Maria Theresa

ruler of the Habsburg Dominions (1717-1780)
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Maria Theresa of Austria (13 May 1717 – 29 November 1780) was the only female head of the Habsburg Dynasty. She was the Holy Roman Empress, queen of Hungary and Bohemia, and archduchess of Austria.

Maria Theresa
Maria Theresia of Austria 001.jpg
State portrait of Maria Theresa, which depicts her as the "first lady of Europe" in a precious dress of Brabant bobbin lace. To her right are Hungary's Crown of Saint Stephen, Bohemia's Crown of Saint Wenceslas and the Austrian Archducal hat as symbols of her suo jure reigns. The portrait is in the centre of the Hall of Ceremonies in Schönbrunn Palace[1] (by Martin van Meytens, c. 1752)
Holy Roman Empress
Tenure13 September 1745 – 18 August 1765
Queen of Bohemia
Reign20 October 1740 – 19 December 1741
PredecessorCharles II
SuccessorCharles Albert
Reign12 May 1743 – 29 November 1780
Coronation12 May 1743
PredecessorCharles Albert
SuccessorJoseph II
Archduchess of Austria
Queen of Hungary and Croatia
Reign20 October 1740 – 29 November 1780
Coronation25 June 1741
PredecessorCharles III
SuccessorJoseph II
Born(1717-05-13)13 May 1717
Vienna, Austria
Died29 November 1780(1780-11-29) (aged 63)
Vienna, Austria
Francis I, Holy Roman Emperor
(m. 1736; died 1765)
Full name
Maria Theresia Walburga Amalia Christina
FatherCharles VI, Holy Roman Emperor
MotherElisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel
ReligionRoman Catholicism
SignatureMaria Theresa's signature

During her rule she changed the royal palace outside Vienna (the Austrian capital) to look much like Versailles. Vienna itself became an important center for the arts, especially music. Maria Theresa added support to her absolute power by tightening her hold on the government. She also improved conditions for the peasants. She is generally known to history as the Empress Maria Theresa.


Maria Theresa of Austria in 1772.
Maria Theresa coin

Maria Theresa was born in Vienna, Austria, on 13 May 1717. Her parents were Charles VI, Holy Roman Emperor and Elisabeth Christine of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel. Her father had made the Pragmatic Sanction of 1713, a decree which allowed a female ruler despite the Salic law prohibition.

Maria Theresa married Duke Francis Stephan I of Lorraine for love. They had sixteen children who are named here:

Maria Theresa died in Vienna, Austria, on 29 November 1780.