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
Tenure 6 January 1808 – 7 April 1816
Queen consort of Lombardy–Venetia
Tenure 9 June 1815 – 7 April 1816
Born (1787-12-14)14 December 1787
Monza, Duchy of Milan
Died 7 April 1816(1816-04-07) (aged 28)
Verona, Lombardy-Venetia
Spouse Francis I of Austria
House Austria-Este
Father Ferdinand I, Archduke of Austria-Este
Mother Maria Beatrice Ricciarda d'Este
Religion Roman Catholicism

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.

Titles and styles[edit]

  • 14 December 1787 - 11 August 1804: Her Royal Highness Archduchess Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este, Princess of Modena
  • 11 August 1804 - 6 January 1808: Her Imperial and Royal Highness Archduchess Maria Ludovika of Austria-Este, Imperial Princess of Austria, Royal Princess of Hungary and Bohemia, Princess of Modena
  • 6 January 1808 - 7 April 1816: Her Imperial and Royal Apostolic Majesty The Empress of Austria, Queen of Hungary, Croatia and Bohemia



  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