Palais Kinsky is a Baroque palace in central Vienna, Austria. It was built for Count Wirich Philipp von Daun, the garrison commander whose son Leopold became a Field Marshal of Empress Maria Theresa; the palace was bought by the Kinsky family of Bohemia, it is sometimes called the Palais Daun-Kinsky. The palace was commissioned by Count Wirich Philipp von Daun, construction started in 1713 under the direction of architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt. Prince Józef Poniatowski, a Polish general and Marshal of France, was born in the palace on 7 May 1763; the palace has a yellow and white façade, a richly decorated staircase with frescoed ceilings and statues. In 1784, it was sold to the noble Kinsky family. Matilde Kinsky inherited the Palace and married an Argentine: Mr. Martinez de Hoz; the Palais became the Argentine embassy for a decade in the 60´s Palais Kinsky underwent renovation in the late 1990s and was restored to its earlier design. The rooms have Baroque frescoed ceilings and expensive parquet floors.
The palace is used for auction events and receptions, it houses shops and a restaurant named Freyung 4. It was used for the final-status negotiations between Serbian and Kosovo Albanians in EU-sponsored negotiations. Wilhelm G. Rizzi, Hellmut Lorenz, Wolfgang Prohaska, Amisola AG. Palais Daun-Kinsky - Wien, Freyung. Johann Lehner GmbH Verlagsbüro, Vienna. 2001. ISBN 3-901749-22-5 Media related to Palais Kinsky at Wikimedia Commons Palais Events Veranstaltungen - Palais Kinsky Auktionshaus im Kinsky - auction house
Vienna is the federal capital and largest city of Austria, one of the nine states of Austria. Vienna is Austria's primate city, with a population of about 1.9 million, its cultural and political centre. It is the 7th-largest city by population within city limits in the European Union; until the beginning of the 20th century, it was the largest German-speaking city in the world, before the splitting of the Austro-Hungarian Empire in World War I, the city had 2 million inhabitants. Today, it has the second largest number of German speakers after Berlin. Vienna is host to many major international organizations, including the United Nations and OPEC; the city is located in the eastern part of Austria and is close to the borders of the Czech Republic and Hungary. These regions work together in a European Centrope border region. Along with nearby Bratislava, Vienna forms a metropolitan region with 3 million inhabitants. In 2001, the city centre was designated a UNESCO World Heritage Site. In July 2017 it was moved to the list of World Heritage in Danger.
Apart from being regarded as the City of Music because of its musical legacy, Vienna is said to be "The City of Dreams" because it was home to the world's first psychoanalyst – Sigmund Freud. The city's roots lie in early Celtic and Roman settlements that transformed into a Medieval and Baroque city, the capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, it is well known for having played an essential role as a leading European music centre, from the great age of Viennese Classicism through the early part of the 20th century. The historic centre of Vienna is rich in architectural ensembles, including Baroque castles and gardens, the late-19th-century Ringstraße lined with grand buildings and parks. Vienna is known for its high quality of life. In a 2005 study of 127 world cities, the Economist Intelligence Unit ranked the city first for the world's most liveable cities. Between 2011 and 2015, Vienna was ranked second, behind Melbourne. In 2018, it replaced Melbourne as the number one spot. For ten consecutive years, the human-resource-consulting firm Mercer ranked Vienna first in its annual "Quality of Living" survey of hundreds of cities around the world.
Monocle's 2015 "Quality of Life Survey" ranked Vienna second on a list of the top 25 cities in the world "to make a base within."The UN-Habitat classified Vienna as the most prosperous city in the world in 2012/2013. The city was ranked 1st globally for its culture of innovation in 2007 and 2008, sixth globally in the 2014 Innovation Cities Index, which analyzed 162 indicators in covering three areas: culture and markets. Vienna hosts urban planning conferences and is used as a case study by urban planners. Between 2005 and 2010, Vienna was the world's number-one destination for international congresses and conventions, it attracts over 6.8 million tourists a year. The English name Vienna is borrowed from the homonymous Italian version of the city's name or the French Vienne; the etymology of the city's name is still subject to scholarly dispute. Some claim that the name comes from Vedunia, meaning "forest stream", which subsequently produced the Old High German Uuenia, the New High German Wien and its dialectal variant Wean.
Others believe that the name comes from the Roman settlement name of Celtic extraction Vindobona meaning "fair village, white settlement" from Celtic roots, vindo-, meaning "bright" or "fair" – as in the Irish fionn and the Welsh gwyn –, -bona "village, settlement". The Celtic word Vindos may reflect a widespread prehistorical cult of a Celtic God. A variant of this Celtic name could be preserved in the Czech and Polish names of the city and in that of the city's district Wieden; the name of the city in Hungarian, Serbo-Croatian and Ottoman Turkish has a different Slavonic origin, referred to an Avar fort in the area. Slovene-speakers call the city Dunaj, which in other Central European Slavic languages means the Danube River, on which the city stands. Evidence has been found of continuous habitation in the Vienna area since 500 BC, when Celts settled the site on the Danube River. In 15 BC the Romans fortified the frontier city they called Vindobona to guard the empire against Germanic tribes to the north.
Close ties with other Celtic peoples continued through the ages. The Irish monk Saint Colman is buried in Melk Abbey and Saint Fergil served as Bishop of Salzburg for forty years. Irish Benedictines founded twelfth-century monastic settlements. Evidence of these ties persists in the form of Vienna's great Schottenstift monastery, once home to many Irish monks. In 976 Leopold I of Babenberg became count of the Eastern March, a 60-mile district centering on the Danube on the eastern frontier of Bavaria; this initial district grew into the duchy of Austria. Each succeeding Babenberg ruler expanded the march east along the Danube encompassing Vienna and the lands east. In 1145 Duke Henry II Jasomirgott moved the Babenberg family residence from Klosterneuburg in Lower Austria to Vienna. From that time, Vienna remained the center of the Babenberg dynasty. In 1440 Vienna became the resident city of the Habsburg dynasty, it grew to become the de facto capital of the Holy Roman Empire in 1437 and a cultural centre for arts and science and fine cuisine.
Hungary occupied the city between 1485 and 1490. In the 16th and 1
The Baroque is a ornate and extravagant style of architecture, painting and other arts that flourished in Europe from the early 17th until the mid-18th century. It preceded the Rococo and Neoclassical styles, it was encouraged by the Catholic Church as a means to counter the simplicity and austerity of Protestant architecture and music, though Lutheran Baroque art developed in parts of Europe as well. The Baroque style used contrast, exuberant detail, deep colour and surprise to achieve a sense of awe; the style began at the start of the 17th century in Rome spread to France, northern Italy and Portugal to Austria and southern Germany. By the 1730s, it had evolved into an more flamboyant style, called rocaille or Rococo, which appeared in France and central Europe until the mid to late 18th century; the English word baroque comes directly from the French, may have been adapted from the Portuguese term barroco, a flawed pearl. Both words are related to the Spanish term berruca; the term did not describe a style of music or art.
Prior to the 18th century, the French baroque and Portuguese barroco were terms related to jewelry, An example from 1531 uses the term to describe pearls in an inventory of Charles V's treasures. The word appears in a 1694 edition of Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française, which describes baroque as "only used for pearls that are imperfectly round." A 1728 Portuguese dictionary describes barroco as relating to a "coarse and uneven pearl."The French term for the artistic style may have had roots in the medieval Latin word baroco, a philosophical term, invented in the 13th century by scholastics to describe a complicated type of syllogism, or logical argument. In the 16th century the philosopher Michel de Montaigne associated the term'baroco' with "Bizarre and uselessly complicated." In the 18th century, the term was used to describe music, was not flattering. In an anonymous satirical review of the première of Jean-Philippe Rameau's Hippolyte et Aricie in October 1733, printed in the Mercure de France in May 1734, the critic wrote that the novelty in this opera was "du barocque", complaining that the music lacked coherent melody, was unsparing with dissonances changed key and meter, speedily ran through every compositional device.
In 1762, Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française wrote that the term could be used figuratively to describe something "irregular, bizarre or unequal."Jean-Jacques Rousseau, a musician and composer as well as philosopher, wrote in 1768 in the Encyclopédie: "Baroque music is that in which the harmony is confused, loaded with modulations and dissonances. The singing is harsh and unnatural, the intonation difficult, the movement limited, it appears that term comes from the word'baroco' used by logicians."In 1788, the term was defined by Quatremère de Quincy in the Encyclopédie Méthodique as "an architectural style, adorned and tormented". The terms "style baroque" and "musique baroque" appeared in Le Dictionnaire de l'Académie Française in 1835. By the mid-19th century, art critics and historians had adopted the term as a way to ridicule post-Renaissance art; this was the sense of the word as used in 1855 by the leading art historian Jacob Burkhardt, who wrote that baroque artists "despised and abused detail" because they lacked "respect for tradition."Alternatively, a derivation from the name of the Italian painter Federico Barocci has been suggested.
In 1888, the art historian Heinrich Wölfflin published the first serious academic work on the style, Renaissance und Barock, which described the differences between the painting and architecture of the Renaissance and the Baroque. The Baroque style of architecture was a result of doctrines adopted by the Catholic Church at the Council of Trent in 1545–63, in response to the Protestant Reformation; the first phase of the Counter-Reformation had imposed a severe, academic style on religious architecture, which had appealed to intellectuals but not the mass of churchgoers. The Council of Trent decided instead to appeal to a more popular audience, declared that the arts should communicate religious themes with direct and emotional involvement. Lutheran Baroque art developed as a confessional marker of identity, in response to the Great Iconoclasm of Calvinists. Baroque churches were designed with a large central space, where the worshippers could be close to the altar, with a dome or cupola high overhead, allowing light to illuminate the church below.
The dome was one of the central symbolic features of baroque architecture illustrating the union between the heavens and the earth, The inside of the cupola was lavishly decorated with paintings of angels and saints, with stucco statuettes of angels, giving the impression to those below of looking up at heaven. Another feature of baroque churches are the quadratura. Quadratura paintings of Atlantes below the cornices appear to be supporting the ceiling of the church. Unlike the painted ceilings of Michelangelo in the Sistine Chapel, which combined different scenes, each with its own perspective, to be looked at one at a time, the Baroque ceiling paintings were created so the viewer on the floor of the church would see the entire ceiling in correct perspective, as if the figures were real; the interiors of baroque churches became more and more ornate in the High Baroque, an
The Prince-electors of the Holy Roman Empire, or Electors for short, were the members of the electoral college that elected the Holy Roman Emperor. From the 13th century onwards, the Prince-Electors had the privilege of electing the Holy Roman Emperor who would receive the Papal coronation after assuming the titles of King in Germany and King of Italy. Charles V was the last to be a crowned Emperor. In practice, every emperor from 1440 onwards came from the Austrian House of Habsburg, the Electors ratified the Habsburg succession; the dignity of Elector carried great prestige and was considered to be second only to that of King or Emperor. The Electors had exclusive privileges that were not shared with the other princes of the Empire, they continued to hold their original titles alongside that of Elector; the heir apparent to a secular prince-elector was known as an electoral prince. The German element Kur- is based on the Middle High German irregular verb kiesen and is related etymologically to the English word choose.
In English, the "s"/"r" mix in the Germanic verb conjugation has been regularized to "s" throughout, while German retains the r in Kur-. There is a modern German verb küren which means'to choose' in a ceremonial sense. Fürst is German for'prince', but while the German language distinguishes between the head of a principality and the son of a monarch, English uses prince for both concepts. Fürst itself is related to English first and is thus the'foremost' person in his realm. Note that'prince' derives from Latin princeps, which carried the same meaning. Electors were reichsstände, they were, until the 18th century entitled to be addressed with the title Durchlaucht. In 1742, the electors became entitled to the superlative Durchläuchtigste, while other princes were promoted to Durchlaucht; as Imperial Estates, the electors enjoyed all the privileges of the other princes enjoying that status, including the right to enter into alliances, autonomy in relation to dynastic affairs and precedence over other subjects.
The Golden Bull had granted them the Privilegium de non appellando, which prevented their subjects from lodging an appeal to a higher Imperial court. However, while this privilege, some others, were automatically granted to Electors, they were not exclusive to them and many of the larger Imperial Estates were to be individually granted some or all those rights and privileges; the electors, like the other princes ruling States of the Empire, were members of the Imperial Diet, divided into three collegia: the Council of Electors, the Council of Princes, the Council of Cities. In addition to being members of the Council of Electors, several lay electors were therefore members of the Council of Princes as well by virtue of other territories they possessed. In many cases, the lay electors ruled numerous States of the Empire, therefore held several votes in the Council of Princes. In 1792, the King of Bohemia held three votes, the Elector of Bavaria six votes, the Elector of Brandenburg eight votes, the Elector of Hanover six votes.
Thus, of the hundred votes in the Council of Princes in 1792, twenty-three belonged to electors. The lay electors therefore exercised considerable influence, being members of the small Council of Electors and holding a significant number of votes in the Council of Princes; the assent of both bodies was required for important decisions affecting the structure of the Empire, such as the creation of new electorates or States of the Empire. In addition to voting by colleges or councils, the Imperial Diet voted on religious lines, as provided for by the Peace of Westphalia; the Archbishop of Mainz presided over the Catholic body, or corpus catholicorum, while the Elector of Saxony presided over the Protestant body, or corpus evangelicorum. The division into religious bodies was on the basis of the official religion of the state, not of its rulers, thus when the Electors of Saxony were Catholics during the eighteenth century, they continued to preside over the corpus evangelicorum, since the state of Saxony was Protestant.
The electors were summoned by the Archbishop of Mainz within one month of an Emperor's death, met within three months of being summoned. During the interregnum, imperial power was exercised by two imperial vicars; each vicar, in the words of the Golden Bull, was "the administrator of the empire itself, with the power of passing judgments, of presenting to ecclesiastical benefices, of collecting returns and revenues and investing with fiefs, of receiving oaths of fealty for and in the name of the holy empire". The Elector of Saxony was vicar in areas operating under Saxon law, while the Elector Palatine was vicar in the remainder of the Empire; the Elector of Bavaria replaced the Elector Palatine in 1623, but when the latter was granted a new electorate in 1648, there was a dispute between the two as to, vicar. In 1659, both purported to act as vicar; the two electors made a pact to act as joint vicars, but the Imperial Diet rejected the agreement. In 1711, while the Elector
Budapest is the capital and the most populous city of Hungary, the tenth-largest city in the European Union by population within city limits. The city had an estimated population of 1,752,704 in 2016 distributed over a land area of about 525 square kilometres. Budapest is both a city and county, forms the centre of the Budapest metropolitan area, which has an area of 7,626 square kilometres and a population of 3,303,786, comprising 33 percent of the population of Hungary; the history of Budapest began when an early Celtic settlement transformed into the Roman town of Aquincum, the capital of Lower Pannonia. The Hungarians arrived in the territory in the late 9th century; the area was pillaged by the Mongols in 1241. Buda, the settlements on the west bank of the river, became one of the centres of Renaissance humanist culture by the 15th century; the Battle of Mohács in 1526 was followed by nearly 150 years of Ottoman rule. After the reconquest of Buda in 1686, the region entered a new age of prosperity.
Pest-Buda became a global city with the unification of Buda, Óbuda, Pest on 17 November 1873, with the name'Budapest' given to the new capital. Budapest became the co-capital of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, a great power that dissolved in 1918, following World War I; the city was the focal point of the Hungarian Revolution of 1848, the Battle of Budapest in 1945, the Hungarian Revolution of 1956. Budapest is an Alpha − global city with strengths in commerce, media, fashion, technology and entertainment, it is Hungary's financial centre and the highest ranked Central and Eastern European city on Innovation Cities Top 100 index, as well ranked as the second fastest-developing urban economy in Europe. Budapest is the headquarters of the European Institute of Innovation and Technology, the European Police College and the first foreign office of the China Investment Promotion Agency. Over 40 colleges and universities are located in Budapest, including the Eötvös Loránd University, the Semmelweis University and the Budapest University of Technology and Economics.
Opened in 1896, the city's subway system, the Budapest Metro, serves 1.27 million, while the Budapest Tram Network serves 1.08 million passengers daily. Budapest is cited as one of the most beautiful cities in Europe, ranked as "the world's second best city" by Condé Nast Traveler, "Europe's 7th most idyllic place to live" by Forbes. Among Budapest's important museums and cultural institutions is the Museum of Fine Arts. Further famous cultural institutions are the Hungarian National Museum, House of Terror, Franz Liszt Academy of Music, Hungarian State Opera House and National Széchényi Library; the central area of the city along the Danube River is classified as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and has many notable monuments, including the Hungarian Parliament, Buda Castle, Fisherman's Bastion, Gresham Palace, Széchenyi Chain Bridge, Matthias Church and the Liberty Statue. Other famous landmarks include Andrássy Avenue, St. Stephen's Basilica, Heroes' Square, the Great Market Hall, the Nyugati Railway Station built by the Eiffel Company of Paris in 1877 and the second-oldest metro line in the world, the Millennium Underground Railway.
The city has around 80 geothermal springs, the largest thermal water cave system, second largest synagogue, third largest Parliament building in the world. Budapest attracts 4.4 million international tourists per year, making it a popular destination in Europe. The separate towns of Buda, Óbuda, Pest were in 1873 unified and given the new name Budapest. Before this, the towns together had sometimes been referred to colloquially as "Pest-Buda". Pest has been sometimes used colloquially as a shortened name for Budapest. All varieties of English pronounce the -s- as in the English word pest; the -u in Buda- is pronounced either /u/ like food or /ju/ like cue. In Hungarian, the -s- is pronounced /ʃ/ as in wash; the origins of the names "Buda" and "Pest" are obscure. The first name comes from: Buda was the name of the first constable of the fortress built on the Castle Hill in the 11th century or a derivative of Bod or Bud, a personal name of Turkic origin, meaning'twig'. or a Slavic personal name, the short form of Budimír, Budivoj.
Linguistically, however, a German origin through the Slavic derivative вода is not possible, there is no certainty that a Turkic word comes from the word buta ~ buda'branch, twig'. According to a legend recorded in chronicles from the Middle Ages, "Buda" comes from the name of its founder, brother of Hunnic ruler Attila. There are several theories about Pest. One states that the name derives from Roman times, since there was a local fortress called by Ptolemaios "Pession". Another has it that Pest originates in the Slavic word for пещера, or peštera. A third cites pešt, referencing a cave where fires burned or a limekiln; the first settlement on the territory of Budapest was built by Celts before 1 AD. It was occupied by the Romans; the Roman settlement – Aquincum – became the main city of Pannonia Inferior in 106 AD. At first it was a military settlement, the city rose around it, making it the focal point of the city's commercial life. Today this area corresponds to the Óbuda district within Budapest.
The Romans constructed roads, amphitheaters and houses with heated floors in this fortified military camp. The Roman city of Aquincum is the best-conserved of the Roman sites in Hungary; the archaeological site was turned into a museum with open-air sections. The Magyar tribes led by Árpád, forc
Turin is a city and an important business and cultural centre in northern Italy. It is the capital city of the Metropolitan City of Turin and of the Piedmont region, was the first capital city of Italy from 1861 to 1865; the city is located on the western bank of the Po River, in front of Susa Valley, is surrounded by the western Alpine arch and Superga Hill. The population of the city proper is 878,074 while the population of the urban area is estimated by Eurostat to be 1.7 million inhabitants. The Turin metropolitan area is estimated by the OECD to have a population of 2.2 million. The city has a rich culture and history, being known for its numerous art galleries, churches, opera houses, parks, theatres, libraries and other venues. Turin is well known for its Renaissance, Rococo, Neo-classical, Art Nouveau architecture. Many of Turin's public squares, castles and elegant palazzi such as the Palazzo Madama, were built between the 16th and 18th centuries. A part of the historical center of Turin was inscribed in the World Heritage List under the name Residences of the Royal House of Savoy.
The city used to be a major European political center. From 1563, it was the capital of the Duchy of Savoy of the Kingdom of Sardinia ruled by the Royal House of Savoy, the first capital of the unified Italy from 1861 to 1865. Turin is sometimes called "the cradle of Italian liberty" for having been the birthplace and home of notable individuals who contributed to the Risorgimento, such as Cavour; the city hosts some of Italy's best universities, academies and gymnasia, such as the University of Turin, founded in the 15th century, the Turin Polytechnic. In addition, the city is home to museums such as the Mole Antonelliana. Turin's attractions make it one of the world's top 250 tourist destinations and the tenth most visited city in Italy in 2008. Though much of its political significance and importance had been lost by World War II, Turin became a major European crossroad for industry and trade, is part of the famous "industrial triangle" along with Milan and Genoa. Turin is ranked third after Milan and Rome, for economic strength.
With a GDP of $58 billion, Turin is the world's 78th richest city by purchasing power. As of 2018, the city has been ranked by GaWC as a Gamma World city. Turin is home to much of the Italian automotive industry. Turin is well known as the home of the Shroud of Turin, the football teams Juventus F. C. and Torino F. C. the headquarters of automobile manufacturers Fiat and Alfa Romeo, as host of the 2006 Winter Olympics. The Taurini were an ancient Celto-Ligurian Alpine people, who occupied the upper valley of the Po River, in the center of modern Piedmont. In 218 BC, they were attacked by Hannibal as he was allied with their long-standing enemies, the Insubres; the Taurini chief town was captured by Hannibal's forces after a three-day siege. As a people they are mentioned in history, it is believed that a Roman colony was established in 9 BC under the name of Julia Augusta Taurinorum. Both Livy and Strabo mention the Taurini's country as including one of the passes of the Alps, which points to a wider use of the name in earlier times.
In the 1st century BC, the Romans founded Augusta Taurinorum. The typical Roman street grid can still be seen in the modern city in the neighborhood known as the Quadrilatero Romano. Via Garibaldi traces the exact path of the Roman city's decumanus which began at the Porta Decumani incorporated into the Castello or Palazzo Madama; the Porta Palatina, on the north side of the current city centre, is still preserved in a park near the Cathedral. Remains of the Roman-period theater are preserved in the area of the Manica Nuova. Turin reached about 5,000 inhabitants at all living inside the high city walls. After the fall of the Western Roman Empire, the town was conquered by the Heruli and the Ostrogoths, recaptured by the Romans, but conquered again by the Lombards and the Franks of Charlemagne; the Contea di Torino was founded in the 940s and was held by the Arduinic dynasty until 1050. After the marriage of Adelaide of Susa with Humbert Biancamano's son Otto, the family of the Counts of Savoy gained control.
While the title of count was held by the Bishop as count of Turin it was ruled as a prince-bishopric by the Bishops. In 1230–1235 it was a lordship under the Marquess of Montferrat, styled Lord of Turin. At the end of the 13th century, when it was annexed to the Duchy of Savoy, the city had 20,000 inhabitants. Many of the gardens and palaces were built in the 15th century; the University of Turin was founded during this period. Emmanuel Philibert known under the nickname of Iron Head, made Turin the capital of the Duchy of Savoy in 1563. Piazza Reale and Via Nuova were added along with the first enlargement of the walls, in the first half of the 17th century. In the second half of that century, a second enlargement of the walls was planned and executed, with the building of the arcaded Via Po, connecting Piazza Castello with the bridge on the Po through the regular street grid. In 1706, during the Battle of Turin, the French besieged the city for 117 days without conquering it. By the Treaty of Utrecht the Duke of Savoy acquir
Prince Eugene of Savoy
Prince Eugene of Savoy was a general of the Imperial Army and statesman of the Holy Roman Empire and the Archduchy of Austria and one of the most successful military commanders in modern European history, rising to the highest offices of state at the Imperial court in Vienna. Born in Paris, Eugene grew up around the court of King Louis XIV of France. Based on his poor physique and bearing, the Prince was prepared for a clerical career, but by the age of 19 he had determined on a military career. Following a scandal involving his mother Olympe, he was rejected by Louis XIV for service in the French army. Eugene transferred his loyalty to the Habsburg Monarchy. Spanning six decades, Eugene served three Holy Roman Emperors: Leopold I, Joseph I, Charles VI, he first saw action against the Ottoman Turks at the Siege of Vienna in 1683 and the subsequent War of the Holy League, before serving in the Nine Years' War, fighting alongside his cousin, the Duke of Savoy. However, the Prince's fame was secured with his decisive victory against the Ottomans at the Battle of Zenta in 1697, earning him Europe-wide fame.
Eugene enhanced his standing during the War of the Spanish Succession, where his partnership with the Duke of Marlborough secured victories against the French on the fields of Blenheim and Malplaquet. Renewed hostilities against the Ottomans in the Austro-Turkish War consolidated his reputation, with victories at the battles of Petrovaradin, the decisive encounter at Belgrade. Throughout the late 1720s, Eugene's influence and skillful diplomacy managed to secure the Emperor powerful allies in his dynastic struggles with the Bourbon powers, but physically and mentally fragile in his years, Eugene enjoyed less success as commander-in-chief of the army during his final conflict, the War of the Polish Succession. In Austria, Eugene's reputation remains unrivalled. Although opinions differ as to his character, there is no dispute over his great achievements: he helped to save the Habsburg Empire from French conquest. Eugene died in his sleep at his home on 21 April 1736, aged 72. Prince Eugene was born in the Hôtel de Soissons in Paris on 18 October 1663.
His mother, Olympia Mancini, was one of Cardinal Mazarin's nieces whom he had brought to Paris from Rome in 1647 to further his, and, to a lesser extent, their ambitions. The Mancinis were raised at the Palais-Royal along with the young Louis XIV, with whom Olympia formed an intimate relationship, yet to her great disappointment, her chance to become queen passed by, in 1657, Olympia married Eugene Maurice, Count of Soissons, Count of Dreux and Prince of Savoy. Together they had had five sons and three daughters, but neither parent spent much time with the children: his father, a brave, unglamorous French soldier, spent much of his time away campaigning, while Olympia's passion for court intrigue meant the children received little attention from her; the King remained attached to Olympia, so much so that many believed them to be lovers. After falling out of favour at court, Olympia turned to Catherine Deshayes, the arts of black magic and astrology, it was a fatal relationship. Embroiled in the affaire des poisons, suspicions now abounded of her involvement in her husband's premature death in 1673, implicated her in a plot to kill the King himself.
Whatever the truth, rather than face trial, subsequently fled France for Brussels in January 1680, leaving Eugene in the care of his father's mother, Marie de Bourbon, her daughter, Hereditary Princess of Baden, mother of Prince Louis of Baden. From the age of ten, Eugene had been brought up for a career in the church. Eugene's appearance was not impressive — "He was never good-looking …" wrote the Duchess of Orléans, "It is true that his eyes are not ugly, but his nose ruins his face. Now 19 years old, Eugene applied directly to Louis XIV for command of a company in French service, but the King—who had shown no compassion for Olympia's children since her disgrace—refused him out of hand. "The request was modest, not so the petitioner," he remarked. "No one else presumed to stare me out so insolently." Whatever the case, Louis XIV's choice would cost him dearly twenty years for it would be Eugene, in collaboration with the Duke of Marlborough, who would defeat the French army at Blenheim, a decisive battle which checked French military supremacy and political power.
Denied a military career in France, Eugene decided to seek service abroad. One of Eugene's brothers, Louis Julius, had entered Imperial service the previous year, but he had been killed fighting the Ottoman Turks in 1683; when news of his death reached Paris, Eugene decided to travel to Austria in the hope of taking over his brother's command. It was not an unnatural decision: his cousin, Louis of Baden, was a leading general in the Imperial army, as was a more distant cousin, Maximilian II Emanuel, Elector of Bavaria. On the night of July 26, 1683, Eugene left