Elssler, Fanny

BORN 23 Jun 1810, Wien: Hofmühlgasse 17 - DIED 27 Nov 1884, Wien
REAL NAME Elssler, Franziska
GRAVE LOCATION Wien: Hietzinger Friedhof, Maxingstraße 15, Hietzing (Gruppe 06, Nummer 12a)

Youngest of the three daughters of the valet and copyist of Joseph Haydn. In 1825 she departed with her mother and her sister Thérèse to Napels, where she was taught dancing by Gioja. she became the mistress of Prince Leopold of Salerno and their son Franz was born when she was 17 years old. It was kept as secret and the child was placed in a foster home to enable Fanny to continue her already promising career.

In 1830 she gave succesful performances in Berlin. She was praised by the great Rachel and soon found herself famous. In Berlin she fell in love with Anton Stuhlmuller and they had a daughter, Therese, who was raised by Harriet Grote, the wife of a British Member of Parliament.

In 1834 the opera director Véron asked her to ome to Paris and there she rivaled Marie Taglione. Véron also asked for her hand and she had many other suitors. In 1840 she travelled to the US and to Havanna and she attracted large audiences for two years.

Afterwards she toured Europe and in 1848 she was invited by Nicholas I (whom she had met in Vienna) to dance in Russia. On 21 Jun 1851 in Vienna she said farewell to the stage.

Her performances had made her rich and she died in her native Vienna. She was buried at the Hundsthurmer Friedhof in Vienna, but later her remains were moved to the Zentralfriedhof.

Related persons
• cooperated with Cerrito, Fanny
• was pupil to Vestris, Auguste Marie Jean Augustin


The grave of Fanny Elssler at the Hietzing cemetery in Vienna.
Picture by Androom (24 Jan 1999)


• Aubert, Joachim, Handbuch der Grabstätten berühmten Deutscher, Österreicher und Schweizer, Deutscher Kunstverlag, München, 1973
• Bauer, Werner T., Wiener Friedhofsführer, Genaue Beschreibung sämtlicher Begräbnisstätten nebst einer Geschichte des Wiener Bestattungswesens, Falter Verlag, Wien, 1991
Winkler Prins Encyclopedie (editie 1909), 1909
Andros on Ballet

Éluard, Paul

Published: 1 Jan 2006
Last update: 16 Aug 2014