Mayerling Austria – Castle and Tragedy

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Castle Mayerling

The tragedy of Crown Prince Rudolf in Mayerling Castle

This time we are embarking on a journey along the traces of Austrian history, more precisely along those that remain undiscovered to this day. The small market town of Mayerling in the Vienna Woods deserves special mention as it is home to Mayerling Castle. This in turn is an important place as it was the scene of one of the largest unexplained deaths in Austrian history. On January 30, 1889, the Austrian Crown Prince Rudolf von Habsburg was found dead in bed next to his 17-year-old lover Mary von Vetsera. The two had retreated to the prince's hunting lodge and died under circumstances that are still controversial today.


Garden Pavilion Castle Mayerling
Crown Prince Rudolf liked to have his breakfast in this garden pavilion in Mayerling Castle


Contradictions about the deaths of Crown Prince Rudolf and Mary von Vetsera

Even the reports of the two people who found the two dead contradict each other. In addition, the contradictions continue. It is known that a lot of blood must have flowed when the two died. It is now also clear that a weapon must have been involved and that it was not a natural death. However, it remains unclear to this day who shot and who killed whom. The imperial family made evidence disappear after death and, to this day, has sworn those who know about it to secrecy.



This behavior fueled the rumors of treason and conspiracy surrounding the deaths of Crown Prince Rudolf and Mary of Vetsera. Some suspect that secret services - Austrian and foreign - were involved in the deaths of the two. Others think that Rudolf was so depressed that he killed himself and his young lover. Recent research in Mayerling's environment indicates that the prince was apparently afraid of the secret services. It is also rumored that it was said to have been very loud in the castle on the night of death. When the villagers got there, all the shutters were closed and the place was dead quiet.


Exciting stories
Rarely have we experienced such an exciting tour as in Schloss Mayerling


Learn more about it at Mayerling Castle

Our charming guide tells us this most intriguing story as she takes interested summer visitors through the new church that has been built on the site of the Crown Prince's former bedroom. The bed in which the two bodies were found stood where the altar now stands. A scary thought!


Farewell letter from Crown Prince Rudolf
The controversial farewell letter from Crown Prince Rudolf


Mayerling Castle is now a Carmelite monastery

In the side rooms we see the coffin in which Mary of Vetsera was once buried. A curious local carpenter had pulled it back out of the ground to reconstruct the events, but to no avail. Mary is buried today in Heiligenkreuz Abbey, where Crown Prince Rudolf once wanted to be buried with her. However, his wish was not granted. Today he lies in the Capuchin Crypt in Vienna next to his parents, Empress Sissi of Austria and Emperor Franz Josef I.

The castle itself is now in the care of the Carmelite Order. Next to the room where Mary's first coffin is seen, there is another room that has been preserved as it was when the two were there. The crown prince's controversial farewell letter is emblazoned on the wall, which is still considered one of the indications that it was murder. The prince had given all his letters a date, only his farewell letter is missing this. Why?


A room in Mayerling Castle
That's what it looked like at Schloss Mayerling at the time of Crown Prince Rudolf


We leave the castle Mayerling at the edge of the forest with more questions than answers, but with the feeling of having come into direct contact with the history of Austria.


Travel destinations in the Vienna Woods



In the surroundings of Schloss Mayerling you can go hiking

For example, what do you think of a hike on the Via Sacra to Stift Heiligenkreuz?


Book your accommodation at Schloss Mayerling here

Accommodation options near Schloss Mayerling can be found here:


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Castle Mayerling
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More tips for Trips to Savor and Slow Travel you can find them for example under these links. Or do you want more about Palaces & castles experience?

Source: On-site research at the invitation of Wienerwald Tourismus. However, our opinion remains our own.

Text: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Photos: © Copyright Monika Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline
Video: © Copyright Petar Fuchs and TravelWorldOnline

Mayerling Austria – Castle and Tragedy

Monika Fuchs

Monika Fuchs and Petar Fuchs are the authors and publishers of the Slow Travel and Enjoyment travel blog TravelWorldOnline Traveller. You have been publishing this blog since 2005. TravelWorldOnline has been online since 2001. Your topics are Trips to Savor and wine tourism worldwide and Slow Travel. During her studies, Monika Fuchs spent some time in North America, where she traveled to the USA and Canada - sometimes together with Petar Fuchs - and spent a research year in British Columbia. This strengthened her thirst for knowledge, which she pursued for 6 years Adventure Guide for Rotel Tours and then for 11 years as Study tour guide for Studiosus Reisen tried to breastfeed all over the world. She constantly expanded her travel regions, but curiosity still gnawed at her: “What is beyond the horizon? What else is there to discover in this city? Which people are interesting here? What do you eat in this region?” These are the questions she is now trying to answer as a freelance travel journalist (her articles have appeared in DIE ZEIT, 360° Canada, 360° USA, etc.), among others. travel writer and travel blogger answers in many countries around the world. Petar Fuchs produces the videos on this blog as well as on YouTube. Monika Fuchs from TravelWorldOnline is below Germany's top 50 bloggers in 2021 Other Information about Monika and Petar Fuchs. Recommendations on LinkedIn from tourism experts Further recommendations from cooperation partners and tourism experts Professional experience Monika on LinkedIn