had to descend a narrow steep staircase. She was surprised to find s...
At 172 cm (5 feet 8 inches), Elisabeth was unusually tall. Even after four pregnancies she maintained her weight at approximately 50 kg (110 pounds, 7 st 12 lbs) for the rest of her life. She achieved this through fasting and exercise, such as gymnastics and riding. Elisabeth was strongly attached to her parents, especially to her mother, and was still a child in search of an identity of her own when an adult role with unusual obligations and restrictions was impo...
In 1898, despite warnings of possible assassination attempts, the sixty-year-old Elisabeth traveled incognito to Geneva, Switzerland, although someone from the Hôtel Beau-Rivagerevealed that the Empress of Austria was their guest. At 1:35 p.m. on Saturday 10 September 1898, Elisabeth and Countess Irma Sztáray de Sztára et Nagymihály, her lady-in-waiting, left the hotel on the shore of Lake Geneva on foot to catch the steamship Genève for Montreux. Since the empress despised processions, she insisted that they walk without the other members of her entourage. They were walking along the promenade when the 25-year-old Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni approached them, attempting to peer underneath the empress's parasol. According to Sztáray, as the ship's bell announced the departure, Lucheni seemed to stumble and made a movement with his hand as if he wanted to maintain his balance. In reality, in an act of "propaganda of the...
Upon her death, Franz Joseph founded the Order of Elizabethin memory of her. On the promenade in Territet, there is a monument to Empress Elisabeth of Austria. This town is between Montreux and Chateau Chillon. In 1988, historian Brigitte Hamann wrote The Reluctant Empress, a biography of Elisabeth, reviving interest in Franz Joseph's consort. Unlike previous portrayals of Elisabeth as a one-dimensional fairy tale princess, Hamann portrayed her as a bitter, unhappy woman full of self-loathing and various emotional and mental disorders. She was seen to have searched for happiness, but died a broken woman who never found it. Hamann's portrayal explored new facets of the legend of Sisi, as well as contemplating the role of women in high-level politics and dynasties. A large number of chapels were named in her honour, connecting her to Saint Elisabeth. Various parks were named after her, such as the Empr...
In 1932 the comic operetta Sissi premiered in Vienna. Composed by Fritz Kreisler, the libretto was written by Ernst and Hubert Marischka, with orchestrations by Robert Russell Bennett.Although the pet name of the empress was always spelled, "Sisi," never "Sissi," this incorrect version of her name persisted in the works about her that followed. In 1943 Jean Cocteau wrote a play about an imagined meeting between Elisabeth and her assassin, L'Aigle à deux têtes(The Ea...
In his 1978 ballet, Mayerling Kenneth MacMillan portrayed Elisabeth in a pas de deuxwith her son Prince Rudolf, the principal character in the ballet. In 1993 French ballerina Sylvie Guillem appeared in a piece entitled, Sissi, l'impératice anarchiste (Sissi, Anarchist Empress), choreographed by Maurice Béjart to Strauss's Emperor Waltz.
The 1921 film Kaiserin Elisabeth von Österreich was one of the first films to focus entirely on Elisabeth. It was co-written by Elisabeth's niece, Marie Larisch (who played her younger self at the age of 62), and starred Carla Nelsen as the title character. The film later achieved notoriety when a group of con-artistsstarted selling stills from the murder scene as actual photographs of the crime. Adolf Trotz directed the 1931 German film Elisabeth of Austria. In 1936, C...
Titles and styles
1. 24 December 1837 – 24 April 1854: Her Royal HighnessDuchess Elisabeth in Bavaria 2. 24 April 1854 – 10 September 1898: Her Imperial and Royal Apostolic MajestyThe Empress of Austria, Apostolic Queen of Hungary
Domestic 1. She was Grand Mistress of the following chivalric orders: 1.1. Order of the Starry Cross 1.2. Order of Elizabeth and Theresa Foreign 1. Spain: 481st Dame of the Order of Queen Maria Luisa
1. Nicole Avril: L'impératrice, Paris, 1993 2. Jennifer Bowers Bahney: "Stealing Sisi's Star: How a master thief nearly got away with Austria's most famous jewel," (McFarland & Co., 2015) (ISBN 078649722X) 3. Philippe Collas: Louis II de Bavière et Elisabeth d'Autriche, âmes sœurs, Éditions du Rocher, Paris/Monaco 2001 (ISBN 978 2 268 03884 1) 4. Chisholm, Hugh, ed. (1911). "Elizabeth of Austria" . Encyclopædia Britannica(11th ed.). Cambridge University Press. 5. Konstantin Christomanos: Diar...
May 18, 2019 · Elisabeth spent little time in Austria’s capital Vienna with her husband. Their correspondence increased during their last years, however, and their relationship became a warm friendship. On her imperial steamer, Miramar, Empress Elisabeth travelled through the Mediterranean.
- All in the Family. Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie was born on Christmas Eve, 1837 to Maximillian and Ludovika of Bavaria. The young royal had a far from normal childhood: Her father Maximillian was a notorious eccentric, and the little girl grew up in a chaotic environment that encouraged country horse rides over formal education.
- Sisi My Playmate. Growing up, Elisabeth’s loved ones nicknamed the observant, sensitive girl “Sisi.”
- She’s The One. Elisabeth was never supposed to become Empress. Her older sister Helene was originally betrothed to the young Emperor Franz Joseph of Austria, but it all changed when the 15-year-old Elisabeth accompanied Helene to their first meeting and formal proposal.
- Wanderlust. The Empress Elisabeth was a fundamentally restless woman. She loved being by herself, and valued her independence and freedom above all else.
It was a beautiful Indian summer day 117 years ago in Geneva, Switzerland, when Empress Elisabeth of Austria left the Hotel Beau-Rivage, where she spent a night incognito, to hurry to the steamship Genève. On this Saturday, 10 September 1898, Empress Elisabeth was assassinated by Luigi Lucheni, an Italian anarchist. The tragic event was well covered in the coeval press, as Elisabeth of Austria also known as Sisi (not Sissi, like in the movies) was a mysterious fairy-tale princess. She was obsessively concerned about her beauty and spent several hours a day just to groom her knee-long hair. Sports and diets were her passion, and she loved to hike and to ride, but was so slim that she suffered from famine oedema.
As a Bavarian princess who enjoyed a happy and unstrained childhood, the extremely strict court life in Vienna was a burden Elisabeth never got used to. She started to travel and wrote melancholic poems, and after the tragic death of her only son Rudolf she disappeared nearly completely from the Austrian court.
Luigi Lucheni, a poor man full of rage for the upper nobility, ran towards them as they walked by on the promenade and stabbed Elisabeth directly into her heart with a self-made weapon composed of a small sharp file. But neither the empress nor her lady-in-waiting realised what really happened. Thinking of a robbery attempt, they went on boarding the ship. A few minutes later, Elisabeth lost consciousness and died.
Needless to say, the public, especially in Austria and Hungary, was shocked and in deep mourning. A lot of newspapers were published with a black mourning border, like Der Burggräfler or Meraner Zeitung. There were long extra issues about the life and death of Empress Elisabeth, for example this broadly illustrated Österreichische Illustrierte Zeitung. Some followed Elisabeths passion for poetry and wrote own poems like Die Bombe or Pusterthaler Bote, the Weltblatt just published her last picture (it shows her in her early thirties, she wanted to be remembered young and beautiful, so she refused to sit for any portraits or photographs later on). Less emotional and without huge headlines were the reactions in Prussia, where Berliner Tageblatt newspaper articles focused on the assassin Lucheni and detailed descriptions of the events in the Neue Hamburger Zeitung. The European press also covered the news extensively, just find some examples in French La Croix and Le Martin, La Unión Católica in Spain, the Allgemeen Handelsblad in the Netherlands and also overseas colonial newspapers reported, like Sumatra-courant.
Elisabeths body was brought back to Vienna, where her funeral cortege followed her on 17 September 1898 to the tomb of the Capuchins (get an impression at Österreichische Illustrierte Zeitung). Her assassin Lucheni was caught and confessed immediately. He was brought to Geneva court on 11 November 1898, where he was incarcerated for life, what Luigi regretted a lot, as a death penalty would have had been much more catchpenny. During his process Lucheni declared that he came to the decision to murder the first high-born person that he would meet in Geneva (e.g. Hamburger Anzeiger, 12 November 1898), it was just a coincidence that he found out about Elisabeth.
Elisabeth of Austria was one of the first true European citizens, not so much because she was Empress of Austria, Queen of Hungary and Queen consort of Croatia and Bohemia, but because she spent most of her life travelling and deeply loved all the miscellaneous peoples and cultures. She seemed to be a fairy-tale princess, with the undivided love of her husband Emperor Franz-Josef and a paradigm for beauty. Yet this was not the life she was born to live and she tried to break out of her golden cage her whole lifetime.
May 25, 2018 · Empress Elisabeth of Austria was born at least a century too soon, really. Had she been alive today, she surely would have ruled Instagram, not to mention the red carpet. Sissi, as she was affectionately known, was one of the great beauties of 19th century Europe, her silk gowns and elaborate coifs copied throughout the continent.
On April 25, 1854, a shy and melancholy bride married into a major European royal house. Trembling and overcome with emotion, 16-year-old Elisabeth, known by her childhood nickname Sisi, was wed to...