Aug 23, 2002

happiness is not hapsburg
If you are travelling and arrive in a city without a related guidebook, to know what the basics of the city are all about, all you have to do is look at the postcard racks. And in Vienna there are tons of postcards dedicated to Princess Sissi. Sissi, the famous Empress of Austria and Hungary, has often been compared to Princess Diana.
Bitter Sweet Beauties.



Sissi was a Heidi type teenanger that was forced to marry her cousin, Franz, the emperor of Austria. She was thus forced not only to live in the stuffy atmosphere of the Viennese court but to live there with her domineering mother-in-law, Sophia, as well. The stress showed and Sissi became anorexic, frigid and misogynist. However she had a collection of fotos of beautiful women and a music box that played a piece from La Traviata.
She was considered very beautiful but never smiled because she had bad teeth. She wore tight and sexy corsets and had her clothes sewn on to her to emphasis her 18 inch waist. Though she regularly denied herself food, even to the detriment of her health, she loved chocolate, champagne, truffles and violet essence. To keep in shape, she had a gym installed in her house (unheard of at the time) and did arcobatics like those performed in a circus. Sissy's hair was so long that it touched her ankles. She washed it with cognac and spent 3 hours every day having it combed. Afraid of growing old and losing the beauty that she was so famous for, after her 40th birthday, she no longer permitted anyone to photograph her and kept a fan held up in front of her face to keep her wrinkles from being seen.



To stay away from the formalities of court life, she travelled constantly. She even had a house in Corfu because she liked Greek mythology and the sea. She like the sea so much that she had anchor tattoed onto her shoulder. Sissy was interested in spiritism and often participated in seances. She wrote poetry and memorized that of Heinrich Hein.

Sissy's relatives were not very lucky. Her uncle King Louis I of Bavaria was forced to abdicate because of his relationship with Lola Montez (who helped provoke the Revolution of 1848). Her son Rudolf committed suicide with his 16 year old lover, Baroness Mary Vetsera, at Mayerling (and from then on Sissy dressed only in black). Her cousin Ludwig II also comitted suicide. And her brother-in-law, Maximillian, was shot to death in Mexico causing Sissy's sister-in-law, Carlota, to go mad. One big happy family.


the Mayerling lovers

At the age of 62, she was stabbed to death by an Italian anarchist, Luigi Lucheni. Lucheni didn't have anything against Sissi other than the fact that she was an aristocrat.
Her coffin is next to her husband's in the The Capuchin Crypt in Vienna, the crypt that Joseph Roth wrote about.


SISSI: DIANA AND SISsI-- Elisabeth of Wittelsbach -- sissiweb--
Elisabeth was on travel permanently-- eternal beauty-- In the footsteps of an empress -- Austria's Empress Elisabeth -- Un'esistenza malinconica--
Death by Fame -- these methods did not adequately prepare Sisi for the rigors of the Hapsburg court-- As a reward for complying with her wishes in this affair, Elisabeth's letters to her husband during this time show a marked increase in tenderness-- Beautiful and Mad--Elisabeth, Empress of Austria An Astrological Perspective-- Famous Tightlacers-- Her body became a religious cult, but one of a highly ascetic and solitary nature-- Her decades-long hunger diets coupled with a need for movement and exercise which compelled her to undertake lengthy and strenuous hikes, caused malnutrition and depressions and led finally to suicidal fantasies-- Luigi Lucheni -- In "L'Aigle à Deux Têtes", Cocteau exploits -- elizabeth, the musical--
The Last Habsburgs-- Habsburg Empresses, 1526-1918 CARLOTA:Maximilian and Carlota arrived in Mexico-- Charlotte's Letters and a Photograph Album-- CARLOTTA DEL BELGIO -- An Empress for a Fleeting Moment in History -- Charlotte of Mexico - -maximillian and carlotta--
Carlota, Empress of Mexico-- MAXIMILIAN AND CARLOTA: THE "ARCHDUPE" AND HIS TRAGIC LADY-- MAYERLING:Mayerling-- The deaths at Mayerling --the Empress Elizabeth had borne a son-- A Nervous Splendor -- Mayerling in popular culture-- The Ghosts of Mayerling:- -Mayerling (1968)-- Mayerling (1936)-- Baroness Mary and Crown Prince Rudolph were in love -- Last Ride to Heiligenkreuz-- GRAVES IN VIENNA LUDWIG: ludwig by visconti-- Louis (Ludwig) II, King of Bavaria ZITA : Empress Zita of Austria-- kaRL & ZITA LOLA MONTEZ: Lola Montez -- "Whatever Lola wants, Lola gets"-- Lola became the mistress of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. -- Famous (but bad) dancer-- King Ludwig I and Lola Montez--
Lola Montez was also an early feminist, and writer of a book of beauty tips. -- well known Gallery of Beauties-- The "Real" Lola -- Lola Montez "of Paris and Panama"-- Entertaining Miners Became A Rare Golden Opportunity-- "Notorious I have always been, and never famous" -- More scandal about Lola Montez--her notorious "Spider Dance" -- :HEINRICH HEINE: Heinrich Heine: Of course God will forgive me; that's His job...Heine German poet of Jewish origin-- the most translated German poet -- Heinrich Heine on Art, Morality and Ideas -- Heinrich Heine was known for his caustic and humorous observations -- The Pilgrimage to Kevlaar-- The Poetry of Language, Heine-- Heinrich Heine --
he became protestant to be able to practise law-- he compares himself to a lost Achilles-- FRANZ MATSCH:Klimt joined his brother Ernst and another student Franz Matsch in forming the KÄnstlercompanie, the Company of Artists.-- Matsch, Franz See klimt. -- the columns were created by Franz Matsch and the brothers Gustav and Ernst Klimt-- The ceiling painting in Elisabeth’s salon was created jointly by Franz Matsch and the brothers Gustav and Ernst Klimt-- impressive mural depicting "The Triumph of Achilles" by the Viennese artist, Franz Matsch. -- Franz von Matsch (1861-1942) was the most appreciated painter of Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth. Among his works are portraits of the Emperor and wall paintings at the Empress's villa in Corfu

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