Forgotten Habsburg Women




… because everyone knows the famous ones! Explore the exciting lives of those Habsburg women who have been unjustly forgotten. Whether by marriage or born into the imperial family – Julia Meister has set herself the goal of recalling important personalities to the collective consciousness in the mirror of female social history.


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Julia Meister

Julia Meister, who studied German and English in Berlin, researches female social history of the 18th/19th centuries, from the nobility to the bourgeoisie. Although she is an enthusiastic connoisseur of Empress Elisabeth, she does not lose sight of lesser-known Habsburg personalities.

Her main occupation to date has been to look after the Marienfließ monastery in Brandenburg as a historian and in marketing matters. There she created a bilingual audio guide and led interested groups around the monastery grounds.

She can be booked as a copywriter and editor via her website.


Even before Sisi there was an Empress Elisabeth: she founded the so-called Königinkloster at Dorotheergasse 18.


Emperor Franz II/I had four wives, that makes four empresses in 47 years!


Leopoldine, daughter of Franz II/I from his second marriage, was married off to Brazil – and became a dying, unhappy empress in faraway lands.


In later years Maria Theresa’s daughter Maria Elisabeth was also known as kropferte Liesl – at table she liked to shock people with her three goiters, which she usually hid under a cloth.


Empress Elisabeth Christine, Maria Theresa’s mother, was fattened up to such an extent in order to increase her fertility that she eventually had to rely on a wheelchair.


Empress Eleonore, pious wife of Leopold I, offered a prayer in a chapel – and subsequently died of a sudden onset of paralysis.
all images Public Domain CC0, ©Rijksmuseum

Definitely worth seeing!

Sights around the topic

Achilleion (Korfu)

The palace built by Empress Elisabeth (Sissi) on Corfu.

Hameau de la Reine

The “Queen’s Hamlet” was built for the French Queen Marie Antoinette.

Wawel Cathedral

Elisabeth of Habsburg, who died in 1505, is buried here.


In the Convento de Santa Clara, a former palace that had been converted into a convent, Joan the Mad was imprisoned.

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