< BARTENDER'S TALES / SISSI'S LAST VOYAGE
On this day in 1898, Empress Elisabeth of Austria, known as Sissi, passed away at the Beau-Rivage Hôtel in Geneva, from wounds inflicted during an assassination attempt.
At 1:30 pm on Saturday, September 10, Elisabeth accompanied by Countess Irma Sztaray left the hotel to catch the steamship Genève for Montreux. While walking along the promenade, Empress was stabbed with a stiletto knife in her chest by the 25-year-old Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni.
Unaware of the severity of her condition, she boarded the boat and just as she arrived on the gangway, she staggered and fainted. Eventually she was taken back to the hotel where
she breathed her last breath.
The tragic death of the Empress triggered sorrow and panic in the entire monarchy and has also became the subject of postcards (shown above). Cross marked on the window awning indicates
the room in which the unfortunate Empress died.
During time, Sissi became a historical icon, highly recognized for her beauty. In 1998, Beau-Rivage and the Sissi Association commemorated the 100th anniversary of the death of Sissi.
A statue sculpted by the British sculptor, Philip Jackson, is erected on the Mont-Blanc rotunda and a major exhibition attracts over 10,000 Sissi fans.