Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria (Marianna in the family) was born
on October 6th. 1738 at the Hofburg Palace in Vienna.
Archduchess Maria Anna was the daughter of Francis I,
Holy Roman Emperor and Maria Theresa of Austria.
She was thus the sister of inter alia:
Holy Roman Emperor Joseph II
Holy Roman Emperor Leopold II
Queen Marie Antoinette of France ...
Maria Anna and her mother became Francis I's favorite child but
she didn't get well on with her mother.
She received a customary education of the princely courts at that time.
Maria Anna was highly intelligent but physically disable. She suffered
from a bad health and the drafty, cold rooms of the Hofburg Palace
A turning point
In July 1765 the Imperial family traveled to Innsbruck for the wedding of
Leopold. They stopped in Klagenfurt. There Maria Anna visited a small
monastery that belonged to the Order of Saint Elisabeth (established in
The meeting with the sisters was a turning point in Maria Anna's life.
She became enthusiastic for the monastic life because the nuns didn't
care about appearances.
On August 18th. 1765 Emperor Francis I died. Maria Anna was
In 1766 Maria Anna was made Abbess of the Imperial and Royal
Convent for Noble Ladies in Prague.
However she decided to become an abbess in Klagenfurt. A
palace for her was built near the monastery as her residence.
This was completed in 1771.
She finished her father's coin collection (now in the Vienna
Museum for Natural History) and she financed social projects,
archaeological exhumations, artists and scientists.
Maria Anna also wrote a book about her mother's politics.
Her watercolors and drawings were praised in the
professional world. She was made an honorary member of
The Academy of Fine Arts Vienna in 1767 and elected member
of the Accademia di Belle Arti di Firenze in 1767.
On November 29th. 1780, Empress Maria Theresa died and
Maria Anna moved permanently to Klagenfurt.
Before Marie Antoinette traveled to Versailles in 1770 she
stayed at Klagenfurt for one night.
In the winter of 1788, Maria Anna's health declined.
She died on November 19th. 1789 in the presence of her
Source pictures: Wikipedia
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