Monday, October 18, 2010

Maria Theresa Connection II

Springtime in Innsbruck

Watercolour, crayon and ink

©1996 Charlene Brown

When I wrote about the Maria Theresa connection in the Middle East last week, I mentioned her continuing fame in her native Austria.

Indeed, there cannot be many towns of any size in Austria today without at least one Maria Theresien Strasse, Platz, Ring or Parc… This painting is the view along my favourite of these, Maria-Theresien-Strasse in Innsbruck, as seen from the spectacularly-sited ski-jump built for the 1964 Winter Olympics.

Much of her reign as Archduchess of Austria from 1740 until 1780 was devoted to maintaining her territory during a period of much conflict in Europe. By forming strategic alliances, she succeed in preserving the unity of her lands, although her plan to strengthen the empire by having one of her sixteen children, Marie Antoinette, marry the heir to the French throne didn’t work out well at all.