Sunday, May 06, 2012

Sisi Museum, Imperial Apts and Imperial Silver Collection

Let's carry on with our Vienna trip diary, shall we? One afternoon we decided to visit Sisi Museum in Hofburg (in Stephansplatz), but turned out we got there too late. The Imperial Silver Collection closes at 5 pm if I remember correctly and we were there at around 4 pm. Luckily for us, the ticket lady told us that it took about 2,5 hours to cover everything, so she suggested coming another day. So the next day we went straight there to make sure that we got there early so we'd have plenty of time to see everything.

Because we knew we didn't have time to visit Schönbrunn Palace (which was farther away from where we stayed), we didn't buy the combined Sisi ticket with Schönbrunn, but if we had had time, we would have chosen that combined ticket. The tickets we paid allowed us to enter Sisi Museum, see the Imperial Apartments as well as the Imperial Silver Collection, but we were only allowed to take pics in the Imperial Silver Collection rooms. Mind you that the collection covered gold, as well. So it was really bling bling he he...

Again like in Mozart's House, we had to get audio guides so we could listen to the stories behind everything. It was really a vast place with lots of things to see and hear, so it did take about 2,5 hours at least to cover everything. Was it worth it? ABSOLUTELY!!!! It was amazing to see what a full set of dining table looked like in a palace in the old days including everything else they had to offer like stories about Empress Sisi (I hadn't known anything about her prior to this trip). It was amazing to see the piles of cutlery needed every day for the whole palace household (can't imagine having to wash them all every single day by hand ha ha...). Click here if you wanna see pics of Sisi Museum and read some stories.

This is a picture of Hofburg Palace from one side (there were so many buildings around it so I had to split the photo into two parts). Apparently they're renovating something there:

A pic of Hofburg from the other side - sorry I couldn't take a good panoramic pic without cutting some parts of the palace (either the dome or the lower side of the palace) ha ha...Click to see a bigger version.

Here are some pics from inside the Imperial Silver Collection. In the first pic R2 is listening to the audio guide (the tool he's holding with his right hand).


And apparently there's some Chinese influence, too, during a certain period of time.

After we finished this tour, we entered Sisi Museum and from then we could see the Imperial Apartments, but couldn't take pics. It was just interesting to know that if there's a certain banquet with the Empress for example, once the queen put her eating utensils, then the dinner was over, so Empress Sisi had to make sure that she was still holding the knife or fork until everybody else had finished eating. And there was also this rule that one could only talk to the one sitting on one's left or right in the palace dining table.

Another interesting thing to know was that King Franz Joseph was a busy man. He worked every day from morning till 10 pm (from around 4 am or 5 am). He accepted people to come to his work chamber and present whatever they wanted to tell and the waiting room for those people was the same. So it didn't matter what kind of rank or job the visitors had. They'd all be waiting in the same waiting room and each of them could meet the King face to face. :-D

We could also see Empress Sisi's bedroom. It was interesting to me that her bed was put almost in the middle of the room diagonally (no side touching the walls) and they put a screen on one side to separate it from a bunch of sofas. We were also told that it took three hours each day for her to do her hair. Geezzzz...while somebody did her hair, she was listening to another person reading books from Greek mythology or something like that.

What I didn't know was the tragic life of Sisi. At first Franz Joseph was going to be bethroted to Sisi's sister, but he fell head over heels in love with the young Sisi, so he proposed and she cried buckets upon hearing his proposal. She was never too much involved with the palace affairs 'coz she didn't like all that. Her eldest son killed himself and then she herself was stabbed to death by someone when she went abroad. Poor Franz Joseph was brokenhearted.:-(

Enough of this sad story, though. After visiting all the places, we browsed through the souvenir store and I found a pair of nice earrings. They're the replica of Empress Sisi's star-shaped hair jewellery. Mine is made of silver and Swarovski crystals. Price: €20. Oh hey, here I found Sisi Online Shop in case you wanna see the details.

OK, I'll end this here and continue with our travel diary later.


  1. It was fascinating to read about the palace and Empress Sisi. I love the idea of seeing a banquet table with all cutlery and crockery in place - must have been quite a sight! I've never tried those audio tours anywhere I've travelled up until now, but it does sound like you get much more colour and interesting detail if you use them. Good to know!

  2. Hope you're feeling better. Thanks for the museum tour! I remember the mountains and countryside of Austria during my trip. The air was so fresh!

  3. @Katriina: Yeah, esp. if you're into history and the background of anything, the audio tours are really interesting! :-D

    @Blur Ting: I never got really sick, thankfully! :-D Ah, you went to the countryside of Austria. I'd have loved that, too! :-D

  4. My great great grandfather was the cousin of the girl, Mary Vetsera, who died with the crown Prince.

    Sad bit of family history, but quite a story!

  5. @M: WHAT?!?!?!?! Geez...yeah, must be quite a family history! SO sorry to hear it's a sad one, though. :-(