If there was one person you didn’t want to cross in the 16th century in Vienna, it probably would have been Elisabeth Báthory. We are starting the mysterious and dark month of October with this fascinating woman, also known as the ‘blood countess’ or the ‘tiger in human form’.
Elisabeth (Erzsébet) was born in Hungary to a wealthy family in the year 1560. It came to no surprise that she was married off in young years to Count Ferenc Nádasdy.
Both her husband and the rest of her family were no strangers to her gruesome killings. Only after Ferenc’s death in the year 1604 though, her killings escalated into new dimensions. She was accused of killing more than 6002 young women. She killed either to keep her skin young and bright or simply to explore the sadistic urges she faced.
On her travels she took young maids with her, women she instructed to help with her tortures or even forced to find new victims for her. Elisabeth knew no limits when it came to toying with her victims in the ghastliest ways. Witnesses talked about her whipping her hostages and then cutting open their wounds or burning them with iron, others saw her stabbing the young girls with needles and knives. Elisabeth’s killings found their end in the year 16114 as she got sentenced to lifelong imprisonment, while most of her maids got burned alive. Three years later she died due to reasons that are still controversial.
Visit her home near Albertinaplatz
Take your time to admire her home in the Augustinerstraße 12, near our beautiful Opera and the Albertina. Unfortunately, you can’t visit the insides of the house. You can, however, still feel the mysterious aura that Elisabeth has left behind. The facade of the building takes you back to Vienna’s baroque time, a part of our history that’s unmistakably entangled with Elisabeth.
Our sources for this story:
Elizabeth Bathory, Biography https://www.biography.com/crime-figure/elizabeth-bathory (24.9.21, 16:37)
Die Blutgräfin https://anno.onb.ac.at/cgi-
content/anno?aid=vtl&datum=18941102&query=%22Blutgräfin%22&ref=anno-search&seite=7 (24.9.21, 16:41)
Die Blutgräfin Elisabeth Báthory, https://historische-serienmoerder.de/die-blutgraefin-elisabeth-bathory-
heroine-des-grauens-ungarn-1614/ (24.9.21, 19:04).
Ebd. (24.9.21, 19:04)