Monument Monday: Statue of Emperor Francis of Austria

The central
courtyard of Hofburg Palace in Vienna
is the site of an oversized monument dedicated to the memory of the first Emperor
of Austria, Francis I, also known as Francis II, the last Holy Roman Emperor.    

Born in 1768 in
Florence to a
Spanish Mother, Francis was the nephew of Mary Antoinette and had 15 siblings, 4
wives and 13 children.  His daughter
married Napoleon.  As a patriarch of a
loving family the main point of his political testament left for his heir was
“Preserve unity in the family and regard it as one of the highest goods”.

1824-1846 by Italian sculptor Pomeo Marchesi this mammoth bronze monument
portrays Francis in a toga set atop a tall plinth.  The pedestal is octagonal; each side depicts
Science, Trade, Production, Mining, Agriculture, Livestock, Art and War.  On the plinth is inscribed a line from his
will in 1835 which reads “My life is for my peoples”.  His heir, son Ferdinand I erected this
monument and his dedication plague reads: To Emperor Francis I, the pious, the
just, the brave and the peaceful, the Father of the Nation and his illustrious
father, Ferdinand I, Emperor of Austria, 1846. 
On the base are four other statues representing Peace, Might, Faith and
Justice.  The statue depicting Faith is
my favourite.  She is now missing the
star that was on her forehead and the cross she was clasping at her chest.  I love her pose, her expression and the verdigris.  The blue green patina from years of exposure
to the elements is such a striking colour duplicated in the nearby metal domes.

What a
poignant, monument from a son to his father that illustrates his values and
chronicles his life.

Author Bio:
Lyn and Steve are travel bloggers from Perth, Western Australia who married and began to travel at 50.  Travelling to South East Asia in 2011 for their honeymoon, and then they went on to see 16 countries in the next two years.  They have plans on seeing as much of this beautiful world we live in. They blog at

12 Responses

  1. Interesting statue, but I wonder why they don't paint it or clean it. Maybe they think the authenticity will be lost?

    Destination Infinity

  2. Beautiful monument without a doubt! But how did they manage to get married so many times in one lifetime? (Salman Khan should have been born in that era!)

    • That's not new in Indian kingdom too Renuka. In those days, kings do have married many times right? And on a lighter note, Salman is still a romeo who probably doesn't even want to get married I guess!

  3. Interesting statues, all of them. I am sure Italy must be full of such statues. Must make a trip. 🙂

  4. Beautiful statue and lovely write-up!

  5. Hi first time in your blog, nice shots of statues, I would love to visit Austria 😉 I hope someday

  6. Love the photos, and it's always good to know the story behind monuments like these 🙂

  7. I have visited the Hofburg Palace before my us tours with my uncle. Its construction organization is very good. Its art museum collections are good. Visitor can enjoy there good-looking exterior and impressive treasure exposition.

  8. I have visited Australia after completing my first tour of universal studios bus tour we had great fun there. No doubt this is one of most amazing creations I also have seen this fabulous and impressive collection of art. I think this type of art work represents their art, culture, traditions of its time. These are really beautiful.

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