May 17, 2015

1589 AUSTRIA (Lower Austria) - Mayerling

Mayerling is a small village (pop: 200) situated on the Schwechat River, in the Wienerwald (Vienna woods), at 24km southwest of Vienna. In 1886 Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria, only son of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria and Empress Elisabeth of Bavaria and heir to the Austro-Hungarian crown, acquired the manor and transformed it into a hunting lodge. It was in this hunting lodge that, on January 30, 1889, he was found dead with his mistress Baroness Mary Vetsera, apparently as a result of suicide. Exactly what happened is clouded in mystery. After the deaths of the two, the Emperor Franz Joseph turned the building into a convent which was settled by nuns of the Discalced Carmelite Order. Today the lodge is a museum.

In contrast with his deeply conservative father, Rudolf held liberal views, that were closer to those of his mother, and the relationship with his parents was, at times, strained. On 10 May 1881 he married  Princess Stéphanie of Belgium. Their only child, the Archduchess Elisabeth, was born on 2 September 1883. The couple had drifted apart, and he found solace in drink and other female companionship. In late 1888, the 30-year-old crown prince met the 17-year-old Baroness Marie Vetsera and began an affair with her. According to official reports their deaths were a result of Franz Joseph's demand that the couple end the relationship: the Crown Prince, as part of a suicide pact, shot his mistress in the head and then shot himself.

About the stamp
The stamp, depicting Lentos Kunstmuseum Linz (0.70€), is part of a definite series dedicated to the modern austrian architecture, obout which I wrote here.

Mayerling - Wikipedia

Sender: Ana
Sent from Salzburg (Salzburg / Austria), on 08.08.2012

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