About This Project

Empress Elisabeth, Sisi, of Austria and Queen of Hungary

1837 - 1898 Elisabeth, Sisi, of Austria and Queen of Hungary

A few years ago, I had the opportunity to visit the beautiful island of Corfu, Greece. While there I toured the summer palace, Achilleion, built by Empress Elisabeth of Austria, popularly known by her subjects as Sisi. She was born in Bavaria in 1835 and married Emperor Franz Josef of Austria in 1854.

Sisi was a very smart, creative, beautiful woman trapped in an unhappy marriage. Her mother-in-law made her life in court a nightmare and in 1889 she suffered the tragic loss of her son in a scandalous double suicide with his 17-year-old lover. Afterwards, seeking “Tranquility”, she took refuge in her summer palace on the Greek Island of Corfu. While living there, she became much loved by the people of Corfu for her many acts of kindness and support of the local community.

On a more personal level, she studied nature, wrote poetry, was stunningly beautiful and spent hours each day on her appearance. She maintained a strict diet, worked out rigorously and even lifted weights to maintain her body tone. Rumor also has it that she was a medicinal user of cocaine. Her life came to an end in 1898 while traveling by train to Geneva. She was stabbed and murdered in the station by an Italian anarchist.

This box was inspired by my visit to her beautiful palace, its gardens and learning of Sisi’s tragic life story. In the box, I included a book and an orange on the garden bench to allude to her fixation on diet and the arts. I also included a large dog. Sisi loved her dogs and her favorite was a large dog named “Homeguard”.

A beautiful spot, a beautiful person, and an interesting and tragic life. These are the elements of a good story and one which inspired me to make and name this roombox, “Tranquility”.