- Archduke Johann of Austria
Archduke Johann (or John) of Austria (
January 20, 1782- May 11, 1859) was the 13th child of Leopold, Grand Duke Leopold of Tuscany and later Holy Roman Emperor. His son from a morganatic marriagewas Franz Graf von Meran.
Johann was born in
Florence, where his father Leopold ruled as Grand Duke of Tuscany. In 1790, Leopold became Emperor and moved his family to Vienna.
Archduke John had only been given basic military education before he was thrust into commanding the army in Germany in September 1800. He showed personal bravery, but was defeated badly at Hohenlinden on 3rd December 1800. After the peace in 1801, Archduke John was made General Director of the Engineering and Fortification Service, and later commander of two military academies. In 1805 he directed an able defence of several Tyrolean passes brought him the Commander Cross of the MTO. By 1808 he was pressing for the creation of a
Landwehrand in 1809 he commanded the army in Italy (VIII and IX Korps) against Prince Eugene. Although initially successful, Archduke John was eventually beaten on the Piave and at Raab.
After losing his military ambitions, which had been forced upon him by his brother, Emperor Franz II, as a consequence of the defeat by Napoleon in
Tyrol, he turned to Styria. In that duchy, he developed a great interest for nature, technology and agriculture. He collected mineralsand was active as an alpinistand hunter. In his early days Archduke Johann and his brother Louis had the habit of travelling to France, where the latter married to Madame de Gueroust.
In the history of Styria, he is remembered as a great modernizer and became an important figure of identification for Styrians. His proximity to the people is given evidence to by his many contacts with the common man, by wearing the local
Tracht, the Steireranzug, and by collecting and promoting the material and spiritual culture of the country. In 1829, he married Anna Maria Josephine Plochl, the daughter of Jakob Plochl, the postmasterof Aussee, and wife Maria Anna Pilz, whose descendants were styled the "Counts of Meran" and "Barons of Brandhofen".
He was a passionate mountaineer and attempted to be the first to climb the
Großvenediger. For that reason, the Erzherzog-Johann-Hütte(Adlersruhe) at the Großglockner, and the Archduke John's Vanilla Orchid ("Nigritella rubra" subsp. "archiducis-joannis"), an orchidgrowing on mountain meadows, are named after him.
In 1811, he laid the foundation for the
Joanneumin Graz, the predecessor of Graz University of Technology. Some other foundations were initiated by him, such as the Styrian State Archive 1817, the "Berg- und Hüttenmännische Lehranstalt", which was founded in 1840 in Vordernberg and became the University of Leobenin 1849, the Styrian Society for Agriculture 1819, the Mutual Fire Insurance, the Styrian Building Society, the "Landesoberrealschule" in 1845 und the Society for Styrian History in 1850.
By acquiring a
tinfactory in Krems bei Voitsbergand coal mines near Köflachhe also became an industrialist.
In 1840, he bought the
Stainzdominion, where he was also freely elected as mayor in 1850. He was already the lord of the Brandhofendominion.
His routing of the
Austrian Southern Railwayfrom Viennato Triestover the Semmeringand through the Muraand Mürzvalleys to Graz is particularly notable. Even though Johann did not consider himself a liberal, he promoted some liberal ideas. He was often in conflict with the Habsburgcourt, especially because of his morganaticmarriage.
In 1848, the
Frankfurt National Assemblyappointed him regentof the realm. After the failure of the March Revolution of 1848, he resigned from this office in 1849.
Archduke Johann died in Graz in 1859. He is buried in Schenna near
Merano( Italy). He was the great-grandfather of noted conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt.
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1= 1. Archduke Johann of Austria
Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor
3= 3. Maria Louisa of Spain
Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
5= 5. Maria Theresa of AustriaQueen of Hungary & Bohemia
Charles III of Spain
Maria Amalia of Saxony
Leopold, Duke of Lorraine
9= 9. Princess Élisabeth Charlotte of Orléans
Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Philip V of Spain
Elisabeth of Parma
Augustus III of PolandElector of Saxony
Maria Josepha of Austria
Charles V, Duke of Lorraine
Eleonora Maria Josefa of AustriaQueen Dowager of Poland-Lithuania
Philippe I, Duke of Orléans
19= 19. Countess Palatine Elizabeth Charlotte of Simmern
Leopold I, Holy Roman Emperor
Eleonore-Magdalena of Neuburg
22= 22. Louis Rudolph, Duke of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
Princess Christine Louise of Oettingen-Oettingen
24= 24. Louis, Dauphin of France
25= 25. Duchess Maria Anna of Bavaria
26= 26. Edward II Farnese, Duke of Parma
27= 27. Countess Palatine Dorothea Sophie of Neuburg
Augustus II of PolandElector of Saxony
Christiane Eberhardine of Brandenburg-Bayreuth
Joseph I, Holy Roman Emperor
31= 31. Wilhelmina Amalia of Brunswick-Calenberg
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