In the footsteps of Empress Sisi

I think I’m not the only one who’s seen the famous Sissi movies with Romy Schneider at some point of their lives. I was a little girl when I saw them and the beautiful but stubborn Sissi was a fun character. So, when I first travelled to Vienna about 3,5 years ago, Sissi was one of the only things I knew about Vienna beforehand apart from the Lipizzan horses, Sacher cake, Sigmund Freud, famous composers and the New Year’s concert. I have now visited the Sisi museum twice as on our July trip to Vienna my friend also wanted to get to know Sisi and I happily accompanied her.

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A scene from one of the Sissi movies

But why am I writing Sissi in some sentences and Sisi in others? That’s because Sissi is the fictional character in the movies, based on the real Empress Elisabeth who was known as Sisi to her family and friends. The Sisi museum together with the Schönbrunn palace and the Imperial Furniture Collection (Hofmobiliendepot in German) form a picture of both so you can compare the reality and the movie.

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A life-size Sisi at the Imperial Furniture Collection

My tip for everyone interested in Sisi is to buy the Sisi ticket. It’s valid for a year and you get to visit each attraction once. I would have never visited the Imperial Furniture Collection without the Sisi ticket and boy, what I would have missed! Those were almost exactly also the words of my friend. A furniture collection may sound dull and dusty but it’s nothing like that and definitely worth a visit! Apart from furniture from the Imperial palaces that were used as props in the Sissi movies, the Imperial Furniture Collection also has an amazing collection of furniture from different eras of architecture, Biedermeier, Baroque, the Vienna Modernist Movement etc. A must-see if you are interested in interior design and/or architecture!

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Some pieces of furniture that were used in the Sissi movies at the Imperial Furniture Collection.

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In the Schönbrunn Palace, you get to see the Grand Tour with an audioguide. The Grand Tour includes 40 rooms, compared to the 22 rooms of the normal tour. And a very big plus if it’s crowded, there is a separate fast-track admission to Schönbrunn Palace with the Sisi ticket!

 

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The Schönbrunn Palace

 

 

The Sisi museum is also a home to the Imperial Silver Collection, a vast collection of china, silverware, cutlery and table linen.

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A centerpiece and silverware.
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A gift from the British monarch, a tea set so fine that it was never intended to be used.

The Sisi museum tells the story of a woman who never wanted to be an Empress and how she was always torn apart between duty as an Empress of Austria-Hungary and her own desire to be a normal person without heavy duties. You learn about her beauty regime and modern ways of taking care of herself and about her travels etc. A very interesting museum indeed!

 

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Emperor Franz Joseph I, Sisi’s husband.
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The entrance to the Sisi museum

Some tips on locations and time you need to visit these attractions. The Silver Collection and Sisi museum are located in the Hofburg and it takes a couple of hours to visit them with the free audioguide. The Imperial Furniture Collection is on Andreasgasse, one of the cross streets of the main shopping street Mariahilfer Straße. The Schönbrunn Palace is easy to reach by public transport. We took a tram from Westbahnhof train station.

 

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A tram stop at Schönbrunn. Trams 10 and 58 take you to Westbahnhof.

 

 

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