Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este

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Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este
Maria Ludovica of Austria-Este, empress of Austria.jpg
Empress consort of Austria; Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia
Reign 1808–1816
Born (1787-12-14)14 December 1787
Died 7 April 1816(1816-04-07) (aged 28)
Spouse Francis I of Austria
House House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Father Ferdinand I, Archduke of Austria-Este
Mother Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este

Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este, also known as Maria Ludovika of Modena, (German: Maria Ludovika Beatrix von Modena; 14 December 1787 – 7 April 1816) was the daughter of Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Este (1754–1806) and his wife, Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este (1750–1829). She was a member of the House of Austria-Este, a branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine.


Maria Ludovika was born in Monza, but her family fled from Italy to Austria when Northern Italy was conquered by Napoleon in 1796. This caused her a hostility for Napoleon. In Austria, the Emperor fell in love with her during his visits to her mother.

On 6 January 1808 she married her first cousin Francis I, Emperor of Austria, King of Hungary and Bohemia. They had no children.

The Ludovica Military Academy in Budapest established in 1808 was named after Maria Ludovika who contributed 50,000 Forint for its upkeep from the funds of the Honours list proclaimed at the Coronation in St. Martin's Cathedral, in Pressburg.

She was a great enemy of the French Emperor Napoleon I of France and therefore also in opposition to the Austrian foreign minister Prince Klemens Wenzel von Metternich. The French protested against the marriage because of her political views. Metternich showed her private correspondence with her relatives to her husband, the Emperor Francis I, in the hope that it would miscredit her. She supported the war against Napoleonic France in 1808. From this year, her health deteriorated. She was opposed to the marriage between Napoleon and her step-daughter Marie Louise in 1809. In 1812, she was a reluctant guest to the assembly of German monarchs gathered by Napoleon to celebrate his war against Russia.

She was the hostess of the Vienna congress in 1815. When Napoleon was finally defeated she traveled at the end of the year 1815 to her home country, North Italy, but died of tuberculosis in Verona. She was only 28 years old.[1] She is buried in the Imperial Crypt in Vienna.



  1. ^ Brigitte Hamann: Die Habsburger. 1988, p. 333f.
Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este
Cadet branch of the House of Habsburg-Lorraine
Born: 14 December 1787 Died: 7 April 1816
German royalty
Preceded by
Maria Teresa of the Two Sicilies
Empress of Austria
Succeeded by
Caroline Augusta of Bavaria
Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia1
Notes and references