Leopold II of Belgium
Leopold II was King of the Belgians from 1865 to 1909. Born in Brussels as the second but eldest surviving son of Leopold I and Louise of Orléans, he succeeded his father to the Belgian throne in 1865 and reigned for 44 years until his death – the longest reign of any Belgian monarch, he died without surviving male heirs. The current Belgian king descends from his nephew and successor, Albert I. Leopold was the founder and sole owner of the Congo Free State, a private project undertaken on his own behalf, he used Henry Morton Stanley to help him lay claim to the Congo, the present-day Democratic Republic of the Congo. At the Berlin Conference of 1884–1885, the colonial nations of Europe authorized his claim by committing the Congo Free State to improving the lives of the native inhabitants. From the beginning, Leopold ignored these conditions, he ran the Congo using the mercenary Force Publique for his personal enrichment. He extracted a fortune from the territory by the collection of ivory, after a rise in the price of rubber in the 1890s, by forced labour from the native population to harvest and process rubber.
He used great sums of the money from this exploitation for public and private construction projects in Belgium during this period. He donated the private buildings to the state before his death. Leopold's administration of the Congo was marred by murder and other atrocities, his regime was characterized by notorious systematic brutality. The hands of men and children were amputated when the quota of rubber was not met. Thousands were sold into slavery; these and other facts were established at the time by eyewitness testimony and on-site inspection by an international Commission of Inquiry. Millions of the Congolese people died: modern estimates range from one million to 15 million deaths, with a consensus growing around 10 million; some historians argue against this figure due to the absence of reliable censuses, the enormous mortality of diseases such as smallpox or sleeping sickness, the fact that there were only 175 administrative agents in charge of rubber exploitation. In 1908 reports of deaths and abuse in the Congo induced the Belgian government to take over the administration of the Congo, free from Leopold's oversight.
Leopold was born in Brussels on 9 April 1835, the second child of the reigning Belgian monarch, Leopold I, of his second wife, the daughter of King Louis Philippe of France. The French Revolution of 1848 forced Louis Philippe to flee to the United Kingdom; the British monarch, Queen Victoria, was Leopold II's first cousin, as Leopold's father and Victoria's mother were siblings. Louis Philippe died two years in 1850. Leopold's fragile mother was affected by the death of her father, her health deteriorated, she died of tuberculosis that same year. Three years in 1853, at the age of 18, he married Marie Henriette of Austria in Brussels on 22 August. Marie Henriette was a cousin of Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria, granddaughter of Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor through her father, Austrian archduke Joseph. Marie Henriette was lively and energetic, endeared herself to the people by her character and benevolence, her beauty gained for her the sobriquet of "The Rose of Brabant", she was an accomplished artist and musician.
She was passionate about horseback riding to the point that she would care for her horses personally. Some joked about this "marriage of a stableman and a nun", the shy and withdrawn Leopold referred to as the nun. Four children were born of this marriage, three daughters and one son named Leopold; the younger Leopold died in 1869 at the age of nine from pneumonia after falling into a pond. His death was a source of great sorrow for King Leopold; the marriage became unhappy, the couple separated after a last attempt to have another son, a union that resulted in the birth of their last daughter Clementine. Marie Henriette retreated to Spa in 1895, died there in 1902. Leopold had many mistresses. In 1899, in his sixty-fifth year, Leopold took as a mistress Caroline Lacroix, a sixteen-year-old French prostitute, they remained together for the next decade until his death. Leopold lavished upon her large sums of money, gifts, a noble title, Baroness Vaughan. Owing to these gifts and the unofficial nature of their relationship, Caroline was unpopular among the Belgian people and internationally.
She and Leopold married secretly in a religious ceremony five days before his death. Their failure to perform a civil ceremony rendered the marriage invalid under Belgian law. After the king's death, it was soon discovered that he had left Caroline a large fortune, which the Belgian government and Leopold's three estranged daughters tried to seize as rightfully theirs. Caroline bore two sons who were Leopold's; as Leopold's older brother named Louis Philippe, had died the year before Leopold's birth, Leopold was heir to the throne from his birth. When he was 9 years old, Leopold received the title of Duke of Brabant, was appointed a sub-lieutenant in the army, he served in the army until his accession in 1865, by which time he had reached the rank of lieutenant-general. Leopold's public career began on his attaining the age of majority in 1855, when he became a member of the Belgian Senate, he took an active interest in the senate in matters concerning the development of Belgium and its trade, began to urge Belgium's acquisition of colonies.
Leopold traveled extensively abroad from 1854 to 1865, visiting India, China and the countries on the Mediterranean
Empress Elisabeth of Austria
Elisabeth of Bavaria was Empress of Austria and Queen of Hungary by marriage to Emperor Franz Joseph I. Elisabeth was born into the royal Bavaria house of Wittelsbach. Nicknamed "Sisi", she enjoyed an informal upbringing before marrying Emperor Franz Joseph I at the age of sixteen; the marriage thrust her into the much more formal Habsburg court life, for which she was unprepared and which she found uncongenial. Early in the marriage she was at odds with her mother-in-law, Archduchess Sophie, who took over the rearing of Elisabeth's daughters, one of whom, died in infancy; the birth of the heir apparent, Crown Prince Rudolf, improved her standing at court, but her health suffered under the strain, she would visit Hungary for its more relaxed environment. She came to develop a deep kinship with Hungary, helped to bring about the dual monarchy of Austria–Hungary in 1867; the death of her only son and his mistress Mary Vetsera, in a murder–suicide at his hunting lodge at Mayerling in 1889 was a blow from which Elisabeth never recovered.
She withdrew from court duties and travelled unaccompanied by her family. In 1890, she had a palace built on the Greek Island of Corfu; the palace Achilleion, featuring an elaborate mythological motif, served as a refuge. She was obsessively concerned with maintaining her youthful figure and beauty, which were legendary during her life. While travelling in Geneva in 1898, she was stabbed to death by an Italian anarchist named Luigi Lucheni. Elisabeth was the longest serving Empress of Austria at 44 years. Born Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie on 24 December 1837 in Munich, she was the fourth child of Duke Maximilian Joseph in Bavaria and Princess Ludovika of Bavaria, the half-sister of King Ludwig I of Bavaria. Maximilian was considered to be rather peculiar; the family's homes were the Herzog-Max-Palais in Munich during winter and Possenhofen Castle in the summer months, far from the protocols of court. "Sisi" and her siblings grew up in a unrestrained and unstructured environment. In 1853, Princess Sophie of Bavaria, the domineering mother of 23-year-old Emperor Franz Joseph, preferring to have a niece as a daughter-in-law rather than a stranger, arranged a marriage between her son and her sister Ludovika's eldest daughter, Helene.
Although the couple had never met, Franz Joseph's obedience was taken for granted by the archduchess, once described as "the only man in the Hofburg" for her authoritarian manner. The Duchess and Helene were invited to journey to the resort of Bad Ischl, Upper Austria to receive his formal proposal of marriage. Fifteen-year-old Sisi accompanied her mother and sister and they traveled from Munich in several coaches, they arrived late. The family was still in mourning over the death of an aunt so they were dressed in black and unable to change to more suitable clothing before meeting the young Emperor. While black did not suit eighteen-year-old Helene's dark coloring, it made her younger sister's blonder looks more striking by contrast. Helene was a pious, quiet young woman, she and Franz Joseph felt ill at ease in each other's company, but he was infatuated with her younger sister, he did not propose to Helene, but defied his mother and informed her that if he could not have Elisabeth, he would not marry at all.
Five days their betrothal was announced. The couple were married eight months in Vienna at the Augustinerkirche on 24 April 1854; the marriage was consummated three days and Elisabeth received a dower equal to USD 240,000 today. After enjoying an informal and unstructured childhood, shy and introverted by nature, more so among the stifling formality of Habsburg court life, had difficulty adapting to the Hofburg and its rigid protocols and strict etiquette. Within a few weeks, Elisabeth started to display health problems: she had fits of coughing and became anxious and frightened whenever she had to descend a narrow steep staircase, she was surprised to find she was pregnant and gave birth to her first child, a daughter, Archduchess Sophie of Austria, just ten months after her wedding. The elder Archduchess Sophie, who referred to Elisabeth as a "silly young mother", not only named the child without consulting the mother, but took complete charge of the baby, refusing to allow Elisabeth to breastfeed or otherwise care for her own child.
When a second daughter, Archduchess Gisela of Austria, was born a year the Archduchess took the baby away from Elisabeth as well. The fact that she had not produced a male heir made Elisabeth unwanted in the palace. One day she found a pamphlet on her desk with the following words underlined:... The natural destiny of a Queen is to give an heir to the throne. If the Queen is so fortunate as to provide the State with a Crown-Prince this should be the end of her ambition – she should by no means meddle with the government of an Empire, the care of, not a task for women... If the Queen bears no sons, she is a foreigner in the State, a dangerous foreigner, too. For as she can never hope to be looked on kindly here, must always expect to be sent back whence she came, so will she always seek to win the King by other than natural means, her mother-in-law is considered to be the source of the ma
Princess Louise of Belgium
Princess Louise Marie Amélie of Belgium was the eldest daughter of Leopold II and his wife, Marie Henriette of Austria. Born Louise Marie Amélie, she married Philipp, Prince of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha, her second cousin, in Brussels, on 4 February/4 May 1875 and had two children: Leopold Clement Philipp August Maria. Dorothea Maria Henriette Auguste Louise, married on 2 August 1898 to Ernst Günther, duke of Schleswig-Holstein-Sonderburg-Augustenburg; the marriage was disliked by her father, who regarded it as an unwelcome alliance with Prussia, but her mother approved of it because Philip lived in Hungary. The relationship between Louise and Philip was not happy: Philip is said to have been controlling, Louise responded by living a lavish lifestyle at the court of Vienna, where she attracted much attention. In 1880, she suggested Crown Prince Rudolf of Austria. In 1895, Louise became romantically involved with Count Geza Mattachich, stepson of Oskar Keglevich, Count of Buzin. Mattachich was a lieutenant in a Croatian regiment of the Austrian army.
They met in the Prater in Vienna. In January 1897, she scandalized Vienna by permanently leaving her husband, Prince Philipp, for Mattachich and taking her daughter with her, they traveled first to Paris Cannes, living in other destinations in the south of France and the rest of Europe. Her son became estranged from her, because he felt her actions had ruined his chance for inheritance, her daughter soon left her mother at the advice of the duke of Schleswig-Holstein. In 1898, Prince Philipp and Mattachich fought a duel in Vienna, first with guns with swords, in which the prince was injured. Mattachich had been imprisoned for four years for forgery. Louise and Prince Philipp were divorced in Gotha on 15 January 1906 eight years after Louise had begun divorce proceedings. Estranged from her father, her husband, her children, Louise's extravagant expenses brought her deeper and deeper into debt. Despite being the daughter of arguably the wealthiest king of the age, she was forced to claim bankruptcy after it became known that Mattachich had forged the signature of Louise's sister, Princess Stéphanie, on promissory notes for jewelry worth about $2,500,000.
As a result of this episode, in May 1898 she was interned in an asylum for six years. Mattachich was sentenced to four years in prison for forgery. Once his sentence was over, he helped Louise escape from the asylum in 1904. After Mattachich's death she was given a home by Queen Elisabeth, the wife of her cousin, King Albert I of Belgium. After her death, the royal court in Brussels went in mourning for a full month. Louise de Belgique, Autour des trônes que j'ai vu tomber, Albin Michel, Paris, 1921 Olivier Defrance, Louise de Saxe-Cobourg: Amours, procès, Bruxelles, 2000 Ouvrage collectif, Louise et Stephanie de Belgique, Le Cri, 2003 Comte Geza Mattachich, Folle par raison d'État: la princesse Louise de Belgique. Mémoires inédits du comte Mattachich, 1904 Dan Jacobson, All for Love, Hamish Hamilton, Londres, 2005 Princess Louise of Belgium:'Eve after the Fall of Man'
A murder–suicide is an act in which an individual kills one or more people before killing themself. The combination of murder and suicide can take various forms linked to the first form: Murder linked with suicide of a mentally unstable person with a homicidal ideation. Many spree killings have ended in suicide, such as in many school shootings; some cases of religiously-motivated suicides may involve murder. All categorization amounts to forming somewhat arbitrary distinctions where relating to intention in the case of psychosis, where the intention is/are more than not to be irrational. Ascertaining the legal intention is inapplicable to cases properly categorized as insanity. According to the psychiatrist Karl A. Menninger and suicide are interchangeable acts – suicide sometimes forestalling murder, vice versa. Following Freudian logic, severe repression of natural instincts due to early childhood abuse, may lead the death instinct to emerge in a twisted form; the cultural anthropologist Ernest Becker, whose theories on the human notion of death is influenced by Freud, views the fear of death as a universal phenomenon, a fear repressed in the unconscious and of which people are unaware.
This fear can move individuals toward heroism, but to scapegoating. Failed attempts to achieve heroism, according to this view, can lead to mental illness and/or antisocial behavior. In a study related to murder–suicide, Milton Rosenbaum discovered the murder–suicide perpetrators to be vastly different from perpetrators of homicide alone. Whereas murderer–suicides were found to be depressed and overwhelmingly men, other murderers were not depressed and more to include women in their ranks. In the U. S. the overwhelming number of cases are male-on-female. Around one-third of partner homicides end in the suicide of the perpetrator. From national and international data and interviews with family members of murder–suicide perpetrators, the following are the key predictors of murder–suicide: a history of substance abuse, the male partner some years older than the female partner, a break-up or pending break-up, a history of battering, suicidal contemplation by the perpetrator. Though there is no national tracking system for murder–suicides in the United States, medical studies into the phenomenon estimate between 1,000 and 1,500 deaths per year in the US, with the majority occurring between spouses or intimate partners and the vast majority of the perpetrators being male.
Depression, marital or/and financial problems, other problems are motivators. Homicides which are followed by suicide make headline news; the U. S. Department of Health and Human Services, Centers for Disease Control reports that an estimated 1 million adults reported attempting suicide in 2011, there were over 38,000 completed suicides in the same period; the estimate of 624 murder-suicide events per year, indicates that murders are associated with suicidal events only about 0.06% of the time. In 18th-century Denmark, people wishing to commit suicide would sometimes commit murder in order to receive the death penalty, they believed murder followed by repentance would allow them to end their life while avoiding damnation. Crime of passion Mass murder School shooting Serial killer Spree killer Shinjū Suicide attack Suicide by pilot van Wormer, K.. Death by Domestic Violence: Preventing the Murders and Murder–Suicides. Westport, CT: Praeger
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
A honeymoon is a holiday taken by newlyweds after their wedding, to celebrate their marriage. In Western culture and some westernized countries’ cultures, the custom of a newlywed couple's going on a holiday together originated in early-19th-century Great Britain. Upper-class couples would take a "bridal tour", sometimes accompanied by friends or family, to visit relatives who had not been able to attend the wedding; the practice soon spread to the European continent and was known in France as a voyage à la façon anglaise, from the 1820s onwards. Honeymoons in the modern sense—a pure holiday voyage undertaken by the couple—became widespread during the Belle Époque, as one of the first instances of modern mass tourism; this came about despite initial disapproval by contemporary medical opinion and by savoir vivre guidebooks. The most popular honeymoon destinations at the time were the French Riviera and Italy its seaside resorts and romantic cities such as Rome and Venice. Honeymoons would start on the night of the marriage, with the couple leaving midway through the reception to catch a late train or ship.
However, in the 21st century, many couples will not leave until 1–3 days after the ceremony and reception. In Jewish traditions, honeymoons are put off seven days to allow for the seven nights of feasting if the visits to friends and family cannot be incorporated into the trip; the honeymoon was the period following marriage, "characterized by love and happiness", as attested since 1546. The word may allude to "the idea that the first month of marriage is the sweetest."According to a different version of the Oxford English Dictionary: "The first month after marriage, when there is nothing but tenderness and pleasure". Today, honeymoon has a positive meaning, but it may have referred to the inevitable waning of love like a phase of the moon. In 1552, Richard Huloet wrote: Hony mone, a term proverbially applied to such as be newly married, which will not fall out at the first, but th'one loveth the other at the beginning exceedingly, the likelihood of their exceadinge love appearing to aswage, ye which time the vulgar people call the hony mone.
A fanciful 19th-century theory claimed that the word alludes to "the custom of the higher order of the Teutones... to drink Mead, or Metheglin, a beverage made with honey, for thirty days after every wedding", but the theory is now rejected. In many modern languages, the word for a honeymoon is a near-calque. One possible source of the word is from Persian mah-e-asal; the Persian word mah means both moon as well as month, during translation the wrong meaning of mah was taken. Another practical source for the term comes from the early days in the life of a honey bee queen. After her birth within a hive, a queen bee leaves the hive over the course of several days, to meet up with multiple drones in separate drone congregation areas, she is inseminated with a lifetime of sperm, returns to the hive to remain there the rest of her life, laying eggs. The queen goes away for a "honey-moon" and returns back, ready to live the rest of her life; the centuries old practice of beekeeping may have led to other folklore related to this "going away" before starting a life "in the hive".
One 2015 scholarly study concluded that going on a honeymoon is associated with a somewhat lower risk of divorce, regardless of how much or little is spent on the honeymoon itself. However, high spending and incurring significant debt on other wedding-related expenses, such as engagement rings and wedding ceremonies, is associated with a high risk of divorce. An emerging 21st Century travel trend is the "solomoon" or "unimoon", a separate, solo holiday the newlyweds take without their spouse; the New Zealand Herald cites a report by The New York Times that such alternatives to honeymoons are "particularly suited for couples who just cannot agree on where to go." Bride kidnapping Marriage leave
Laxenburg castles are imperial palaces and castles outside Vienna, in the town of Laxenburg, Lower Austria. The castles became a Habsburg possession in 1333 and served as a summer retreat, along with Schönbrunn palace, for the imperial Habsburg dynasty. Blauer Hof Palace was the birthplace of some members of the royal family, including Crown Prince Rudolf. Another castle nearby is named Franzensburg castle. Today the castles are used for events and concerts; the castles acts as a museum in preserving the various paintings and furnishings contained within. Old Laxenburg Castle became a Habsburg possession in 1333 and was extended in the 17th century by Lodovico Burnacini; the Blauer Hof or Neues Schloss was built around 1745 during the reign of empress Maria Theresa and has a Rococo interior. The church of Laxenburg, the first building north of the Alps containing swung facade components, was built between 1693 and 1703 by Carlo Antonio Carlone and continued between 1703 and 1724 by Matthias Steinl.
After 1780, the castle garden was rearranged as an English landscape garden. It contains several artificial ponds, and, on an island, the Franzensburg castle, named after emperor Franz I, can be found. In 1919, the city of Vienna took over the war-damaged castle and became the property owner of the park area of Laxenburg. After the Anschluss of Austria in 1938, the municipality of Laxenburg became part of the city Vienna. In 1954, the place was returned to Lower Austria. In 1972, Schloss Laxenburg became the home to the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis, brought together the best scientists from either side of the iron curtain to study global problems. After the Cold War, the Institute broadened its mandate from the East and West to a global focus and, today, it brings together researchers from all over the world to provide science-based insights into critical policy issues in international and national debates on global change. Several members of the imperial family were born at Laxenburg: Archduchess Gisela of Austria, Archduchess of Austria-Hungary, daughter of Franz Joseph I of Austria and Elisabeth of Bavaria.
Crown Prince Rudolf - son of Franz Joseph I and Elisabeth. Archduchess Elisabeth Marie of Austria, daughter of Crown Prince Rudolf. Archduke Maximilian married at Laxenburg in 1917. Wolfgang Häusler. Laxenburg: Franzenburg Castle. Schnell & Steiner, Regensburg. ISBN 3-7954-6630-X Media related to Laxenburg castles at Wikimedia Commons Schloss Laxenburg Homepage Laxenburg castle