Cultural Heritage of the Moluccas

Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este

Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este
Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este was born in Graz, Austria, the oldest son of Archduke Karl Ludwig of Austria (younger brother of Franz Joseph and Maximilian) and of his second wife, Princess Maria Annunciata of Bourbon-Two Sicilies. When he was only twelve years old, his cousin Duke Francis V of Modena died, naming Franz Ferdinand his heir on condition that he add the name Este to his own. Franz Ferdinand (18 December 1863 - 28 June 1914) was an Archduke of Austria-Este, Prince Imperial of Austria and Royal Prince of Hungary and Bohemia, and from 1889 until his death, heir presumptive to the Austro-Hungarian throne.

The family had their domicile (amongst others) in the palace Belvedere in Vienna. His assassination in Sarajevo (1914) precipitated Austria-Hungary's declaration of war against Serbia, subsequently gave reason to the start of the First World War.

In the years 1892-1893 Franz Ferdinand (with following) embarked on the protected cruiser SMS Kaiserin Elisabeth for a journey round the world. The trip officially was declared an expedition but its main purpose may have been to demonstrate a presence of the Austrian navy on the seas and oceans. The route of this voyage started in Trieste and passed India, Indonesia, China, Japan and North America. Franz Ferdinand noted down his impressions and experiences of this journey in a diary, which was published in Vienna 1895, entitled Diary of my journey round the world.

The ship S.M.S. Kaiserin Elisabeth
All during this journey collected ethnographic objects (approx. 14.000) are located and preserved in the Museum of Ethnology in Vienna today.

A small selection of the nearly 1.000 ethnographic artifacts from the Moluccas, which he obtained as a gift from the then Dutch governor on Ambon (Baron van Hoëvell), are exhibited in the Virtual Museum on this website for the first time.