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THE LAST IMPERIAL ENTOMBMENT
ZADNJI CESARSKI POGREB

12.1. 2008
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What is supposed to be the last imperial entombment, the funeral of Archduke Karl Ludwig von Habsburg, took place in Vienna on January 12th 2008. The son of the last Austria-Hungary emperor Karl Ist and Empress Zita has been the last member of the family to be born during the existence of the Austria-Hungary Empire, on March 10, 1918. His birth was the last to be greeted by cannon salute in all country's major towns. So he was apparently also the last one who could ask for the funeral in accordance with the traditional imperial rites.

The Habsburgs, members of still ruling houses (Belgium, Luxembourg,...) and noble families, representatives of the state and the church all gathered for the holly mass at Stephen's Cathedral. The procession, headed by banners of the "traditional regiments" from all parts of former Crown Lands than left along the Kartnerstrasse to reached Kapuzinersgruft. Here the tradition was observed yet again. Knocking on the door was answered by question who is coming. All late archduke's titles were given, but the abbey answered he knows not of such person. Only when he was introduced as a simple sinner, as are we all, did the door open. As the doors were closed behind the cask and late man's family the participants started to disperse.

Did the imperial family thus become just a history? Anyone watching the ORF (Austrian National Television) political TV show Thema the following Monday may well question that notion.

Photos by Aleksander Simec and Tjasa Zakovsek
all rights reserved.

V soboto 12. januarja 2008 so na Dunaju z vsemi cesarskimi castmi pokopali nadvojvodo Karla Ludvika, petega otroka cesarja Karla in cesarice Zite.

Pravijo, da je bil to verjetno zadnji pogreb, ki je potekal v skladu s cesarsko tradicijo in njej pripadajocim pompom. Karl Ludvik je bil namrec zadnji od Habsburzanov, ki je bil rojen se za casa cesarstva (na cast njegovemu rojstvu so streljali s topovi v vseh vecjih mestih nekdanje monarhije). Po drugi strani pa se sam za razliko od brata Ota Habsburskega nikoli ni odrekel pravici do avstrijskega in madzarskega prestola.

Po masi v Stefanovi katedrali se je sprevod, ki so ga vodili praporscaki "tradicionalnih polkov", medtem ko so krsti s posmrtnimi ostanki, pokriti s crno-zolto zastavo, sledili druzina, predstavniki mesta in drzave, visoki gostje, ostale ponazoritvene skupine in koncno mnozica dunajskega prebivalstva, odpravil po dunajskih ulicah. Po obicaju so bila vrata v grobnico pri kapucinski cerkvi zaprta. Na trkanje se je odzval menih, ki je zahteval, naj se mrtveca predstavi. Na vse njegove visoke naslove se je odzval, da ne pozna nikogar taksnega. Sele, ko so pokojnika predstavili zgolj z njegovim imenom, je odprl vrata, da so krsto lahko polozili v sarkofag. Tako se je pokojnik pridruzil drugim clanom cesarske druzine, ki naj bi prav s tem dogodkom kot taka dokoncno postala le del zgodovine.

Ali pac ne? Avstrijska notranjepoliticna oddaja Thema je na ponedeljek po pogrebu vrgla nekaj malega dvoma na tak zakljucek.

Fotografije: Aleksander Simec in Tjasa Zakovsek
vse pravice pridrzane.

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On the invitation of the colleagues of IR49 the re-enactment group IR17 participated at the funeral as well.

IR 17 ON THE WAY THERE AND BACK: >>>

Na povabilo dunajskih kolegov iz IR49 se je pogreba udelezila tudi ponazoritvena skupina IR17.

IR17 NA POTI TJA IN NAZAJ: >>>

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