ESCToday in collaboration with Vienna Tourist Board (Wien.info) will be bringing you a series of articles leading up to the 2015 Eurovision Song Contest in order to showcase and introduce the 2015 Eurovision host city Vienna to our readers. Today we will have a look at the Sisi Museum at Vienna’s Hofburg Palace.
If you love history and royalty then you must visit Sisi’s Museum. Apart from the 2 Imperial Royal palaces were Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Sisi) resided in Vienna namely the Schonbrunn Palace and the Hofburg Palace, Sisi’s Museum is a treasure for history lovers.
Sisi’s Museums is housed at the Hofburg Palace complex. You can purchase the Sisi Ticket which will enable you to visit The State Apartments at Hofburg Palace, The Silver Collection at Hofburg Palace, Imperial Furniture Collection and the Imperial Grand Tour at Schonbrunn Palace.
With the Sisi Ticket you will be able to visit the Silver Collection, the State Apartments and The Sisi Museum at the Hofburg Imperial Palace, all of which are adjacent to each another.
Elisabeth’s private life is at the center of the exhibition: her rebellion against court ceremony, her escape into a beauty cult, her obsession with being slim, athletic performance, and effusive poetry. From the carefree time as a young girl in Bavaria to the surprising engagement with the Austrian Emperor, to her 1898 assassination in Geneva, the museum shows the restless life of the legendary empress.
And does so using numerous objects: On view is one of the few remaining summer dresses, the reconstruction of the dress worn by the young bride on the evening before her wedding as well as the Hungarian coronation dress, famous portraits, a miniature secretaire with envelopes painted in Elisabeth’s own hand, Sisi’s watercolor painting box, a 63-piece first-aid kit and an accessible reconstruction of Sisi’s luxurious imperial saloon car. Items on display from her childhood include her harp, which she brought with her from Bavaria, and a reconstruction of a child’s dress.
Sisi’s 6-piece mourning jewelry in onyz and jet, which she used to wear with her mourning dress following the death of her son Crown Prince Rudolph, is also on display here in its entirety. The black coat with egret feathers, which covered Sissi after her assassination on Lake Geneva and in which she was taken to the Hotel Beau Rivage, reminds one of the tragic incident as much as the death mask of the murdered empress.
About The Sisi Museum
Since 1994 the Sisi Museum has been housed in the Stephan apartments, so named after Archduke Stephan Viktor. Here numerous personal items that once belonged to Elisabeth are used to help illustrate the true personality of the frequently misunderstood Empress. The sensitively designed exhibits, created by renowned set designer Prof. Rolf Langenfass, are inspired by the monarch’s poetry and illustrate how the once light-hearted young girl, Sisi, became a restless, unapproachable and melancholic woman.
The more than 300 items on display in the museum include parasols, boxes and gloves which once belonged to the anthrophobic Elisabeth, along with her beauty recipes, her death mask and the actual file used in her assassination, which is usually kept securely under lock and key. Further items include a reconstruction of the evening dress worn by 16 year old Sisi in 1854 before she left her home in Munich, and a replica of a section of her imperial railway carriage.
In 2006 the SKB bought the so-called Klauda Collection of approximately 240 items. Elisabeth’s travelling medical chest, her games case, a wash set and other items from the collection now feature in the exhibition. Other objects, such as her christening robes and milk tooth, are only displayed on special occasions.
In 2009, after 5 years in service and having welcomed over 3 million visitors, the Sisi Museum was closed for renovation and partial remodelling. The display was extended to include some spectacular exhibits, including the reconstructed Hungarian coronation dress, the black coat used to cover Elisabeth after the assassination, mourning jewellery and the young Sisi on her swing.
The museum is open daily from 09:00- 17:30, whilst the last admission is at 16:30. The museum is located at 1 Michaelerplatz and you can access it via U-Bahn: U1 and U3 and get down at Stephansplatz/ U1 and get down at Herrengasse.