About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide
About Vienna - Your City Travel Guide

Sissi - Elisabeth of Wittelsbach (1837 - 1898)


Elisabeth of Wittelsbach - Austrian Empress of the hearts

Famous Personalities

Sisi was born as daughter of Duke Maximilian and Duchess Ludovika in Bavaria. In 1853, she got to know her cousin Emporer Franz Joseph, who was going to marry Sisi's sister Helene. Franz Joseph fell in love with Sisi immediately and decided to marry her instead of her sister. They married, Elisabeth being 16 years old. The love marriage did not work out: Sisi was an independent girl and totally unprepared for the strict protocol at court, an ambitious stepmother and a busy husband who struggled to fight revolutionary and separatist tendencies in the Habsburg empire…

The Viennese aristocracy was making fun of her and her mother in law Sophie took over the control of her life. Her children were taken from her and Sisi was barely allowed to see them, putting her in deep depression and illness. After two year of cure and lodging in Madeira, Korfu and Bavaria, Sisi returned with new confidence to Vienna. She decided to take control for political issues and soon took interest in Hungary, the very troubled neighbour of Austria. In 1867 she was crowned Queen of Hungary. Sisi was obsessed with her beauty and her perfect figure and taking care of her body, resulting in anorexia. Her very liberal ideas, her call for a republic structure and her effort for the poor and troublesome made her very popular with the Austrian people.
In 1870 she decided to withdraw from public life and tried to live the life of a private person. On the 10th of September, while she was walking through Geneva, she was assassinated by a young Italian anarchist.

The history of the Imperial couple is closely linked to Vienna and its palaces: Schoenbrunn palace, Imperial castle or Hermesvilla are just some of the spots reminiscent of the imperial couple.