Vienna Austria

Auf den Spuren der Kaiserin Sisi in Wien

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The Travel Bug Infected Empress Elisabeth

Sisi Sissi Empress Elisabeth ViennaHave you heard of Sisi before? In the German speaking area the Empress Elisabeth is famous mostly because of the „Sissi“ films with actress Romy Schneider. Her life was shown as romantic but the reality seemed to be different.

„Freedom was my mother, Who, disguised as a cuckoo, Laid me in a stranger´s nest; That´s how this misfortune came to pass.“   – Sisi, August 1887 in Kreuth

In Vienna, capital of Austria her presence is everywhere and it´s interesting to follow her footsteps cultural and culinary wise. You can spend a whole day or more following and experiencing her life.   I am not a museum fan but the Sisi Museum at the Hofburg is definitely a place to go.

Sisi Museum Sissi Hofburg Wien Her majestic dresses and her life in the Hofburg is shown.   Even if you are not interested in Sisi you will enjoy walking through the residence of many emperors and empresses of Vienna.

Sisi started her day at 5 o´clock in the morning. She worked out, took a bath afterwards and every three weeks she had her hip long hair washed. It took many hours because her hair was displayed on a washing line to dry in the cool rooms of the Hofburg.                                 No wonder Sisi´s bed was right in front of a fireplace.

During summer she stayed with her husband emperor Franz Joseph at Schloss Schönbrunn, a large castle with a huge garden area in the west of Vienna.

Castle Schonbrunn Vienna Sissi Austria

UNESCO World Heritage Site Schloss Schönbrunn

Nibbling like an Empress

Sisi was concerned a lot about her shape. She was 1,72 m tall (about 5,6 feet), her waistline was only (1,64 feet) and she had never more than 52 kg (114,6 pounds). Every day she stepped on the scale to check her weight. She liked eating but when her weight was going up a few gram she put herself on a strict diet.   Her favorite food was sorbet with crystallized violets. The K&K Zuckerbäcker Demel close to the Hofburg supplied her with her favorites.

Demel Hofburg Vienna Austria

K&K Zuckerbäcker Demel with the Hofburg

The Demel is still a famous place to go today. It´s in the Kohlmarkt in walking distance to the Hofburg. In the old cellar of the Demel you can see the antique trays where the ice was being held for Sisi.

Kaffeehaus Kaffee Torte Demel Wien

If you are at the Demel you should take your time for having a coffee and trying a cake while watching the confectioners working on special projects.  The prices aren´t cheap but the whole atmosphere and the taste is worth it. Everything is handmade at the Demel.   But a warning: The cakes feel like having at least 2000 calories a piece. 🙂

After coffee and a cake, like the Cleopatra cake I tried, the shop at the Demel will bring you back to Sisi. Pictures of her and her husband wrapped around a chocolate bar or her favorite crystallized violets.

Sissi kandierte Veilchen

crystallized violets

Modern day Sisi style

If you want to feel like a modern Sisi you can dress up like her. At the Annagasse I found a Sisi boutique. It´s a Pret-a`-Porter shop with designer clothes made in Austria.

Spending the night like a royal

Sisi didn´t have a luxurious bed. Hers was narrow and it reminded me of a bed at a boarding house or at an old hospital. It was portable to take it with her while traveling. I prefer it the modern and comfortable way. I´m sure Sisi would have enjoyed my room at the Hotel Lindner Am Belvedere as much as I did.

The chair in the room is in Sisi style and the view from overlooking Vienna and the Schloss Belvedere is stunning. Sisi would have enjoyed the view from the fitness room at the 7th floor with a view to the Belvedere while working out.

Sisi didn´t like being in Vienna. She had the travel bug (like a lot of us). She even had a tattoo with an anchor showing her love for the sea and today maybe she would be a journalist or a travel blogger because she liked to write (secretly). 😀

„I am a seagull, of no land, I call no shore my home, I am bound to no place, I fly from wave to wave.“                                                 – Sisi, Novotser Lieder, 1885

Thanks to Lindner Hotels&Resorts for the invitation. The opinions are ours.

Comments 25

  1. Pingback: Visiting the Twin Cities Vienna and Bratislava - City Sea Country

  2. Das ist interessant! Eine disziplinierte Frau. Wie hart es trotzdem für sie gewesen sein muss, an einem Ort zu verweilen, an dem sie eigentlich nicht leben wollte. Sonnige Grüße, Jutta

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      Sicher nicht schön für Sisi. Für ihren Ehemann aber wahrscheinlich auch nicht, da sie für ihn seine große Liebe war. Aufgrund einer Krankheit hat Sisi ja zwei Jahre auf Madeira gelebt und später, nach dem Tod ihres Sohnes ist sie nur noch gereist und wurde dann in Genf ermordet. Nicht gerade das Leben, das man selbst führen möchte…

  3. Sisi ist ein Mythos und sicherlich ein spannendes Beispiel eines Frauenlebens – das an am Zeitgeist scheiterte.Wien war nicht nur Schauplatz von Kaisern und Kaiserinnen, sondern ist eine liebevoll erhaltene Metropole, die niemand links liegen lassen sollte. Danke für den spannenden Text mit den schönen Zitaten! Grüße aus dem Norden! Anja

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  4. Sisi had a tattoo?? Never would have guessed that. I agree that her modern day profession might just be that of a „Reiseblogger.“ That hotel looks fabulous!

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      I was just as surprised as you, Dave. I had no idea women and especially royals had tattoos in the past. The hotel is great and the staff is sooo friendly.

  5. That cake looks divine! I’ll admit that I also didn’t know women had tattoos back then either. Wasn’t it frowned upon?

    I’m hoping to visit Vienna this year. Its only a quick train ride from me in Prague 🙂

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      Prague. I want to see it too after visiting Bratislava („Little Prague“) and Vienna. Hope you will have a cake too. They are delicious. About the tattoo. I guess the only person who saw it was her husband/emperor and her maids.;)

  6. Really cool post. Vienna is a wonderful city and I’m sure there’s nothing like experiencing it as Sisi would have, everything looks wonderful! The cake and hotel especially!

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      Yes, Vienna is really great and the cakes are delicious especially because of the flair of the café. The Lindner Am Belvedere is a great place because you can walk to most sights (except for the Castle Schönbrunn).

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      If you look for signs of a historic person like Sisi you find out there is so much influence from her in Vienna altough she didn´t like being here. It was really interesting how different her life was in reality compared to how it shown in the „Sissi“ films.

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      They do have cute dresses but the price is in the upclass. I saved some of the crystallized violets and every time someone comes over for coffee they get one. 🙂

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  7. Great info, she sounds like quite the woman. I now know that my life will not be complete until I try and enjoy some crystallized violets, which are now at the top of my short shopping list for the next time I visit or pass through Vienna.

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  8. Pingback: Gourmet Travel Tips for Baden (close to Vienna)

  9. Pingback: At the Park Hotel: Herzliches Hotel im Herzen von Baden

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