Elisabeth of Austria and Hungary
See your guide: Éva K.The myth and history of Sisi the Wonderful Empress-Queen
In 1998 the world remembered one of history's most fascinating women. One hundred years before, on September 10th 1898, Elizabeth, the Empress of Austria and the Queen of Hungary died from wounds inflicted during an assassination attempt.
The Empress, affectionately known to millions as "Sisi", was as intelligent as she was extraordinary and socially decades ahead of her time. Although the imperial surroundings of Schönbrunn Palace and the glittering Vienna Hofburg were her home, the Consort of the Austrian Emperor Franz Joseph established a special relationship with all classes of her subjects.
After a lengthy interval due to marital problems, a fourth child, Marie Valerie, was born to the imperial couple. Marie Valerie was dubbed the 'Hungarian child' because she was brought up and educated in the Hungarian language. The youngest offspring was a symbolic gift from the Queen-Empress to the Hungarian people whom she loved so much. The new baby arrived exactly ten months after the coronation of her husband as King of Hungary, which Elisabeth had been promoting so energetically.
She was liberal and forward-minded. The Empress took the side of the Hungarians in the nationality conflict, thereby making an important contribution to the historic compromise of 1867 when Hungary gained equality with Austria. Sisi also strengthened the liberal elements in the monarchy as a whole. Sisi attained an unparalleled position of respect and affection in Hungary, one that has lasted until the present day.
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