Empress Elisabeth of Austria (Elisabeth Amalie Eugenie) (b. Munich, Kingdom of Bavaria 24 December 1837 – d. 10 September 1898 Geneva, Switzerland) was born into the royal Bavarian House of Wittelsbach, from a German dynasty. At the age of sixteen she married the Emperor of Austria, Franz Joseph I, and was brought to the Habsburg court. Elisabeth’s visit to Hungary in 1857 left a deep and lasting impression upon her, and she even began to learn Hungarian. Her kinship with Hungary was crucial since it helped to form the dual monarchy of Austria-Hungary in 1867. Elisabeth and Franz Joseph were officially crowned Queen and King of Hungary in June 1867. She was assassinated by an anarchist in Geneva in 1898.
Empress Elisabeth was devoted to the Hungarian people and Hungarians paid her tribute with a statue. In 1900, a competition opposed sculptors, but the winners were only announced in 1919. Sculptor György Zala and architect Rezső Hikisch won the competition, and the statue was unveiled in 1932. The statue has since become a place of pilgrimage.
Address: Döbrentei tér, 1013 Budapest, Hungary