History / On This Day - September 7th. 1573 - Joanna of Austria

Doña Joanna de Austria was born on June 24th. 1535, in Madrid (Spain).
Her parents had been: Charles V, Holy Roman Emperor and his consort
Isabella of Portugal. Joanna's siblings were inter alia King Philip II of Spain
and Maria, Holy Roman Empress.

Joanna of Austria - picture: wikipedia

Joanna had the titles by birth:
- Archduchess of Austria;
- Infanta of Castile and Aragon;
- Princess of Burgundy.

In 1552 she married her first cousin, John of Portugal, who was the
heir of the Portuguese throne. In 1554 Joanna's only child,
Sebastian of Portugal, was born, a couple of weeks after her
husband 's death.

In 1554 Joanna  was called back to Madrid by her brother,
King Philip II of Spain to act as a regent during his absence in
England. She filled this role very well.

Joanna never remarried and never returned to Portugal, so she
never saw her son Sebastian again. However she sent him letters
and he gave her portraits, so she could see what he looked like.

In 1557 Joanna founded the Convent of Our Lady of Consolation
- Spanish: Nuestra Señora de la Consolación. They did not wear
covered shoes , so the nuns only walked barefoot or in sandals.
This is now known as the Convent of Las Descalzas Reales. Due
to Joanna 's affiliation, the convent continued to attract aristocratic
women as nuns. This convent is now a national monument and holds
an art collection.

Joanna of Austria died on September 7th. 1573, at the age of 38,
in El Escorial (Spain).

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