Vienna: the Imperial Treasury

Vienna’s grandly named Kaiserliche Schatzkammer, or Imperial Treasury, is home to the Habsburg treasures and jewels, both secular and ecclesiastical. It’s located in the Swiss courtyard of the Hofburg Palace complex. Some treasures date as far back as the 10th Century, including the magnificent octagonal crown of the Holy Roman Empire.

The Empire famously originated with Charlemagne and later The Habsburgs – with the exception of Empress Maria Theresa – succeeded in being elected to Holy Roman Enperor status. The Empire was effectively dissolved in the early 19th Century during the Napoleonic wars. The regalia, including that spectacular crown was brought to Vienna just before that dissolution.

The Austrian Crown Jewels were equally spectacular…. as were those of the other regions of the Austri-Hungarian Empire from Hungary to parts of Italy.

The cradle of the King of Rome shows the links to Napoleon. Maria Antoinette’s sister, Maria Louise, married the ruler to become Empress Of the French and their child held the title King of Rome. After Napoleon’s exile, the mother and child lived in Schonnbrun.

So, a wonderful place to visit with much history to unravel. Have you been and what was your favourite item on display?

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