The tragedy of Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling Castle
This time we embark on a journey along the traces of Austrian history, more precisely along those that are undiscovered to this day. The small market town of Mayerling in the Vienna Woods deserves a special mention as it is home to Mayerling Castle. This in turn is an important place because it was the scene of one of the largest unexplained deaths in Austrian history. On January 30, 1889, the Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf von Habsburg was found dead in bed next to his 17-year-old mistress Mary von Vetsera. The two had retreated to the prince's hunting lodge and died under circumstances that are still disputed to this day.
Contradictions about the deaths of Crown Prince Rudolf and Mary von Vetsera
Even the reports of the two people who found the two dead contradict each other. In addition, the contradictions continue. It is known that a lot of blood must have flowed when the two died. It is now also clear that a weapon must have been involved and that it was not a natural death. However, it remains unclear to this day who shot and who killed whom. The imperial family made evidence disappear after death and, to this day, has sworn those who know about it to secrecy.
This behavior fueled the rumors of treason and conspiracy surrounding the deaths of Crown Prince Rudolf and Mary of Vetsera. Some suspect that secret services - Austrian and foreign - were involved in the deaths of the two. Others think that Rudolf was so depressed that he killed himself and his young lover. Recent research in Mayerling's environment indicates that the prince was apparently afraid of the secret services. It is also rumored that it was said to have been very loud in the castle on the night of death. When the villagers got there, all the shutters were closed and the place was dead quiet.
Learn more about it at Mayerling Castle
Our charming guide tells us this most intriguing story as she takes interested summer visitors through the new church that has been built on the site of the Crown Prince's former bedroom. The bed in which the two bodies were found stood where the altar now stands. A scary thought!
Mayerling Castle is now a Carmelite monastery
In the side rooms we see the coffin in which Mary of Vetsera was once buried. A curious local carpenter had pulled it back out of the ground to reconstruct the events, but to no avail. Mary is buried today in Heiligenkreuz Abbey, where Crown Prince Rudolf once wanted to be buried with her. However, his wish was not granted. Today he lies in the Capuchin Crypt in Vienna next to his parents, Empress Sissi of Austria and Emperor Franz Josef I.
The castle itself is now in the care of the Carmelite Order. Next to the room where Mary's first coffin is seen, there is another room that has been preserved as it was when the two were there. The crown prince's controversial farewell letter is emblazoned on the wall, which is still considered one of the indications that it was murder. The prince had given all his letters a date, only his farewell letter is missing this. Why?
We leave the castle Mayerling at the edge of the forest with more questions than answers, but with the feeling of having come into direct contact with the history of Austria.
Travel destinations in the Vienna Woods
- 2 days Stift Heiligenkreuz and Mayerling Tour for connoisseurs
- Summer in Baden near Vienna
- The pleasure mile in Gumpoldskirchen
- Vienna Woods Austria excursion destinations
- Top hotel in the Vienna Woods
- Learn to cook Austrian food
- Other destinations in the Vienna woods can be found here.
In the surroundings of Schloss Mayerling you can go hiking
- We recommend hiking boots for the hike.
- Practically for traveling is one backpackin which you drink, snack, your picnic Accessories Jacket and store odds and ends.
- A Lunch box with board and other practical things for hiking can be found here.
- Find suitable You need walking shoes for wide feet here
- Check our hiking checklistwhether you have packed everything you need for a hike
Book your accommodation at Schloss Mayerling here
Accommodation options near Schloss Mayerling can be found here:
Do you like to travel by motorhome?
- Campsites in the Mayerling area* you can find here. You can reserve these easily via this link. There you can also have a good time after a day trip Dutch Oven or on the portable grill . You can also find Dutch oven accessories you can also find here.
- Do you want to rent a mobile home? Then you can find information here, for example, and booking options. Or do you prefer to travel with a roof tent on the car? The overnight stay in camping tents is also possible.
- Check our packing list for campers to see whether you have packed everything for your motorhome tour.
- Austria has a comprehensive network of campsites, there are parking spaces in all parts of the country. Outside of camping and parking spaces, you can stay overnight for a maximum of one night. But be careful: there are regional bans (Tyrol, Vienna). Camping Guide for Austria * you can buy it here.
- Why is a folding e-bike useful when camping?
Source: On-site research at the invitation of Wienerwald Tourismus. However, our opinion remains our own.
Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline