Leopold Johann of Austria

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Leopold John of Austria (* 13. April 1716 in Vienna , † 4. November 1716 ibid ) was an Archduke of Austria . Leopold Johann was the last male descendant of the House of Habsburg . With his death and the death of his father, the Roman-German Emperor Charles VI. (1685–1740), the Habsburg male line died out completely.


Emperor Charles VI. , the father of Leopold Johann
Empress Elisabeth Christine , the mother of Leopold Johann


Leopold Johann was the only son and the oldest child of Emperor Karl VI. and his wife Empress Elisabeth Christine von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1691–1750). Both were married in April 1708 by means of marriage by proxy in the located near Vienna church Maria Hietzing , where Karl by his brother Joseph was represented. The marriage could only be concluded after Elisabeth Christine had made her commitment to the Roman Catholic Church a year earlier . His paternal grandfather was Emperor Leopold I and his mother's side was Duke Ludwig Rudolf von Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel .

Leopold Johann was the older brother of the three sisters and Archduchesses Maria Theresia (1717–1780), Maria Anna (1718–1744) and Maria Amalia (1724–1730). Maria Theresa entered in 1740, after the death of her father Charles VI. and in accordance with the provisions of the Pragmatic Sanction issued by him , the succession in Austria. With her marriage to Franz Stephan von Lothringen (1708–1765), later crowned Roman-German Emperor , she and her descendants founded the House of Habsburg-Lothringen, which still exists today . This only succeeded, however, after lengthy military conflicts during the War of the Austrian Succession and the loss of the Duchy of Silesia to Prussia and its King Friedrich II.

Birth and baptism

Karl and Elisabeth Christine had been married for seven years when Elisabeth Christine was first diagnosed with pregnancy. Before that, she had to endure numerous aids to make her wish for children come true. She went on pilgrimages to Mariazell , cures in Karlsbad , a wine cure and consulted clairvoyants and astrologers. The matrimonial bedroom was painted with stimulating erotic scenes on the walls and ceiling.

The birth of Leopold Johann on April 13, 1716 at 7:30 p.m. was celebrated with great pomp at the Spanish court ceremony. At the time of birth, Austria, along with the Republic of Venice , was waging war against the Turks . As the future heir to the throne of the Habsburg dynasty, he was awarded the Order of the Golden Fleece when he was born, as his father himself was Grand Master of the order in Austria. The baptism on April 14, 1716 in the knight's hall of the Vienna Hofburg took place with Jordan water from the Holy Land . His names Leopold Johann Anton Joseph Franz de Paula Hermengild Rudolph Ignatius Balthasar point to the Habsburg family tradition and the veneration of saints at that time. The baptism was carried out by the papal nuncio together with the provost of Saint Stephen and the Scottish abbot. The Archbishop of Prague, Franz Ferdinand von Kuenburg , and the Archbishop of Valencia as well as eight other bishops and nine abbots were also present. Godfather was King John V of Portugal , who was married to Maria Anna of Austria , an aunt of Leopold Johann. Johann was represented by the Imperial Field Marshal and Prince Maximilian Wilhelm of Braunschweig and Lüneburg .

On the occasion of the birth, Karl commissioned a valuable medal . The translation of the Latin transcription reads:

“At the beginning of spring they are sent down from the high heaven. Jason with the Golden Fleece is present / The sun, the eye of the world, reached an altitude of 23 ° 56 'on April 13th at 7:30 in the evening. "

A medal created by Georg Wilhelm Vestner was also made by Elisabeth Christine . The important Austrian baroque composer Johann Josef Fux wrote the opera Angelica vincitrice di Alcina to celebrate the birth , which was performed for the first time on September 14, 1716. The stage designer Giuseppe Galli da Bibiena took care of the equipment and set up the stage on two islands in a pond in the Favorita park. In addition to the imperial couple, the court and numerous ambassadors were present at the premiere. Even Georg Philipp Telemann composed the birth of Leopold Johann homage music in Frankfurt was performed in 1716 for the first time. In June 1716, Reinhard Keizer staged the musical pleasure and dance play The Roman April Festival on the occasion of the birth of the heir to the throne . The libretto to wrote Barthold enemy . In addition, numerous printed works appeared in the area of ​​the Holy Roman Empire with homage to the Archduke.

Death and burial

The ailing Leopold Johann died on November 4, 1716 in Vienna after only seven months. The hope that the boy would stay healthy, as there was no close relationship between his mother Elisabeth Christine and the Habsburgs, which was not a matter of course according to the Habsburgs' marriage policy ( loss of ancestry ), was not fulfilled. Emperor Charles VI. was deeply affected, as evidenced by the lack of entries in his diaries from the son's death to the end of 1716.

The funeral was based on the ceremonial from 1668 for the funeral of Archduke Ferdinand Wenzel (1667–1668), the first-born son of Emperor Leopold I. On the morning of November 5, 1716, the corpse was in the presence of the Chief Chamberlain Anton Florian von Liechtenstein , the lady-in-waiting Sabine Christina Countess von Starhemberg, three imperial personal physicians and the personal surgeon Heinrich Cöster opened for conservation . The internal organs and the heart were removed and the body was embalmed. The child's body was then placed on a parade bed in the Antecamera, the virtue hall of the Vienna Hofburg, and consecrated by the court and castle pastors . He wore a flower crown and around his neck the small chain of the Golden Fleece . The large fleece chain and the archduke's hat lay on a silver cushion .

The silver urn with the removed heart and the copper urn with the bowels were brought to St. Stephen's Cathedral in Vienna on the same day and placed in the ducal crypt. In the evening at 11 p.m. the body was consecrated again and taken to the Capuchin Church in Vienna with a large entourage . For the last time the coffin was consecrated and opened in the presence of the chief steward and the chief chamberlain to show the body. Six Capuchin Fathers then brought the coffin into the imperial crypt .

The current sarcophagus of Leopold Johann in the imperial crypt was only built in 1740 according to the instructions of Karl VI. made as a cover for the original coffin. It should be reminiscent of ancient models. Over the ornamented lid lies an ermine coat thrown in folds and on top of it, on a pillow, an archduke hat. The coffin was made of pewter . The long sides are adorned with angels' heads with outspread wings, the coffin itself rests on four bear paws. Presumably it was created by the Salzburg tin caster Hans Georg Lehrl. On the foot part under a crucifix there is a rolled up tablet. The translation, written in Latin , reads:

“Dedicated to Christian posterity. Here lies Leopold, the son of the eminent Emperor Charles VI, in the ashes. and grandson of the great Leopold, Archduke of Austria and Prince of Asturias, whom the heavens only showed the world on April 13, 1716, and, to unspeakable sorrow, withdrew again on November 4 of the same year. Oh! the emperor's pain is easier to guess than to describe in words. "

The title Prince of Asturias mentioned here was a claim title , since Austria lost the Spanish throne with the end of the War of the Spanish Succession and after the provisions of the Peace of Rastatt , but never gave up its claim to it. After the death of their son, as a sign of their piety, the imperial couple donated a baby Jesus in silver to the Mother of God of Mariazell at the place of grace , which corresponded to the weight of the deceased child.


Pedigree of Leopold Johann
Great-great-grandparents Emperor Ferdinand II (1578–1637)

⚭ 1600
Maria Anna of Bavaria (1574–1616)

King Philip III (Spain) (1578-1621)

⚭ 1599
Margaret of Austria (1584–1611)

Count Palatine Wolfgang Wilhelm (Pfalz-Neuburg) (1578–1653)

⚭ 1613
Magdalene of Bavaria (1587–1628)

Landgrave Georg II (Hesse-Darmstadt) (1605–1661)

⚭ 1627
Sophie Eleonore of Saxony (1609–1671)

Prince August II (Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel) (1579–1666)

⚭ 1623
Dorothea of ​​Anhalt-Zerbst (1607–1634)

Duke Friedrich (Schleswig-Holstein-Norburg) (1581–1658)

⚭ 1632
Eleonore von Anhalt-Zerbst (1608–1681)

Count Joachim Ernst of Oettingen-Oettingen (1612–1659)

⚭ 1638
Anna Dorothea von Hohenlohe (1621–1643)

Duke Eberhard III. (Württemberg) (1614–1674)

⚭ 1637
Anna Katharina Dorothea von Salm-Kyrburg (1614–1655)

Great grandparents Emperor Ferdinand III. (1608–1657)

⚭ 1631
Maria Anna of Spain (1606–1646)

Elector Philipp Wilhelm (Palatinate) (1615–1690)

⚭ 1653
Elisabeth Amalie of Hessen-Darmstadt (1635–1709)

Duke Anton Ulrich (Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel) (1633–1714)

⚭ 1656
Elisabeth Juliane von Holstein-Norburg (1634–1704)

Count Albrecht Ernst I of Oettingen-Oettingen (1642–1683)

⚭ 1665
Christine Friederike von Württemberg (1644–1674)

Grandparents Emperor Leopold I (1640–1705)

⚭ 1676
Eleonore Magdalene Therese of the Palatinate (1655–1720)

Duke Ludwig Rudolf (Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel) (1671–1735)

⚭ 1690
Christine Luise von Öttingen (1671–1747)

parents Emperor Charles VI. (1685-1740)

⚭ 1708
Elisabeth Christine of Braunschweig-Wolfenbüttel (1691–1750)

Leopold Johann (* / † 1716)


  • Magdalena Hawlik-van de Water: The beautiful death. Ceremonial structures of the Viennese court at death and burial between 1640 and 1740. Herder, Vienna 1989, ISBN 978-3-210-24945-2 .
  • Magdalena Hawlik-van de Water: The Capuchin Crypt. Burial place of the Habsburgs in Vienna. Pages 129-130, Herder, Vienna 1993, ISBN 978-3-210-25151-6 .
  • Johann Christoph Kolb: The frolockende Augspurg. How such, because of the most happy birth of the most luminous Ertz-Hertzieh and Printzen of Asturias Leopoldi II. His most submissive joy on May 17th, 1716. through various illuminations. Maschenbauer, Augsburg 1716. ( digitized )
  • Kaspar Mändl: Complete Freud Deß listened to Europe. Presented in a jubilation, praise and honor sermon, Zu Unterthänigisten Ehren Deß Durchleuchtigisten Königlichen Printzen, Ertz-Herthaben von Austria and Printzen von Asturien, cc Labhart, Augsburg 1716, ( digitized )
  • Johann Baptist Schönwetter: Description of the happiest delivery of Her Majesty, the governing Kayserin, on April 13th, 1716, and the next day, there, in the Käyserlichen castle, the most splendidly performed baptismal ceremonies of the most illustrious Printzen Leopold, Ertz-Hertz from Austria, and Printzen of Asturias. Adolphi, Freystadt 1716. ( digitized )
  • Detlev Schwennicke (arrangement): European family tables . Volume I./1: The Frankish kings and kings and emperors, tribal dukes and electors, margraves and dukes of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Klostermann, Frankfurt am Main 2005, ISBN 978-3-465-03420-9 .
  • Cölestin Wolfsgruber : The imperial crypt with the Capuchins in Vienna. Alfred Hölder, Vienna 1887. ( digitized )
  • Bey the most desirable fee of the most noble Kayser and Königl. Printzen Leopoldi, Josephi, Josephi, Johannis, Antonii, Francisci De Paula, Hermenegildi, Rudolphi, Ignatii, Balthasaris, Ertz-Hertzogs von Oesterreich. Breslau 1716. ( digitized )

Web links

Individual evidence

  1. a b c Hans Bankl : The sick Habsburgs. Findings and sensitivities of a ruling dynasty. Goldmann, Munich 2005, ISBN 978-3-442-15360-2 , pp. 49-50.
  2. ritter-von-orden-vom-golden-fleece No. 461.
  3. a b c d e Magdalena Hawlik-van de Water: The beautiful death. Ceremonial structures of the Viennese court at death and burial between 1640 and 1740. Herder, Vienna 1989, ISBN 978-3-210-24945-2 , pp. 99–105.
  4. muenzen-ritter.de .
  5. digital.belvedere.at .
  6. aeiou.at .
  7. ^ Wolfgang Hirschmann : Musical festival culture in the political-social and liturgical-religious context. Telemann's Serenata and Church Music for the Birth of Archduke Leopold (Frankfurt 1716). In: Peter Cahn (Ed.): Telemann in Frankfurt. Schott Music, Mainz 2000, ISBN 978-3-7957-1337-9 , pp. 163-195.
  8. ^ Stefan Seitschek, Herbert Hutterer, Gerald Theimer (eds.): 300 years of Karl VI. 1711-1740. Traces of the rule of the last Habsburgs. Accompanying volume for the exhibition. Austrian State Archives, Vienna 2011, p. 18, ( digitized ).
  9. a b Magdalena Hawlik-van de Water: The Capuchin Crypt. Burial place of the Habsburgs in Vienna. Herder, Vienna 1993, ISBN 978-3-210-25151-6 , pp. 129-130.