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Monument to Emperor Franz I monuments and memorials



The most valuable artistic work that can be admired in town is found on the Isabella Promenade. This original casting of the last masterpiece created by the sculptor from Munich, Ludwig von Schwanthaler, in 1853 was donated by Count Joachim Münch-Bellinghausen. The sculpture, which originally decorated the northern end of Imperial Street, today known as Národní (National) Avenue, was removed in 1925 for political reasons, and it was not until 1993 that it was placed in its current spot.

The statue shows the hatless emperor in his ceremonial uniform of a field marshal, with the Order of the Golden Fleece around his neck. A very ruffled cape reaching down to his ankles is thrown across his shoulders. In his right hand, he holds a document with the inscription “Franzensbad / MDCCLXXXXIII.”, which alludes to the court decree of 27 April 1793 that approved of the construction of public and private buildings in the new spa town. The date that the decree was issued is also considered as the date that the town was established, which was also named in honour of the Emperor as Kaiser Franzensbad (The Spa of Emperor Franz). A stump with an oak spray, possibly symbolising the downfall of the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and the foundation of the Austrian Empire, an event that took place during his reign, is found at the sovereign’s feet.

The original, lost inscription on the pedestal: “FRANCISCO. I. / AUSTR. IMP. / GRATUS CIVIS. / JOACH. COMES. / A MÜNCH-BELINGHAUSEN. / POST. MDCCCLIII.” The new inscription on the pedestal: “FRANCISCVS I.” Inscription on the decree: “Franzensbad / MDCCLXXXXIII.”. Signatures on the right on the base: “L. v. SCHWANTHALER / inv. et mod. / F. v. MILLER fudit. / MÜNCHEN 1853.”