Vetsera, Mary

BORN 19 Mar 1871, Wien: Schüttelstraße 11 - DIED 30 Jan 1889, Mayerling, Niederösterreich
BIRTH NAME Vetsera, Marie Alexandrine, Freiin von
CAUSE OF DEATH suicide (probably)
GRAVE LOCATION Heiligenkreuz, Niederösterreich: cemetery of the monastery

Mary Vetsera was the daughter of Albin, Freiherr von Vetsera (1825-1878) and Helene Baltazzi (1847-1925). Her father had been the guardian of the Baltazzi children who were orphaned and he had married the eldest daughter in 1864. In 1870 he received the tank of Freiherr from emperor Franz Joseph. Her mother raised her with the aim to clim socially and she was educated at an insitute for nlble daughters at the Salesian convent in Vienna. In 1887 she travelled to Cairo with her family because of the illness of her father, who died there in November.

After her return to Vienna she was introduced to crown prince Rudolf and they soon became lovers. According to Marie Larisch (a niece of empress Elisabeth) her family reacted negatively when they found out and her mother accused her of ruining the family, but it is uncertain if they knew about the affair before she died.

Rudolf also had an affair with the actress Mizzi Kaspar (1864-1907). When he proposed a suicide pact which she refused with a laugh. She was alarmed and went to the police, but she was told to mind her own afffair. Rudolf now proposed the pact to Mary Vetsera. She accepted and wrote a farewell note to her sister.

On 29 January 1889 the Crown Prince excused himself from a dinner party and went to the hunting in Mayerling to arrange a day of shooting. The next morning he and Mary Vetsera were found dead in his room by his valet Johann Loschek and his hunting companion Joseph von Hoyos-Stichstenstein. Mary appeatred to be shot by Rudolph before he took his own life.

Mary was secretly buried at night at the cemetery near Heiligenkreuz Monastery. A chapel was erected by her mother in her memory. There were theories that she died from a abortion, but in 2015 the Austrian National Library received copies farewell letters to her family tha had been deposited in a bank in 1926.

• Mother: Baltazzi, Helena, Baroness Vetsera
• Brother: Vetsera, Franz Albin, Freiherr von

Related persons
• is nephew/niece of Baltazzi, Alexander
• is nephew/niece of Baltazzi, Heinrich
• has a connection with Larisch, Marie, baronin von Wallersee
• was the lover of Rudolf von Habsburg, Crown Prince of Austria and Hungary


Mary Vetsera.

Mary Vetsera's grave at Heiligenkreuz cemetery.
Picture by Androom (1 Feb 2001)


Mary Vetsera's grave at Heiligenkreuz cemetery.
Picture by Androom (1 Feb 2001)


Schloss Mayerling, where crown prince Rudolf of Austria and his mistress Mary Vetsera died.
Picture by Androom (1 Feb 2001)


The chapel of Schloss Mayerling, at the exact spot where crown prince Rudolf of Austria committed suicide on 30 Jan 1889.
Picture by Androom (1 Feb 2001)


The gates of Heiligenkreuz cemetery near Vienna.
Picture by Androom (1 Feb 2001)


The road to Heiligenkreuz cemetery near Vienna.
Picture by Androom (1 Feb 2001)


• Haslip, Joan, The Lonely empress, A Biography of Elizabeth of Austria, Weidenfeld and Nicolson, London, 1965
• Ros, Martin, Bloednacht Mayerling, Hadewijch, Antwerpen, 1989
• Swistun, Hermann, Mary Vetsera, Gefährtin für den Tod, Ueberreuter, Wien, 1999
• Werff, S. van der, Het drama van Mayerling, De Bataafsche Leeuw, Amsterdam, 1991
Last Ride to Heiligenkreuz
Baroness Mary Vetsera - Wikipedia

Viani, Lorenzo

Published: 01 Jan 2006
Last update: 12 Aug 2023