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Sissi, Princess of Bavaria

portrait of Sissi as Quenn of Hungary by Georg Raab
Georg Raab, 1867 - Musem of Fine Arts, Vienna (Austria)

Elisabeth, Empress of Austria – called “Sisi” – was born Princess of Bavaria, a relative of the future King Louis II. She was born on Christmas Eve 1837 in Munich and lived a carefree and happy adolescence at Possenhofen Castle on Lake Starnberg. Her independent lifestyle came to an end when Sisi’s cousin, Emperor Franz-Joseph I of Austria, fell madly in love with her and married her one year later. 

In 1854 she became Empress of Austria and in 1867 also Queen consort of Hungary. All her life she suffered from the stifling Habsburg court ceremonial, which is nowadays considered a probable cause to her developing psychological misbalances. She always did everything in her power to escape from it – thereby fuelling critics.

Elisabeth only became famous and worshipped all over the world after Ernst Marischka’s “Sissi” film trilogy in the 1950s. This is largely due to the young Romy Schneider who still shapes the image of a young, sweet and nonchalant Empress which is, however, not very true to Empress Elisabeth’s real personality. The movie helped spread the idea of a popular Empress and her romantic love story all over the world.

More: www.kaiserin-elisabeth-museum-ev.de