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The Imperial Couple’s Bedroom

Grand & Imperial Tour

The bedroom initially shared by Franz Joseph and Elisabeth was furnished and decorated for their marriage in 1854.

The wedding took place in Vienna on 24 April 1854, after the emperor’s young bride had been put through a sort of accelerated cramming programme in preparation for her future role as empress.

The first years of marriage were a traumatic experience for Elisabeth. She felt she had been reduced to the role of supplying numerous healthy and preferably male offspring as quickly as possible. The young empress bore three children in rapid succession. At first she had two girls, Sophie (b. 1855) and Gisela (b. 1856). Elisabeth reacted with a phase of exhaustion and depression, which was exacerbated by the sudden death of her first child Sophie, who died in 1857 before her second birthday. In 1858 she gave birth to the long-awaited son and heir, who was named Rudolf. By the age of twenty-one Sisi had borne three children. Ten years later in 1868 she gave birth to her youngest daughter, Marie Valerie.

The heavy palisander furniture displays the opulent forms of the Rococo Revival style which dominated furniture design in the mid-nineteenth century. The seating and the wall panels are covered in a deep blue silk damask figured with white floral garlands. When the room was restored in 2014 the textile furnishings were reconstructed on historical models, so that the impression of the room today once again corresponds to its state when it was occupied by the imperial couple.

Dressing Room
Salon of Empress Elisabeth
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