The new face of the legendary Empress of Hearts
1853. The Austrian Empire has quelled the revolutionary stirrings of 1848, but the tension remains palpable. At the elegant spa of Bad Ischl, young Emperor Franz Joseph has something else than unruly provinces on his mind: love. Though his mother Archduchess Sophie wants him to marry the young Bavarian Princess Helene, it is Helene’s spirited, life-loving younger sister Elisabeth – called Sisi – who captures Franz Joseph’s heart. In a move untypical of the strictly raised emperor, Franz Joseph defies his mother and decides to marry Sisi.

After a sumptuous wedding in Vienna, court life once again takes hold of Franz Joseph – and stifles the freedom-loving, liberal-minded Sisi who provokes admiration as well as disapproval.

The two-part miniseries is a production of superlatives that recreates 19th-century life at historical locations such as the Vienna Hofburg, Schönbrunn and Laxenburg Palaces, Eckertsau Palace, Brunnsee Palace, as well as on the Lido and in the streets of Venice. For the scenes at Miramare Palace in Italy, a historical ship was brought expressly to Trieste. The production also required 2,000 extras and about 700 costumes, including 40 different dresses for Sisi alone. Historical battle reenactors were hired to provide authenticity for the battles of Königgrätz and Solferino.

“Our Sisi is a modern, exciting story about a person with depth? Sisi was an idol, a pop star and a style icon at a time when these words didn’t even exist. With her rebellious courage to stand up for her convictions, Sisi can still be a role model today.” – Xaver Schwarzenberger