Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria (1610–1665)

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Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria
Joachim von Sandrart 008.jpg
Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria
Spouse(s) Maximilian I
Noble family House of Habsburg
Father Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
Mother Maria Anna of Bavaria
Born (1610-01-13)13 January 1610
Died 25 September 1665(1665-09-25) (aged 55)
Religion Roman Catholicism
Portraits of Maria Anna and her husband, Maximilian I

Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria (13 January 1610 – 25 September 1665) (German: Maria Anna von Habsburg, Erzherzogin von Österreich, also known as Maria Anna von Bayern or Maria-Anna, Kurfürstin von Bayern), was Electress of Bavaria as the spouse of Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria. She also served as Regent of Bavaria during the minority of her son (from 1651).


Born in Graz, her parents were Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor of the House of Habsburg and Maria Anna of Bavaria. She married her maternal uncle Maximilian I, Elector of Bavaria on the 15 July 1635 in Vienna.

Maximilian's previous wife, Elisabeth of Lorraine), had died a few months earlier in 1635. Their marriage had been childless; the motivation for his second marriage is assumed to have been to produce an heir. Maria Anna and Maximilian would have two children: Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria (born 1636) and Maximilian Philip (born 1638.)

After Maximilian's death on 27 September 1651, she undertook the regency for their eldest son, Ferdinand Maria, Elector of Bavaria.

Maria Anna is generally described as clever, cautious, energetic, stern, frugal, and experienced in matters of financial administration. In contrast to the Elector's first wife, Maria Anna was very interested in politics and well instructed about developments. She was not bound to the Habsburgs, but rather completely advocated the Bavarian standpoint. Additionally, she conducted lively exchanges of opinion with high officials of the Munich court and took part in meetings of the cabinet.

She died in Munich on 25 September 1665.


In literature[edit]

Maria Anna is a central character in the novel, 1634: The Bavarian Crisis (Eric Flint & Virginia DeMarce. Baen Books.) She escaped marriage to Maximilian and escaped to her cousin, Don Fernando who had declared himself "King in the Low Countries".


Archduchess Maria Anna of Austria (1610–1665)
Born: 13 January 1610 Died: 25 September 1665
Preceded by
Elisabeth of Lorraine
Electress of Bavaria
Succeeded by
Henriette Adelaide of Savoy
Preceded by
Elisabeth of Lorraine
Electress Palatine
Succeeded by
Charlotte of Hesse-Kassel