Empress Elisabeth of Austria

Elisabeth Amalie Eugénie, nicknamed Sissi, was born on December 24, 1837 within the Bavarian royal home of Wittelsbach in Munich.

She was the third baby and second daughter of Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria and Princess Ludovika of Bavaria, the half-sister of King Ludwig I of Bavaria.

The long run empress grew up between Munich and Possenhofen Fortress on Lake Starnberg, Bavaria and had a carefree childhood, removed from the formality of court docket life.

She turned Empress of Austria and later Queen of Hungary (1867) by marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph I, within the Augustinerkirche in Vienna, on the age of sixteen on April 24, 1854.

Her marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph I pushed her into the formal court docket lifetime of the Habsburgs, for which she was not ready and which she discovered disagreeable.

From the beginning of the wedding, she disagreed along with her stepmother, Archduchess Sophie, who took over the schooling of Elisabeth’s daughters, one in every of whom, Sophie, died in infancy.

Sissi needed to flee the strict protocol of the Habsburg court docket and her domineering mother-in-law, Archduchess Sophie who was additionally her aunt.

She discovered a welcome respite in Hungary and have become an excellent mediator between the Magyars and the Emperor.

The Austro-Hungarian compromise of 1867 created the twin monarchy Austria-Hungary.

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She was 172 cm (5 toes 8 inches) tall and slim (her peak ranged from 40 to 50 cm in circumference).

Her weight loss program included the orange weight loss program, milk and eggs, and he or she typically averted meat, as an alternative preferring veal jus cooked like skinny soup. Fasting and each day gymnastic, horseback driving and fencing workout routines had been used to take care of her youthful determine.

A passionate rider, she rode daily, gaining the status of being top-of-the-line riders of her age. She educated frequently on the Spanish Using Faculty in Vienna, the Hungarian Royal Residence in Gödöllö in addition to quite a few horseback driving excursions within the British Isles from 1876 to 1882, the place she maintained a number of stables and took part in fox and deer hunts.

Later in life, she started to hike, typically spending as much as eight hours strolling and selecting her companions primarily based on their health to observe her.

Sissi additionally frolicked studying and writing at night time and had a particular curiosity in historical past, philosophy and literature. She admired the unconventional German lyric poet and political thinker Heinrich Heine.

Regardless of her strict weight loss program, the Empress sometimes indulged in hearty Bavarian dishes and her favourite violet ice cream, which continues to be provided at present at Demel (a well-known pastry and chocolate manufacturing unit based in 1786 in Vienna, in Austria) in his honor.

Magnificence routine

Sissi was obsessed along with her hair, which later reached the ground. The burden of hair and elaborate braided hairstyles created by her private hairstylist, Fanny Feifalik gave her fixed complications. Fanny Feifalik turned one in every of her closest confidants and usually accompanied her on her travels.

Combing it took a number of hours every morning and washing it for no less than three hours with a mix of eggs and brandy as soon as each two or three weeks. Fanny additionally developed Sisi’s well-known coiffure – braids resting on her head like a tiara.

She slept on a metallic mattress with out a pillow which she mentioned helped her keep her upright posture.

Uncooked veal or mashed strawberries had been used as a face masks each night time, rags soaked in violet or apple cider vinegar above her hips had been used to protect her slim waist, and her neck was wrapped in rags soaked in water. washing tonic Kummerfeld. Within the morning, she would take a chilly bathe and an natural bathtub within the night whereas the steam baths helped scale back her weight in addition to the crash diets when she approached 50 kg.

Mayerling incident

In 1889, Sisi’s life was shattered by the demise of her solely son Rudolf, who was discovered useless along with his younger lover Baroness Mary Vetsera, in what was suspected of being a murder-suicide on the Looking Lodge of his son in Decrease Austria.

Sissi by no means absolutely recovered from the tragedy. She had misplaced her father, Max Joseph (in 1888), her solely son, Rudolf (1889), her sister the Duchess Sophie in Bavaria (1897), Hélène (1890) and her mom, Ludovika (1892).

She started to put on lengthy black attire, a white leather-based parasol and a concealing fan to cover her face.


Sisi launched into a lifetime of journey after the demise of her son by touring incognito, utilizing pseudonyms like “Countess of Hohenembs”.

Throughout her strolling excursions, which lasted a number of hours, she was primarily accompanied by her Greek lecturers or ladies-in-waiting.

On his Imperial steamboat, Miramar, Sissi traveled throughout the Mediterranean visiting her favourite locations had been Cap Martin on the French Riviera, Sanremo on the Ligurian Riviera, Lake Geneva in Switzerland; Unhealthy Ischl in Austria and Corfu in Greece. The Empress additionally visited nations akin to Morocco, Algeria, Malta, Turkey and Egypt. Countless journeys have grow to be a means for Sissi to flee her distress

Palace on the Greek island of Corfu

Rising up in Munich, Sissi had been uncovered to the Philhellenist motion that she beloved Greece and Greek tradition.

Philhellenism (“love of Greek tradition”) and Philhellene (“admirer of the Greeks and all that’s Greek”), was an necessary mental motion on the flip of the nineteenth century. He contributed to the feelings which led Europeans akin to Lord Byron or Charles Nicolas Fabvier to plead for the independence of Greece from the Ottoman Empire.

Sissi constructed a palace on the island of Corfu which she named Achilleion, after Homer’s hero Achilles in The Iliad. She additionally had a number of Greek lecturers who taught her the traditional historical past of the nation.


It was throughout a go to to Switzerland that she was stabbed to demise by an Italian anarchist, Luigi Luccheni in 1898.

Regardless of warnings of doable assassination makes an attempt, Sissi, 60, went incognito to Geneva, Switzerland, the place somebody from the Beau-Rivage resort revealed the Empress of Austria was their host.

On Saturday September 10, 1898, at 1.35 p.m., Sisi and Countess Irma Sztáray de Sztára and Nagymihály, her maid of honor, left the resort on the shores of Lake Geneva on foot to take the Geneva steamboat for Montreux. As they had been strolling alongside the promenade of a 25-year-old Italian anarchist, Luigi Lucheni approached them and stabbed Sissi with a pointy needle file he had inserted right into a wood deal with.

Lucheni had initially deliberate to kill the Duke of Orleans. He had left Geneva earlier for Valais and the murderer then selected to assassinate Sissi.

After Lucheni hit her, the Empress collapsed. A coach driver helped her up and alerted the Austrian concierge at Beau-Rivage.

The 2 girls walked 100 meters (91 m) to the catwalk and boarded, at which level the Empress handed out and collapsed.

Alarmed that Sissi had not regained consciousness, she knowledgeable the captain of her identification and the boat turned again to Geneva the place Sissi was introduced again to the Beau-Rivage resort by six sailors.

Sisi was pronounced useless at 2:10 p.m. and everybody current knelt down and prayed for her soul to relaxation.

Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie (Sissi) had been Empress of Austria for 44 years.

His assassination introduced his life to a tragic finish.


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