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Bad Ischl is a spa town in southern
part of Upper Austria. The city was first mentioned in the 13th century,
but it reached its high point in the nineteenth century. The city became
a favorite summer residence for the Austrian Imperial family as well as
a play ground for European aristocracy. Large sum of money were flowing
and a small city became famous for its lavish architecture and cultural
importance in Europe.
Kaiservilla is a
magnificent residence that was presented as a wedding present
from Archduchess Sophie to her son Franz Joseph when he married
Elisabeth of Bavaria (Sisi). It served as Emperor's favourite
residence. Gradually it became a second palace where Austrian leader
held important meetings and signed historic documents. In fact it
was here Franz Joseph signed the declaration of war against Kingdom
of Serbia on 28 July, 1914.
Wildenstein or Wildenstein Castle was constructed in the late 12th
century. In 1419 it became an imperial residence. The legends still
circulate around the citadel. One of them states that extensive
network of underground passages still survive dug in the side of the
mountain. The castle was burned in 1593 and finally in 1715. It was
subsequently abandoned and fell in disrepair.