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Famous personalities once and now

"To me this countryside is my nicest and dearest"

from Hugo von Hoffmannsthal

This month we present:
..::: Erzherzog Johann (1782 - 1859) :::..

Erzherzog Johann (1782 - 1859)
Enlarge pictureBild vergrößern

"The prince of Styria"

The Viennese sculptor Franz Weissenberger made the authentic bronze statue,
He finished it in 1856, -3 years before the duke died. It shows Erzherzog Johann in his hunting -outfit, behind him on a tree stump you can see a dead turkey, the booty of the hunt.
The statue used to stand in the park of the so-called "Stadlhof" in Salzburg; it belonged to the baron of Schwarz,until it got moved to Bad Aussee in 1935, where it got solemnly revealed in the presence of four grandchildren of Erzherzog Johann and the famous composer Wilhelm Kienzel.
Erzherzog Johann was born in Florenz on the 20th January 1782. His father was the grand duke from Toskana (later emperor Leopold 1st) and his mother was Maria Ludovika of Bourbon-Parma. One his brothers was emperior Franz 1.
In 1808 Erzherzog Johann came to Bad Aussee for the first time. He showed a lot of interest in the salt-mines, the mountains the culture and tradition of the area and was a passionate hunter. In 1819 he met Anna Plochl, a postmaster's daughter, whom he marred 10years later with the permission of the imperial court.

In 1850 Anna was made countess of Meran, she died 1885 in the house she was born on the Meranplatz (Meran-place). The touching and romantic love story of "The prince and his Nannerl" (Nannerl is a nickname for Anna) became the bases of countless theatre-plays novels, poems, songs and movies.
Erzherzog Johann died on the 11th of May 1859 at the age of 70 in Graz. Initially he was buried at the Mausoleum in Graz, 9 years later his body got transferred to Schenna at Meran.
Erherzog Johann was definitely the most folkloristic duke of the Habsburgs in Austria.
The things he achieved keep him alive in the hearts of lots of Austrians, especially in Styria. He founded several charitable institutions, which still remain, he layed the groundwork for the "Johanneum", supported the economic, scientific and cultural development of Styria, founded the montanistic academy in Leoben in 1840, set up the agriculture model "Brandhof" at the base of the Hochschwab, became representative of the emperor in 1848 and stood up for the freedom of the press and a constitution. In the same year, the national assembly of Frankfurt elected him to be deputy of the emperor.


Erzherzog Johann & Anna Plochl
Enlarge pictureBild vergrößern


Erzherzog Johann rudert Anna Plochl
über den Grundlsee.

Ausschnitt aus einem Aquarell des
Kammermalers von Erzherzog Johann
Matthäus Loder, (1781 - 1828),
der das Bild 1816 gestaltet hat.
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