Ode to the Odds #4
The Royal Edition


Whether you live in Vienna or just visited, we are sure that you have stumbled upon the famous Habsburger Family who ruled Austria for centuries. They are famous for their politics (which were only somewhat successful), their fancy palaces, and their food (mhhh..Kaiserschmarrn). Instead we want to introduce you to four facts you probably didn’t know about the famous dynasty. Welcome to the Royal Edition!

#1 Being buried like a Habsburger

Traditionally a Habsburger is buried in three different places. Their bodies can be found in the Imperial Crypt, their hearts are stored in the Augustinian Church, and their intestines are kept in Saint Stephen’s Cathedral. During that time, being entombed in different locations wasn’t really uncommon. But emperor Franz Joseph was strictly against the tradition and is buried as a whole in the Imperial Crypt. Maybe he was a little freaked out about resting in different places – at least I would be.

#2 Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

You all probably know the most famous portrait of Sissi, where she is rocking a yellow dress paired with stars in her hair. But did you know that in 1998 the famous thief Blanchard broke into castle Schönbrunn by landing on the roof from a plane and not only stole one of her stars but also swapped it with a replica from the gift shop. The crime wasn’t discovered until weeks later. The original was retrieved after eight years, when the authorities arrested Blanchard and returned the stars to Schönbrunn in 2008.

the crime scene

Schönbrunn, the crime scene, picture credits: pixabay

# Love at first sight

Another odd fact about Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) is that she was actually not supposed to become Franz Joseph’s wife. Initially Franz Joseph wanted to marry her older sister Helene. When their mother took Helene and Elisabeth to the Viennese court to celebrate the Emperor’s birthday, he changed his mind and decided to marry Elisabeth instead. By the way, they were actually cousins but incest wasn’t really a crime back in the days, when the royals tried to keep their bloodline…well…royal.

# A Kaisersemmerl in a Kaiserserviette, please!

Whenever the Habsburgers hosted an event at the royal court, their napkins had to be folded in a certain way. This allowed them to a hide little Kaisersemmerl (bread rolls) within the napkin. Until this day, this folding technique is used for official events. Only two people in the world officially know how to do the so-called Kaiserfaltung. It is a well kept secret. Everybody has to leave the room, when the two ladies in charge are folding away. Maybe a career worth considering!

We hope we could tell you some new and surprising facts about the Habsburger family and their influence on Vienna and Viennese culture. If you want more, watch out for our next blogpost in August!

header imagine credits: pixabay

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About Julia Unteregger

Julia is a writer and a mental health professional. In her free time she likes to hike, even though she fears heights. She also drinks a lot of coffee and plays an excessive amount of solitaire.

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