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Emperor Franz Joseph I was hoping that his wife would finally settle down in her palace Achilleion on Corfu, but Sisi soon lost interest in the fairytale property. The endless travels became a means of escape for Elisabeth from her life and her misery. In , despite warnings of possible assassination attempts, the year-old Elisabeth traveled incognito to Geneva , Switzerland. Since the empress despised processions , she insisted that they walk without the other members of her entourage. They were walking along the promenade when the year-old Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni approached them, attempting to peer underneath the empress's parasol.

Failing to find him, the assassin selected Elisabeth when a Geneva newspaper revealed that the elegant woman traveling under the pseudonym of "Countess of Hohenembs" was the Empress Elisabeth of Austria. I am an anarchist by conviction I came to Geneva to kill a sovereign, with object of giving an example to those who suffer and those who do nothing to improve their social position; it did not matter to me who the sovereign was whom I should kill It was not a woman I struck, but an Empress; it was a crown that I had in view.

After Lucheni struck her, the empress collapsed. The empress then lost consciousness and collapsed next to her. Meanwhile, the boat was already sailing out of the harbor. Three men carried Elisabeth to the top deck and laid her on a bench. She then asked, "What has happened? Alarmed that Elisabeth had not recovered consciousness, she informed the captain of her identity, and the boat turned back to Geneva. Elisabeth was carried back to the Hotel Beau-Rivage by six sailors on a stretcher improvised from a sail, cushions and two oars.

When they then removed her from the stretcher to the bed she was clearly dead; Frau Mayer believed the two audible breaths she heard the Empress take as she was brought into the room were her last. Two doctors, Dr. Golay and Dr. Mayer arrived, along with a priest, who was too late to grant her absolution. Mayer incised the artery of her left arm to ascertain death, and found no blood. When Franz Joseph received the telegram informing him of Elisabeth's death, his first fear was that she had committed suicide.

It was only when a later message arrived, detailing the assassination, that he was relieved of that notion. The telegram asked permission to perform an autopsy, and the answer was that whatever procedures were prescribed by Swiss Law should be adhered to. The autopsy was performed the next day by Golay, who discovered that the weapon, which had not yet been found, had penetrated 3.

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Because of the sharpness and thinness of the file the wound was very narrow and, due to pressure from Elisabeth's extremely tight corseting, the hemorrhage of blood into the pericardial sac around the heart was slowed to mere drops. Had the weapon not been removed, she would have lived a while longer, as it would have acted like a plug to stop the bleeding.

Golay photographed the wound, but turned the photograph over to the Swiss Procurator-General, who had it destroyed, on the orders of Franz Joseph, along with the autopsy instruments. On Tuesday, before the coffins were sealed, Franz Joseph's official representatives arrived to identify the body.

The coffin was fitted with two glass panels, covered with doors, which could be slid back to allow her face to be seen. On Wednesday morning, Elisabeth's body was carried back to Vienna aboard a funeral train. After the attack, Lucheni fled down the Rue des Alpes, where he threw the file into the entrance to No. He was caught by two cabdrivers and a sailor, then secured by a gendarme. The weapon was found the next day by the concierge during his morning cleaning; he thought it belonged to a laborer who had moved the day before and did not notify the police of his discovery until the following day.

There was no blood on the file and the tip was broken off, which occurred when Lucheni threw it away. The file was so dull in appearance it was speculated that it had been deliberately selected because it would be less noticeable than a shiny knife, which would have given Lucheni away as he approached. Although Lucheni boasted that he acted alone, because many political refugees found a haven in Switzerland, the possibility that he was part of a plot and that the life of the emperor was also in danger, was considered.


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Once it was discovered that an Italian was responsible for Elisabeth's murder, unrest swept Vienna and reprisals were threatened against Italians. The intensity of shock, mourning, and outrage far exceeded that which occurred at the news of Rudolf's death. An outcry also immediately erupted over the lack of protection for the empress. The Swiss police were well aware of her presence, and telegrams to the appropriate authorities advising them to take all precautions had been dispatched. Police Chief Virieux of the Canton of Vaud had organized Elisabeth's protection, but she had detected his officers outside the hotel the day before the assassination and protested that the surveillance was disagreeable, so Virieux had no choice but to withdraw them.

It is also possible that if Elisabeth had not dismissed her other attendants that day, an entourage larger than one lady-in-waiting could have discouraged Lucheni, who had been following the Empress for several days, awaiting an opportunity. Lucheni was brought before the Geneva Court in October. Since Elisabeth was famous for preferring the common man to courtiers, known for her charitable works, and considered such a blameless target, Lucheni's sanity was questioned initially.

Franz Joseph remarked to Prince Liechtenstein, who was the couple's devoted equerry, "That a man could be found to attack such a woman, whose whole life was spent in doing good and who never injured any person, is to me incomprehensible". Lucheni was declared to be sane, but was tried as a common murderer, not a political criminal. Incarcerated for life, and denied the opportunity to make a political statement by his action, he attempted to kill himself with the sharpened key from a tin of sardines on 20 February Ten years later, he hanged himself with his belt in his cell on the evening of 16 October , after a guard confiscated and destroyed his uncompleted memoirs.

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Upon her death, Franz Joseph founded the Order of Elizabeth in memory of her. This town is between Montreux and Chateau Chillon; the inscription mentions her many visits to the area. Unlike previous portrayals of Elisabeth as a one-dimensional fairy tale princess, Hamann portrayed her as a bitter, unhappy woman full of self-loathing and suffering from various emotional and mental disorders. She was seen to have searched for happiness, but died a broken woman who never found it. Hamann's portrayal explored new facets of the legend of Sisi, as well as contemplating the role of women in high-level politics and dynasties.

A large number of chapels were named in her honour, connecting her to Saint Elisabeth. Empress Elisabeth and the Empress Elisabeth Railway West railway named after her were recently selected as a main motif for a high value collector coin, the Empress Elisabeth Western Railway commemorative coin. Some stars were given to ladies of the court. One set of 27 diamond stars was kept in the Imperial family; they are seen in a photograph that shows the dowry of Rudolf's daughter, Archduchess Elisabeth , known as "Erzsi", on the occasion of her wedding to Prince Otto of Windisch-Graetz in In the comic operetta Sissi premiered in Vienna.

It was first staged in With libretto by Michael Kunze and music by Sylvester Levay , this is probably the darkest portrayal of the Empress' life. It portrayed Elisabeth bringing a physical manifestation of death with her to the imperial court, thus destroying the Habsburg dynasty. The leading role in the premiere was played by Dutch musical singer Pia Douwes.

Elisabeth went on to become the most successful German-language musical of all time and has enjoyed numerous productions around the world. In his ballet, Mayerling Kenneth MacMillan portrayed Elisabeth in a pas de deux with her son Prince Rudolf, the principal character in the ballet.

Peter Roe - The Empress (feat Úyanga Bold) - Beautiful Dramatic Vocal

It was co-written by Elisabeth's niece, Marie Larisch who played her younger self at the age of 62 , and starred Carla Nelsen as the title character. The film later achieved notoriety when a group of con-artists started selling stills from the murder scene as actual photographs of the crime.

Adolf Trotz directed the German film Elisabeth of Austria. It starred opera diva Grace Moore and Franchot Tone. In the German-speaking world, Elisabeth's name is often associated with a trilogy of romantic films about her life directed by Ernst Marischka which starred a teenage Romy Schneider :. In early dramatizations, Elisabeth appears as peripheral to her husband and son, and so is always shown as a mature character. Schneider's characterization of Elisabeth as a young woman is the first time the "young" empress is seen on screen. The trilogy was the first to explicitly depict the romantic myth of Sissi, and ends abruptly with her determination to live a private life.

Any further exploration of the topic would have been at odds with the accepted image of the loving wife, devoted mother, and benevolent empress. The three films, newly restored, are shown every Christmas on Austrian , German, Dutch, and French television. In , the films were released as The Sissi Collection with English subtitles. Schneider came to loathe the role, claiming, "Sissi sticks to me like porridge Haferbrei. A portrait of Schneider in this film was the only one, taken from her roles, which is displayed in her home.

In the film version of Andrew Lloyd Webber 's The Phantom of the Opera , the character Christine is wearing a gown inspired by the famous portrait of Elisabeth by Winterhalter. In , German comedian and director Michael Herbig released a computer-animated parody film based on Elisabeth under the title Lissi und der wilde Kaiser lit.

It is based on his Sissi parody sketches featured in his television show Bullyparade. In December , to coincide with the presentation of the Pre-Fall 'Metier d'arts' collection by luxury fashion house Chanel , shown in the Schloss Leopoldskron palace, creative director Karl Lagerfeld directed a short film featuring Cara Delevingne as Empress Elisabeth accompanied by Pharrell Williams.

Empress of the Deep 3: Legacy of the Phoenix

During a dream sequence, the duo sing a song written by Williams entitled CC the World , playing on the iconic interlocking logo of the fashion house, the initials of its founder Coco Chanel , as well as the Empress's nickname 'Sisi'. Lagerfeld recreated the iconic gown worn by Elisabeth in the portrait by Winterhalter, whilst Pharrell takes on attire similar to Franz Joseph. Elisabeth was portrayed in the British television series Fall of Eagles.

Diane Keen played the young Elisabeth and Rachel Gurney portrayed the empress at the time of Rudolf's death. The role of the actress portraying the empress was played by Claire Bloom. The season five finale of the Austrian detective television series Kommissar Rex revolves around a deluded woman affected by myth of the empress. The episode, appropriately, is entitled, "Sisi. A heavily fictionalized version of Elisabeth's younger years is portrayed in a animated children's series, Princess Sissi. Her son and his lover were played by Max von Thun and Vittoria Puccini. Like the animated series, this film portrays the romantic mythology surrounding the unhappy marriage of Elisabeth and Franz Joseph, but the political problems of the empire and the personal troubles of the main characters are dealt with in much better detail than in many other dramas.

Elisabeth's youth and early adult life are dramatized in the novel Imperial Waltz [63] by William S. Abrahams Dial Press, Elisabeth appears as a significant character in Gary Jennings ' novel Spangle. The novel concerns a circus traveling through Europe at the close of the 19th century, and portrays Elisabeth's interest in circuses and daredevil horseback riding.

The empress appears in the romantic fiction novel Stars in my Heart [64] by Barbara Cartland. She features in Alexander Lernet-Holenia 's novel Mayerling. She dances with the anti-hero, Harry Flashman at a ball at the end of the story, in which Flashman has helped prevent her husband the Emperor from being assassinated. Mark Twain a. Samuel Clemens wrote about the assassination of Empress of Austria in an article entitled "The Memorable Assassination," which he did not submit for publication. The book and its disappearance form part of the goings-on that drive the various family members and guests to distraction.

Olha and Elizabeth, Lviv , was founded in by the Emperor in memory of Elisabeth. From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. For other people with the same name, see Elisabeth of Austria. For other uses, see Elisabeth of Bavaria disambiguation. Coronation photograph by Emil Rabending. Imperial Crypt. Franz Joseph I of Austria m. Further information: Apostolic Majesty. Main article: Mayerling incident. Charles Order of Queen Maria Luisa. Ancestors of Empress Elisabeth of Austria 8. Duke Wilhelm in Bavaria 4.

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Duke Pius August in Bavaria 9. Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria Prince Louis of Arenberg 5. Elisabeth in Bavaria Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria Countess Palatine Maria Franziska of Sulzbach 3. Princess Ludovika of Bavaria Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden 7. Princess Caroline of Baden Princess Amalie of Hesse-Darmstadt. Putnam's Sons, , p. Lippencott Co. Putnam's Sons, , pp. Zanardi, The secret of an empress, Houghton Mifflin Co. Hellenic Tourism Properties S.

Retrieved 23 December Elizabeth, empress of Austria: a memoir. Dictionary of Last Words. New York: Philosophical Library, , p Faber and Faber. Retrieved 17 December Kaiserin Elisabeth Museum Possenhofen e. Archived from the original on 14 November Retrieved on House of Wittelsbach. Duchesses in Bavaria. Terberger Duchess Ana, Mrs. Empresses of Austria. Hungarian queens. Namespaces Article Talk. Views Read Edit View history. In other projects Wikimedia Commons. By using this site, you agree to the Terms of Use and Privacy Policy. Full name Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie.

Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria. Princess Ludovika of Bavaria. Duke Wilhelm in Bavaria. Duke Pius August in Bavaria. Prince Louis of Arenberg. Elisabeth in Bavaria. Maximilian I Joseph of Bavaria. Countess Palatine Maria Franziska of Sulzbach. Charles Louis, Hereditary Prince of Baden. Princess Caroline of Baden. Sophie Friederike Dorothea Maria Josefa. Gisela Luise Marie. Married, her second cousin, Prince Leopold of Bavaria ; had four children.

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