The Life and Times of Luzi-Wuzi

Luzi-Wuzi the quick-witted Archduke

There are many scandals, secrets, and stories about the Habsburgs – some hearsay, some confirmed. One member of the Habsburg family was known as Archduke Ludwig Viktor. He was the youngest brother of Kaiser Franz Josef. Known to his family and friends as Luzi-Wuzi. He was known for his sharp intellect and biting tongue.

The other brother Maximilian, who was the Emperor of Mexico at the time, had tried to arrange Ludwig Viktor to be his successor. He tried to do so through a marriage to the daughter of Pedro II of Brazil. Ludwig Viktor has no interest in this however, and turned it down. This dashed the hopes of some that Brazil and Mexico would be united through a royal marriage. Instead, Ludwig Viktor focused on collecting art and building palaces – among them the Palais Erherzog Ludwig Viktor, built between 1863-1866 to become the very first palace built on the Schwarzenbergplatz.

Ludwig Viktor was known for throwing lavish parties in his palaces. Tt was apparently an open secret that he preferred the company of men to women. However, he was not able to make use of his palace on the Schwarzenbergplatz for long. He was soon banished to Salzburg as a result of an embarrassing scandal for the imperial court; reportedly, Luzi-Wuzi had been involved in a fight amongst men in the famous male saunas of the Vienna Central Bath (known today as the Kaiserbründl). He would remain in Salzburg for the rest of his life, dying there in 1919 as the respectable old age of 76.

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