Prince Eugene of Savoy

Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736) made a name for himself as a general and diplomat in the Habsburg Monarchy while also acquiring significant wealth. With cosmopolitan finesse, he cultivated prominent personalities throughout Europe. The ceremonial chambers of his palaces were the settings for lively international exchanges. Prince Eugene had a lasting influence, not only on politics but also on the art and cultural history of Austria. His buildings and art collection made him one of the most important patrons of his time.

Prinz Eugen von Savoyen
Jacob van Schuppen, Prinz Eugen von Savoyen nach der Schlacht von Belgrad am 16. August 1717, 1718, Leihgabe des Rijksmuseum Amsterdam

Prince Eugene of Savoy’s Biography

 

 

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1663

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Prince Eugene Franz of Savoy is born in Paris on October 18 to Eugene Moritz of Savoy and Olympia Mancini, the fifth of their seven children.

 

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1673

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His father dies.

 

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1683

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Having been refused admission into Louis XIV's army, Prince Eugene flees France and joins the army of Emperor Leopold I. He takes part in the Battle of Kahlenberg (September 12). Carlo Emanuele d'Este, Marchese di Borgomanero, welcomes Prince Eugene into his home and introduces him to the court of Leopold I.

 

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1688

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Appointed Field Marshal Lieutenant, Prince Eugene becomes lay abbot of two abbeys in Savoy that provide him with substantial revenues, but also require the commitment to remain celibate.

 

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1693

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Appointed Imperial Field Marshal.

 

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1694

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First buildings are purchased in the Himmelpfortgasse, ushering in an era of active construction work. Over the course of his life, Prince Eugene establishes a substantial collection of paintings, books, and engravings, as well as of plants and a zoo.

 

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1697

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Appointment as Commander in Chief of the Imperial Army in Hungary. The Battle of Zenta (September 11) brings Prince Eugene his first great success as a commander. Several other successful military operations establish his fame as a general. He purchases a large plot of land on the Rennweg, which is gradually expanded as he acquires several other properties.

 

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1701

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Commencement of the War of Spanish Succession – Prince Eugene once again gains fame and honor.

 

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1703

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Named President of the Imperial War Council.

 

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1704

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The Battle of Höchstädt (August 13) leads to a coalition with the British. Terracing work commences on the grounds of the Belvedere.

 

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1706

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Relief of the city of Turin from the French.

 

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1712

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Construction of the Lower Belvedere begins.

 

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1714

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The War of Spanish Succession ends with the Peace of Rastatt (March 6).

 

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1716

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Appointment as Governor in the Austrian Netherlands (until 1724). Battle of Peterwardein (August 5) as part of the Venetian–Austro–Turkish Wars.

 

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1717

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Battle of Belgrade, with a surprise attack launched by Prince Eugene (August 16). Lower Belvedere is completed and construction of the Upper Belvedere commences.

 

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1718

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The Peace of Passarowitz (July 21) not only concludes the Venetian–Austro–Turkish Wars, it also puts an end to the threat from the Ottoman Empire.

 

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1723

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Completion of the Upper Belvedere.

 

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1724

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Appointment as Vicar General of Austrian territories in Italy.

 

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1725

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Prince Eugene acquires Schloss Hof.

 

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1731

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Publication begins of the ten-volume book of Belvedere engravings based on drawings by Salomon Kleiner. What is known as Menagerie Work, a complimentary book on animals and plants in the gardens of the Belvedere, is published in 1734.

 

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1734

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In the spring, and at the request of Emperor Charles VI, the seventy-year-old Commander in Chief assumes command of the Rhine army in the War of the Polish Succession.

 

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1736

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Prince Eugene dies the evening of April 21 in his palais at the Himmelpfortgasse. Funeral services take place on July 9 at St. Stephen’s Cathedral, where he is laid to rest in the Savoy Crypt.

 

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