The Imperial Carriage Museum transports you straight to the glamorous world of the Habsburgs. The magnificent carriages, unique gowns and paintings convey a spectacular and vivid impression of court life, with its coronations and weddings, arduous journeys and high-spirited hunts, children’s games, and funeral processions. Special attention is paid to “Empress Elisabeth – the Lady Diana of the 19th century.”
However, with the help of their carriages you can also trace the eventful lives of Empress Maria Theresa, Emperor Franz Joseph I and (coming as a surprise to many) French Emperor Napoleon Bonaparte.
The highlight is the golden coronation coach (“Imperial Carriage”), which is surrounded by exquisite state coaches, comfortable travelling carriages and miniature children’s coaches used by the Habsburgs. Sisi fans will be delighted to see genuine collector’s items that once belonged to Empress Elisabeth, such as her riding accessories, her personal saddle, and her magnificent original gowns. Car enthusiasts will find the only court motor car still in existence (Gräf & Stift 1914) and the ARTcar, an artistically decorated racing car built in 2014 for the last emperor’s great-grandson Ferdinand Habsburg.
Now you can also visit the exhibition Coronas’ Ancestors
Masks and Epidemics at the Viennese Court 1500–1918
18 December 2020 to 26 September 2021
For most people the Corona pandemic is a phenomenon as incomprehensible as it was unexpected. However, in the past too, the world has been afflicted time and again with terrible diseases such as the plague, smallpox, cholera and Spanish flu. The strategies developed to combat them seem surprisingly familiar: even in the Early Modern Age, borders and entertainment venues were closed, trade re-strictions were introduced, social distancing and quarantine were required for travellers, the sick and those they had come into contact with.
The exhibition “Corona’s Ancestors” aims to help us process the shock of the cur-rent pandemic by taking a look at the past. It examines a wide range of topics, from tournament and carnival masks at the Viennese court to testimonies of the major epidemics, and from documents on the history of vaccination to the magnif-icent mourning garments of the Habsburgs.