The acclaimed 2022 movie Corsage offers an interpretation of several months in the life of Empress Elisabeth (also known as the iconic Sisi). Much of the “action” takes place in the Vienna of 1877/1878, but what locations can you see in the city?
- Hofburg, Schönbrunn, and Marie-Theresien-Platz feature
- Book a Sisi-themed guided tour* of Vienna
- See also:
Where was Corsage filmed?
(The Natural History Museum)
Wonderfully written and directed by Marie Kreutzer and starring Vicky Krieps (astonishingly good as a melancholic 40-year-old Elisabeth), the movie was actually shot in several countries.
In addition to Vienna, other Corsage locations included Schloss Eckartsau and Semmering in Lower Austria, a private chateau in Coincy (France), Ancona on the Italian Adriatic coast, Belgium, and Luxembourg.
We’ve simply matched what we saw on the screen with our local knowledge to identify the three key exterior Vienna locations. All are freely-accessible to the public. Here goes…
(Warning: may contain very minor spoilers.)
Unlike your typical palace, the Hofburg consists of a set of courtyards and extensions that create more of a complex than a single stand-out building.
(Courtyard view of the tract)
A couple of times we see the Innerer Burghof courtyard through a window, for example when Crown Prince Rudolf departs for Prague. The façade we see opposite is the Leopoldinischer tract from the 17th century.
In one scene, you glimpse a statue on the left side of the courtyard. This is part of the large monument to the first Emperor of Austria (Franz I). The Austrian Empire was the predecessor to the Austro-Hungarian Empire that existed at the time of Corsage.
(Only missing a carriage)
Empress Elisabeth arrives or departs once or twice from the small Schweizerhof, a courtyard reached from the Innerer Burghof via the 16th-century Schweizertor (a decorated Renaissance gateway you can just about see at the back and to the right of the photo above).
(Carriages park outside these steps)
The Schweizerhof has bits dating back to the very early 13th-century days of the Hofburg, including a Gothic chapel reached via the outdoor steps we see in the movie.
The courtyard also provides access to the Schatzkammer. This home to the Imperial treasury and crown jewels includes pieces the empress herself wore, as well as (apparently) the key to her coffin.
(The square from ground level)
The aerial view would have been from the Kunsthistorisches Museum opposite, which also gives us a look at the monument to Empress Maria Theresa (actually unveiled around a decade after the events of Corsage).
The unfinished dome of the Naturhistorisches Museum in the film is a nice nod to history, since the building was only formally completed in 1889.
(Schloß Schönbrunn, Wien – the view from the gardens)
And, finally, we have Schönbrunn palace. The gorgeous tourist magnet that is the “summer” palace of the Habsburgs and another home once used by the real Elisabeth.
We see two sets of exterior shots, I believe.
The first set shows Elisabeth and her young daughter on a nocturnal ride through the main gardens behind the palace.
The second has the Empress out riding gain, this time to the east of the gardens in the park. The avenue has a Naiad fountain at its middle and offers a view of the palace at its end. This Obeliskenallee takes its name from the obelisk and grotto feature at the other end.
And that’s all we spotted!