Franz Josef’s sprawling summer residence, the Italianate-style Kaiservilla, was an engagement present for him and his princess-to-be, Elisabeth of Bavaria, from his mother Princess Sophie. Elisabeth, who loathed the villa and her mother-in-law in equal measure, spent little time here, but the emperor came to love it and it became his permanent summer residence for more than 60 years. His mistress, Katharina Schratt, lived nearby in a house chosen for her by the empress.
Tours of the villa give interesting insights into the life of the imperial family here. Objects on display include a death mask of Empress Elisabeth and Franz Josef’s hunting trophies, including the stuffed corpse of the 2000th chamois he shot.