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A new online multimedia exhibition takes a fresh look at the history and the legends of Austria’s ruling Habsburg dynasty.

For centuries the Habsburg dynasty epitomized the monarchy, providing German kings and the Holy Roman Emperors that ruled Central Europe. A new website, The World of the Habsburgs, provides a new take on the history of the House of Habsburg from 1278 to 1918. In fact, the site uses the term “world” in its broadest possible sense, looking beyond geographical boundaries, and shedding light on contemporary society, culture and private lives. The World of the Habsburgs is about much more than dynastic history, presenting instead a critical appraisal of the world they lived in.

A team of historians from the University of Vienna has prepared an impressive volume of contemporary material (2,000 pages of text and 1,400 illustrations spanning a period of some 640 years) for the new website. Innovative screen design, intuitive navigation and a multimedia focus ensure the content is as accessible as possible. The various pages are linked via a timeline, map of Europe and the Habsburg family tree. Depending on the view selected, the available information is presented from either a social, political, cultural or economic perspective.

The site goes to great lengths to bring history to life by telling the stories that are often missed by historical works – whether they are about family members themselves, the aristocracy or other social strata. The spotlight is also on working life at the royal court and out in the mines, everyday pleasures enjoyed by the aristocracy and the rest of society, as well as the energy and environmental issues of the day. This Schönbrunn Kultur- und Betriebsgesellschaft managed project is an initiative of the Austrian national government.

www.habsburger.net