Maria Amalia of Austria

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Maria Amalia of Austria
Maria Amalia of Austriakaiserin.jpg
Holy Roman Empress
Queen of the Germans
Tenure 12 February 1742 – 20 January 1745
Queen consort of Bohemia
Tenure 9 December 1741–1743
Electress of Bavaria
Tenure 26 February 1726 – 20 January 1745
Spouse Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor
Maria Antonia, Electress of Saxony
Princess Theresa Benedicta
Maximilian III, Elector of Bavaria
Maria Anna, Margravine of Baden-Baden
Maria Josepha, Holy Roman Empress
Full name
Maria Amalie Josefa Anna
House House of Hapsburg
Father Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
Mother Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg
Born (1701-10-22)22 October 1701
Hofburg Palace, Vienna, Austria
Died 11 December 1756(1756-12-11) (aged 55)
Nymphenburg Palace, Munich, Germany
Burial Theatine Church
Religion Roman Catholicism

Maria Amalia of Austria (Maria Amalie Josefa Anna; 22 October 1701 – 11 December 1756) was Holy Roman Empress, Queen of the Germans, Queen of Bohemia, Electress and Duchess of Bavaria etc. as the spouse of Charles VII, Holy Roman Emperor. By birth, she was an Archduchess of Austria as the daughter of Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor and Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg.

Maria Amalia had seven children with her husband Charles, only four of whom lived through to adulthood. Her son became Maximilian III, Elector of Bavaria. Her youngest daughter Maria Josepha married the eldest son and heir of Maria Theresa, Emperor Joseph II, but died, childless, of smallpox after two years. Another daughter, Maria Antonia, married her first cousin, Frederick Christian, who was Prince-elector of Saxony for less than three months in 1763. Her middle surviving daughter Maria Anna Josepha Augusta became Margravine of Baden-Baden.


Maria Amalia was born an Archduchess of Austria in Hofburg Palace, Vienna; about eleven weeks after the death of her infant brother Leopold Joseph, her parents' only son. Her mother was unable to conceive more children after Maria Amalia, supposedly because her father had contracted syphilis from one of his mistresses and passed the disease to his wife, rendering the Empress infertile. Maria Amalia's father had a long line of mistresses, both servants and nobles, and several illegitimate children. Her mother Wilhelmine Amalia of Brunswick-Lüneburg was the sister of the Duchess of Modena and a very pious woman.

When Maria Amalia was nine years old, her father died of smallpox and was succeeded as Holy Roman Emperor by his brother Charles VI. Charles ignored a decree signed during the reign of their grandfather Leopold I that gave her and her sister precedence in succession as the daughters of Leopold's eldest son. Instead, he promulgated the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, which replaced Maria Amalia and her sister Maria Josepha with his own daughter Maria Theresa in the line of succession. The displaced archduchesses were not allowed to marry until they renounced their rights to the Austrian succession.


Maria Amalia was proposed as a bride for the Italian Victor Amadeus, Prince of Piedmont, heir to the Kingdom of Sicily and Duchy of Savoy. The union was supposed to create better relations between Savoy and Austria, but the plan was ignored by the reigning Duke of Savoy, Victor Amadeus II. The younger Victor Amadeus subsequently died of smallpox, unmarried, in 1715.

Having agreed to recognise the Pragmatic Sanction, Maria Amalia married Prince-Elector Charles of Bavaria on 5 October 1722 in Munich. The opera I veri amici ("The True Friends") by Tomaso Albinoni was performed at the wedding.[1] They lived at Nymphenburg Palace in Munich and had seven children (her husband also had six illegitimate children). In February 1742, Maria Amalia became Empress of the Holy Roman Empire following her husband's coronation as Holy Roman Emperor.


Maria Amalia's husband died on 20 January 1745 and was buried at the Theatine Church in Munich. On his death, she persuaded her son Maximilian to make peace with her cousin Maria Theresa. She died twelve years later in Munich at the Nymphenburg Palace.

The following anecdote is from the fifth volume of Casanova's History of My Life:

The confessor, who was a Jesuit, received me as badly as possible. He said in passing that my reputation was well known in Munich. I asked him firmly if he was telling me this as good news or bad, and he did not answer. He simply walked away, and a priest told me that he had gone to verify a miracle of which all Munich was talking. "The Empress," he said, "the widow of Charles VII, whose body is still exposed to public view, has warm feet though she is dead." He said that I could go and see the wonder for myself. Most eager to be able to boast at last that I had witnessed a miracle, and one which was of the greatest interest to me since my feet were always icy, I go to see the illustrious corpse, which did indeed have warm feet, but it was because of a hot stove which stood very near her defunct Imperial Majesty.


Name Portrait Birth Death Notes
Maximiliane 1723 Died in infancy
Maria Antonia Walpurgis
Electress of Saxony
Maria Antonia Walpurgis von Sachsen.jpg 18 July 1724 23 April 1780 Married in 1747 Frederick Christian of Saxony, had issue
Theresa Benedicta Theresa Benedikta of Bavaria.jpg 6 December 1725 29 March 1743 Died unmarried
Maximilian III Joseph
Elector of Bavaria
Desmarees workshop Maximilian III of Bavaria.jpg 28 March 1727 30 December 1777 Married in 1747 Maria Anna Sophia of Saxony, no issue
Joseph Ludvig Leo 25 August 1728 2 December 1733 Died in infancy
Maria Anna Josepha
Margravine of Baden-Baden
Maria Anna Josepha of Bavaria, Margravine of Baden-Baden.jpg 7 August 1734 7 May 1776 Married in 1755 Louis George, Margrave of Baden-Baden, no issue
Maria Josepha of Bavaria
Holy Roman Empress
Maria Josepha von Bayern.jpg 30 March 1739 28 May 1767 Married in 1765 the Joseph, King of the Romans, no issue



  1. ^ A new chronology of Venetian opera and related genres, 1660-1760 by Eleanor Selfridge-Field, p. 367

External links[edit]

German royalty
Preceded by
Theresa Kunegunda Sobieska
Electress of Bavaria
Succeeded by
Maria Anna of Saxony
Preceded by
Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick
Holy Roman Empress, German Queen
Succeeded by
Maria Theresa of Austria
Queen consort of Bohemia
Succeeded by
Maria Luisa of Spain