The Imperial Rooms of Empress Sisi at Museo Correr

by Elena Brunello

Live the elegant dream of Empress Sisi of Austria in Venice. Museo Correr inaugurated an itinerary through the former Imperial Apartments of the Hapsburgs. Nine rooms decorated as the headquarter of the Lombardy Venetia kingdom.

There is a particular, slightly off-the-beaten-track and hidden itinerary at Museo Correr in sestiere San Marco: an itinerary, open to the public in July 2012, that explores the Imperial Apartments of Empress Elisabeth of Austria, also known to the most as the beautiful and charming Princess Sisi.

Venice is often known as the gateway to the East. The Royal House of the Hapsburg, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, the Turks, the Reign of Serbia: this city has a charm of its own, blending elements from the cold plains of Hungary, the freezing peaks of Austria, the exotic manners of the Turks and Slavic People, and, of course, the Mediterranean culture. The Fondazione Musei Civici di Venezia, the Ministry of Cultural Heritage, and the Comité Francais Pour la Sauvegarde de Venise, have undertaken a complex project of restoration of nine rooms that once belonged to young Empress Sisi.


The decoration of these spaces goes back to the Hapsburg period, with some valuable elements dating to the Napoleonic Age. Young sovereigns Franz Joseph and Elisabeth “Sisi” of Austria spent a short time in these rooms, which were at the time the Venetian headquarters of the Kingdom of Lombardy-Venetia. A big Throne Room hosts decorations that refer to the two coats of arms of the Lombard-Venetia kingdom (the Snake from the Milanese Visconti family and the Lion of Saint Mark). The same room is decorated with elegant original imperial furniture and a huge glass chandelier with multicoloured flowers from Murano, the Venetian island of glass making. The Audience Room was the place where Sisi used to receive individuals or small groups of people during her stay in Venice and it is one of the last public rooms. The Empress’ Study was used by Sisi as a private room for reading and writing, a more intimate room with a Murano glass chandelier hanging from the ceiling as a Venetian response to the Bohemian crystal chandeliers that were so fashionable at the time among aristocrats. Stuccoes, gold decorations, shining micro-crystals, and flowers such as lilies and corn (among Sisi’s favorite) embellish The Empress’ Boudoir: her small dressing room. A beautiful column-shaped majolica stove adorns and used to heat Empress Sisi’s Bed Chamber, as there was no fireplace.

The Oval Neoclassical Room served for the imperial couple to have their meals here: on the ceiling, an umbrella vault is embellished with decorations inspired to Pompeii frescoes with figures of Neptune, Juno, Apis, and Apollo. This was the junction room between the “public rooms” overlooking Saint Mark and the couple’s “private rooms” overlooking the gardens and the Basin. A balcony, located in the Antechamber of the apartments, offers a breathtaking view of the Royal Gardens, facing the Basin of Saint Mark and the island of San Giorgio. Plunge into the Austro-Hungarian dream surrounded by the Venetian beautiful monuments of the area. Plunge into the Austro-Hungarian dream surrounded by the Venetian beautiful monuments of the area.

A scene from the famous movie 'Sissi', by Ernst Marischka, starring Romy Schneider as Sissi
A scene from the famous movie 'Sissi', by Ernst Marischka, starring Romy Schneider as Sissi



Open every day 10am-5pm



Single ticket to the Museums of St. Mark’s Square, valid for Palazzo Ducale, Museo Correr, National Archeological Museum, Monumental Rooms of the Biblioteca Nazionale Marciana.

Full ticket: 18 euros

Concessions: 11 euros

Correr Museum

Saint Mark’s Square, Venice

Sestiere San Marco

WATER BOAT: Vaporetto lines 1 (Vallaresso or San Zaccaria stop),  2 (Giardinetti stop), 5.1 / 5.2 / 4.1 (San Zaccaria stop)

PHONE: 848082000


GPS: 45.4565786,12.354788

Related Articles