empress sisi’s vienna – today

“I am a seagull, of no land,
I call no shore my home,
I am bound to no place,
I fly from wave to wave.”
~ Empress Elisabeth of Austria aka Sisi (1837-1898)

A fervent traveler, the Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary, Sisi, born Elizabeth, the Duchess of Bavaria, was a beautiful, lonely, reclusive woman. An adamant non-conformist and free spirit, she married her cousin Franz Joseph I, Emperor of Austria (1848–1867) at 17, and spent the rest of her life refusing to carry out the traditional roles of empress, wife or mother expected of her. The death of her eldest child at two, and the suicide of Rudolf, her fourth child, pushed her deeper into her shell. She was assassinated by an Italian anarchist in 1898. Continue reading