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Franz Joseph’s Bedroom (c) SKB, Photo: Alexander Eugen Koller

The emperor’s day began in his bedroom and followed a strict timetable. After rising at four in the morning and performing his morning ablutions with cold water, the emperor, a devout Catholic, said his morning prayers kneeling on the praying-stool. The iron bed bears eloquent witness to the monarch’s severe character and thrifty habits. He died in this bed at the age of eighty-six in 1916, amid the turmoil of the First World War. Built into one side of the doorway leading out of this room is the imperial water closet, which worked on the ‘English system’, that is, with a mechanical flush. It was installed for Franz Joseph in 1899.

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