Posted by: rbbadger | September 11, 2009

Gott erhalte, Gott beschütze, unsern Kaiser, unser Land!

In 1989, Austria saw the passing away of her last empress, Empress Zita of the House of Bourbon-Parma, consort and wife of Blessed Charles I, last Emperor of Austria.  For a very long period, she and her family were banned from entering Austrian territory.  It was only in the early 1980s that she was able to see again the country which she had left in 1918. 

She saw quite a bit during her long and eventful life.  She witnessed the end of the Austro-Hungarian Empire, once one of Europe’s mightiest.  Her husband, the Emperor Charles I, died in 1922.  She and her family eventually moved to Belgium.  However, once the Germans invaded, she and her family became refugees and ended up in America for a while.  She did return to Europe and after time in Luxembourg, where she had family, she eventually settled in Switzerland where she died.

The Austrian government gave permission for her funeral to take place in Austria.  And so, in the Stephansdom, her funeral rites took place.  She was buried in the Kaisergruft, the imperial crypt beneath the Kapuzinerkirche in Vienna where lie many members of the Hapsburg family. 

At the funeral Mass, the old imperial hymn of Austria was sung, namely “Gott erhalte, Gott beschütze, unsern Kaiser, unser Land” or “God protect, God save, our Emperor, our Land”.  Such imperial sentiments may seem out of place in today’s imperial Austria! 



  1. Interesting, but I don’t understand the language. Do you?

  2. Yes, I do. It’s very nice indeed.

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