empress elisabeth 'sissi' of austria

Empress Sissi and the death of Ferenc Déak:

>>“He died January 28th, and Elizabeth wept when the new was brought to her. His body lay in state in the great hall of the Academy, which had been converted into a chapelle ardente,and here Elizabeth came in one of the simplest court carriages, and dressed in deep mourning.The deputies and ministers of Hungary were standing round the coffin when the Queen approached, carrying a wreath of laurel and white camellias, tied with a broad satin ribbon bearingthe inscription: “Erzsebet kyralyno Déak Ferencznek.” (“ From Queen Elizabeth to Franz Déak”). She stood for a few minutes in tearful silence by the lifeless body, and then turned to leave, when she suddenly went back, knelt on the lowest step, and prayed fervently. The Hungarian painters, Munkacsy and Ziczy, have represented this scene, and a Hungarian author has written: “ The memory of Déak is still glorified among us, but the tears of the Queen are the highest marks of honour that the dead hero could possibly receive.”<<

Clara Tschudi, Elizabeth: Empress of Austria.

Empress Sissi’s interest on Psychiatry/mental illnesses:

>>More, and more clearly, she gave preference to insane asylums –even abroad, where there was no question of representing the crown; her visits were purely private. She inquired at length about the stories of the patients. At that time, treatment of the insane was still in its infancy. It was considered sufficient in most cases to keep the patients locked up, to feed them and care for them. Elisabeth had a burning interest in new therapeutic experiments; she was, for example, present on one occasion when a patient was hypnotized –at the time, a new sensational procedure.

This striking interest in mental illness and its treatment might have indicated the beginning of a commitment. But Elisabeth never took the step leading to active support of new therapies, though in 1871 she proposed a singular name-day wish to the Emperor: “Since you have asked me what would give me pleasure, I beg you for either a Bengal tiger (Zoological Garden in Berlin, 3 cubs) or a locket. What I would like best of all is a fully equipped insane asylum. Now you have enough choices”. And four days later: “My thanks in advance for the locket… Unfortunately, you appear not to have given the other two things a moment´s consideration”. Elisabeth’s interest in insane asylums was seen as another of her many bizarre ways, frequently ridiculed and disparaged as completely unsuitable to an empress.<<

Brigitte Hamman, The Reluctant Empress: A Biography of Empress Elisabeth of Austria.

“When I first started watching royal, the Sissi Trilogy fell into my lap. I watched these films over and over again. Inspiring me to start learning German and move to Germany. After learning the truth about how she treated her husband, I hate Empress Sissi. She was ungrateful and selfish, too.” - Submitted by Anonymous

Sisi was only 16 years old and woefully unprepared for married life. Traumatized by the consummation of the marriage on the wedding night, she remained secluded in her bedroom for three days, refusing to come out. Afterward, she struggled to adapt to the Habsburg court life with its rigid expectations and practices and stringent etiquette. Before long, she fell ill, but her illness turned out to be her first pregancy.

Empress Sissi’s wardrobe #3

Replicas of well known dresses worn by the Empress compared to photos/paintings. 

1) Court dress, 1850′s

2) Her famous dress worn on her first known photo, 1853.

3) The dress that she wore at her Silver Wedding celebrations, 1879.

4) Dress worn by Sissi at her portrait by Arpad Koppay, 1890′s.

5) Coronation dress, 1867.

6) Wedding dress, 1854.

7) Hungarian court dress, 1850′s.

>>I don’t own the images<<

Empress Sissi: the “circus rider” or the “Queen of the Amazons”?

>>The Viennese considered her passion for horse-exercise extravagant, and called her in derision “the circus- rider,” but the Hungarians, who admired her on horseback, surnamed her “the Queen of the Amazons.” She was well aware that her devotion to riding was displeasing to many, but she had been fond of it from a child, and as her long continued illness had forced her physician to debar her from it for some years, she resumed it with perfect indifference to hostile criticism.<<

Clara Tschudi, Elizabeth: Empress of Austria