Elisabeth of Austria
On account of its sunny location, protected from the wind, the Austrian Empress Elisabeth selected Trauttmansdorff Castle for her vacation during the winter months of 1870 and 1889. Altogether she stayed four times in Meran, thereby transforming this small spa town into an internationally renowned resort.
The historical, beautifully restored rooms of the castle that were formerly home to Empress Elisabeth and Emperor Franz Josef I display original objects from the possessions of the Empress.
From the castle balcony, a figure of the Empress, carved by the artist Aron Demetz, cordially welcomes visitors to the castle courtyard. The museum itself contains a faithfully-detailed model of the saloon carriage formerly used by Elisabeth and a reproduction of the imperial bath tub.
The city of Meran also keeps the memory of her stay alive. The Summer Promenade is home to a "Sissi" statue, and "Sissi's Walk" today links Trauttmansdorff Castle to the old town of Meran.
2020 also saw the new publication of a book on the time spent by the Empress in Meran. In his book "Sissi in Meran. Kleine Fluchten einer Kaiserin" (An Empress Flees), rather than just recounting the story of a sovereign who outshone all around her, author Josef Rohrer looks behind the glittering facade: "The book describes the unusual aspects of a role model whose private problems were actually quite commonplace. In the final analysis, she was a human being just like the rest of us."