The riddle of Mayerling

Castle Mayerling

This time we are on the trail of Austrian history, or rather the traces that are still missing today. The small market town of Mayerling in Vienna woods would not be worth mentioning if it weren't for the Mayerling Castle. And this would not be worth any more attention if it hadn't been the scene of one of the greatest unsolved deaths in Austrian history. On January 30, 1889, the Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf von Habsburg was found dead in bed with his 17-year-old lover Mary von Vetsera. The two had retired to the prince's hunting lodge and had died under controversial circumstances to this day.


Garden pavilion in Mayerling Castle
Kronprinz Rudolf gladly took his breakfast in this garden pavilion


Even the reports of the two persons who found the two dead, contradict each other. And so the contradictions continue. It is known that much blood must have flowed when the two died. And now it is clear that a weapon must have been involved and that it is not a natural death. Only who shot and who killed who is still a mystery and it will remain so. Did the imperial family after death disappear evidence and committed to the present day all those who are aware of this. It is also this behavior that has fueled the rumors of betrayal and conspiracy today surrounding the deaths of Crown Prince Rudolf and Mary of Vetsera. Some suspect that secret services - Austrian and foreign - were involved in the death of the two. Others say Rudolf was so depressed that he killed himself and his young lover. Recent research in the environment of Mayerling indicate that the prince was apparently afraid of the intelligence services. And it is rumored that it should have been very loud on the night of the death in the castle. When the villagers arrived there, all the shutters were closed and there was deathly silence over the place.


Guided tour in Mayerling Castle
Rarely have we experienced such an exciting tour as in Schloss Mayerling


This very exciting story is told by our charming tour guide, who in the summer guides interested visitors through the new church, which was built on the site of the former bedroom of the Crown Prince. Where the altar is today stands the bed in which the two dead were found. A scary thought!


The controversial farewell letter from Crown Prince Rudolf © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
The controversial farewell letter from Crown Prince Rudolf


In the side rooms we see the coffin in which Mary was buried by Vetsera. A curious carpenter from the area took him out of the ground again to reconstruct the events - without result. Today, Mary is buried in Heiligenkreuz Abbey, where Crown Prince Rudolf once wanted to be buried with her. This wish was not fulfilled. He lies today in the Capuchin crypt in Vienna next to his parents, Empress Sissi of Austria and Emperor Franz Josef I., buried. The castle itself is now looked after by the Order of Carmelites. Next to the room where Mary's first coffin is exhibited, there is another room that is preserved as it was when the two were here: the controversial farewell letter of the Crown Prince is displayed on the wall. To this day, he is considered one of the indications that it was supposed to have been murder, the Prince has but all his letters with a date. Only on his farewell letter this is missing. Why?


Mayerling Castle at the time of Crown Prince Rudolf
That's what it looked like at Schloss Mayerling at the time of Crown Prince Rudolf


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


More tips for Trips to Savor and Slow Travel you can find under these links. Or do you want more about Palaces & castles experience?

Source: own research on site at the invitation of Wienerwald Tourismus. Our opinion remains our own.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs, TravelWorldOnline

The riddle of Mayerling
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