Sissy city – how to pitch history to kids


If you are wondering who Sissy is – go to Vienna. She was the turning point of what made the kids interested in history of the Habsburg empire. If you didn’t take European history or grew up in one of the Habsburg empire countries – Sissy is the Austrian Empress Elizabeth whose picture is all over Vienna. And she made the kids’ visit a bit more interesting because there is an actual story here….

The gorgeous Viennese buildings and palace were not that interesting until I mentioned that Sissy was murdered by a file. Yes, misery and true crime sparked attention and interest in history – literally, all of my 3 children hovered around me asking about the story. Whaaaat? How, why, where, tell me more…. I got the recipe now…

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So the kids thought that the Habsburg princes and princesses had it really easy – look at this house, the backyard with the zoo, servants – phew they were so spoiled ! Well, not after we did the Kids museum in Schonbrunn where we got to dress up in the cute but uncomfortable wigs and clothes, see the daily schedule of dancing, prayers and studying and then seeing the elaborate eating procedures they had to go through – no more Habsburg fanciness for them!

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When in Vienna – you have to do the Wiener schnitzel – so we did, multiple times – no sides needed and LOTS of beer needed too.

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And that was it for the Habsburg history – we walked 20 kms around Vienna and loved every minute of it… off to Hungarian food 🙂

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