Ferdinand II, a member of the House of Habsburg, was Holy Roman Emperor (1619–1637), King of Bohemia (1617–1619, 1620–1637), and King of Hungary (1618–1625). His rule coincided with the Thirty Years’ War.
Death’s head with the imperial crown from the tomb of Charles VI, Habsburg emperor between 1711 and 1740. This tomb is in the Vienna Kaisergruft, or imperial crypt, which holds over 100 members of the imperial family.
Located in Vienna, Austria, the Schönbrunn Palace is a rococo palace built at the end of the XVIth century. Schönbrunn is an Unesco Wolrd Heritage Site. The is one the biggest palace in the world with 1441 rooms. I’m sure you all know this palace ! It is not only the austrian Versailles but it is also where Marie-Antoinette was borned and raised. The Empress Sissi went there very often too. Many great musicians visited the imperial family in Schönbrunn such as Mozart or Beethoven. The gardens are quite similar to the Versailles gardens, but they are much smaller ( don’t forget that the Palace is inside the city ! ). You can find french gardens, little pavillons and of course the Gloriette ( second picture ). This palace is for me the symbol of a really brilliant monarchy. But it is also the symbol of Marie-Antoinette’s happy childhood, that is why this is one of the palaces I want to visit the most !
Empress Sissi and Emperor Franz Joseph at Bad Kissingen, 1898.
Empress Sissi forbad people to take photos to her after she turned 30, so there aren’t much photos of Sissi in maturer age. Happily, there are a few of her later years that let us to see how she looked. Despite she is covering her face with a fan and she is taking an umbrella her face can be seen, unlike other photos of her in the same situation.
The original photo and below a painting based on it.
19 June 1867: The Emperor, along with two loyal generals, are executed by firing squad in Querétaro. His last words were:
“I forgive everyone, and I ask everyone to forgive me. May my blood which is about to be shed, be for the good of the country.
¡Viva México, viva la independencia!”
The two generals - Miguel Miramón and Tomás Mejía - died shouting “¡Viva el emperador!”
The Emperor’s execution caused much dismay to the many supporters of liberalism at the time. Victor Hugo and Giuseppe Garibaldi, well-known supporters of liberalism sent communications to Benito Juárez in order to plead for the Emperor’s life. Sadly, Juárez ignored these on the grounds that Mexicans perished during the civil war between the Imperial supporters and the Republicans.
Charles (Karl) I, the final Habsburg emperor of Austria-Hungary, is crowned in 1916 in the middle of the First World War. At the war’s end, Austria Hungary was carved up by the war’s victors into a number of smaller countries. Charles did not abdicate his throne, but issued a declaration that he would not longer participate in politics. Privately, however, he wrote that “I see my manifesto of 11 November  as the equivalent to a cheque which a street thug has forced me to issue at gunpoint. (…) I do not feel bound by it in any way whatsoever.” Charles spent much of the rest of his life trying to regain the throne of Hungary; rebuffed, he died in exile on the island of Madeira in 1922.
Philip II, King of Spain, was born at Valladolid on the 21st of May 1527. He was the son of the emperor Charles V and of his wife Isabella of Portugal. Philip received his education in Spain. His tutor, Juan Martinez Pedernales (Bishop of Cartagena), who latinized his name to Siliceo, and who was also his confessor, does not appear to have done his duty very thoroughly. The prince, though he had a good command of Latin, never equaled his father as a linguist. Don Juan de Zúñiga (grand-commander of Castile),
who provided a more systematic education, imparting piety and seriousness to his pupil as well as an extensive knowledge of history and an appreciation of scholarship, the arts, and politics. From his earliest years Philip showed himself more addicted to the desk than the saddle and to the pen than to the sword. The emperor, who spent his life moving from one part of his wide dominions to another and in the camps of his armies, watched his heir’s education from afar. The trend of his letters was to impress on the boy a profound sense of the high destinies to which he was born, the necessity for keeping his nobles apart from all share in the conduct of the internal government of his kingdom, and the wisdom of distrusting counsellors, who would be sure to wish to influence him for their own ends. Philip grew up grave, self-possessed and distrustful and was rigidly abstemious in eating and drinking.
❝ PLOT DROP 003—— alcohol seemed to have impaired the sense of even the finest guests in attendance. it made it near impossible to spot the rat amongst royalty. made them slow at detecting something was amiss. they could not spot the first glint of a sword in the candlelight, and could not hear the unique sound it made when unsheathed and used against another; the screams of horror that followed not registering until it was far too late. they almost believed they were safe here – almost.
Leopold II and his successors dressed in the
Ceremonial robes of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
The Order of the Golden Fleece is a Roman Catholic order of
chivalry founded in Bruges by the Burgundian duke Philip the Good in
1430, to celebrate his marriage to the Portuguese princess Isabella.
It became one of the most prestigious orders in Europe. Today, two
branches of the Order exist, namely the Spanish and the Austrian
Fleece; the current grand masters are Felipe VI, King of Spain, and
Karl von Habsburg, grandson of Emperor Charles I of Austria,
The Battle of Puebla (Spanish: Batalla de Puebla) (French: Bataille de Puebla) took place on 5 May 1862, near the city of Puebla during the French intervention in Mexico. The battle ended in a victory for the Mexican Army over the occupying French soldiers. The French eventually overran the Mexicans in subsequent battles, but the Mexican victory at Puebla against a much better equipped and larger French army provided a significant morale boost to the Mexican army and also helped slow the French army’s advance towards Mexico City. Approximately 12,000 soldiers participated in the battle, of whom 8,000 were French and 4,000 were Mexican. 462 French soldiers died in combat. Only 83 Mexican soldiers died in the battle.
The Mexican victory is celebrated yearly on the fifth of May. Its celebration is regional in Mexico, primarily in the state of Puebla, where the holiday is celebrated as El Día de la Batalla de Puebla (English: The Day of the Battle of Puebla).
There is some limited recognition of the holiday in other parts of the country. In the United States this holiday has evolved into the very popular Cinco de Mayo holiday, a celebration of Mexican heritage.
The 1858–60 Mexican civil war known as The Reform War had caused major distress throughout Mexico’s economy. When taking office as the elected president in 1861, Benito Juárez was forced to suspend payments of interest on foreign debts for a period of two years. At the end of October 1861 diplomats from Spain, France, and Britain met in London to form the Tripartite Alliance, with the main purpose of launching an allied invasion of Mexico, taking control of Veracruz, its major port, and forcing the Mexican government to negotiate terms for repaying its debts and for reparations for alleged harm to foreign citizens in Mexico. In December 1861, Spanish troops landed in Veracruz; British and French followed in early January. The allied forces occupied Veracruz and advanced to Orizaba. However, the Tripartite Alliance fell apart by early April 1862, when it became clear the French wanted to impose harsh demands on the Juarez government and provoke a war. The British and Spanish withdrew, leaving the French to march alone on Mexico City. Napoleon III wanted to set up a puppet Mexican regime.
The French expeditionary force at the time was led by General Charles de Lorencez. The battle came about by a misunderstanding of the French forces’ agreement to withdraw to the coast. When the Mexican Republic forces saw these French soldiers on the march, they took it that hostilities had recommenced and felt threatened. To add to the mounting concerns, it was discovered that political negotiations for the withdrawal had broken down. A vehement complaint was lodged by the Mexicans to General Lorencez who took the effrontery as a plan to assail his forces. Lorencez decided to hold up his withdrawal to the coast by occupying Orizaba instead, which prevented the Mexicans from being able to defend the passes between Orizaba and the landing port of Veracruz. The 33-year-old Mexican Commander General, Ignacio Zaragoza, fell back to Acultzingo Pass where he and his army were badly beaten in a skirmish with Lorencez’s forces on 28 April. Zaragoza retreated to Puebla which was heavily fortified – it had been held by the Mexican government since the Reform War. To its north stood the forts Loreto and Guadalupe on opposite hilltops. Zaragoza had a trench dug to join the forts via the saddle.
Lorencez was led to believe that the people of Puebla were friendly to the French, and that the Mexican Republican garrison which kept the people in line would be overrun by the population once he made a show of force. This would prove to be a serious miscalculation on Lorencez’s part. On 5 May 1862, against all advice, Lorencez decided to attack Puebla from the north. However, he started his attack a little too late in the day, using his artillery just before noon and by noon advancing his infantry. By the third attack the French required the full engagement of all their reserves. The French artillery had run out of ammunition, so the third infantry attack went unsupported. The Mexican forces and the Republican garrison both put up a stout defense and even took to the field to defend the positions between the hilltop forts.
As the French retreated from their final assault, Zaragoza had his cavalry attack them from the right and left while troops concealed along the road pivoted out to flank them. By 3 p.m. the daily rains had started, making a slippery slope of the battlefield. Lorencez withdrew to distant positions, counting 462 of his men killed against only 83 of the Mexicans. He waited a couple of days for Zaragoza to attack again, but Zaragoza held his ground. Lorencez then completely withdrew to Orizaba.
The Battle of Puebla was an inspirational event for wartime Mexico, and it provided a stunning revelation to the rest of the world which had largely expected a rapid victory for French arms.
Slowed by their loss at Puebla, the French forces retreated and regrouped, and the invasion continued after Napoleon III determinedly sent additional troops to Mexico. The French were eventually victorious, winning the Second Battle of Puebla on 17 May 1863 and pushing on to Mexico City. When the capital fell, Juárez’s government was forced into exile in the remote north.
With the backing of France, the Habsburg Archduke Maximilian became Emperor of Mexico in the short-lived Second Mexican Empire.