She was born on 18 November 1630 in Mantua. On 30 April 1651 in Vienna, she married the Emperor Ferdinand III, thus becoming Empress of the Holy Roman Empire. She died in Vienna, surviving her husband by 29 years.
She bore Ferdinand four children, two of whom survived into adulthood:
Theresa Maria Josepha, Archduchess of Austria (27 March 1652 – 26 July 1653)
Eleanor is described as cultivated and religious. She protected and developed the cultural establishment in Vienna : she wrote Italian poems, founded a literary academy and despite her strict personal Catholicism, she did not discriminate against Protestant writers. She continued to play a very important part of the court also as a Dowager Empress after 1657, was active as a patron of culture, arranging ballets and festivals. She had the imperial palace, the Hofburg, expanded. She was also active in religion and founded several convents, such as an Ursuline convent in Vienna (1663). She founded the orders Sklavinnen der Tugend for noble ladies (1662) and served as Kaiserin of the Sternkreuzorden, the "Order of the Starry Cross" (1668).
* also an infanta of Spain by marriage
** also a princess of Tuscany by marriage
*** also a princess of Modena by marriage
^also an archduchess of Austria in her own right
^^did not have a royal or noble title by birth