Thursday, 5 January 2017

Crinoline Hazards in the Winter Palace

The three-day Sissi movie marathon with Romy Schneider over Christmas was enchanting.

The castle used in place of Possenhofen reflected the Starnbergersee ambiance that I remember. Does anyone know what Austrian castle was used in the film? Bad Ishcl's Imperial Villa, Esplanade and Schönbrunn’s garden staircase brought back many memories.

Romy and the ladies appeared as if they had just stepped out of the House of Worth. When Archduchess Sophie stepped through half of the double door in Schönbrunn, it took forever for her gown to follow. From then on, I was fixated on crinolines.

How did the Empress and her ladies sit without sliding off the chairs in the Winter Palace? In their overstuffed rooms, how many delicate items were broken as they brushed against tables?

C. Robertson’s Portrait (below) of Empress Alexandra in the Winter Palace c1851

I need to revisit my research on Empress Alexandra’s wardrobes, as more space would be needed for her enormously wide gowns and crinolines than I have uncovered so far. I had once stayed in a (former) princess’ room - the old wardrobe was so high I had difficulty reaching the rod and the hangers.

Photographs (below) of Empress Alexandra c1850s

Photograph (below) of Empress Marie c1850s


  1. Joanna,
    I never seen the movie but I looked it up, I think this might be the Austrian castle you wanted to know that was used in the film:
    Schönbrunn Palace, Schönbrunner Schloßstraße 47-49, Hietzing, Vienna, Austria.

  2. I have to find photos of the castle they used for Possenhofen. Schönbrunn is the palace in Vienna I know very well for the last 50 years! I will look for a photo of its staircase that Romy Schneider climbed from the garden.