The mysterious wedding gown hunted for 200 years: Whose is it and how valuable is it?

The enigmatic lost wedding gown of the most rebellious Queen in Europe, missing for 179 years, has been hunted relentlessly for two centuries, and to this day, the wedding dress remains a mystery.


After the German TV series produced in 2022 – “The Empress” was released on Netflix, the wedding dress of the main character Queen Elisabeth of Austria has become famous.

Portrait of Queen Sisi wearing a wedding dress and the wedding dress is being recreated.

However, few people know that this dress went missing right after Elisabeth’s wedding and has been hunted by royal historians for centuries. The wedding dress is considered a valuable treasure by researchers and treasure hunters.

In 1854, after Empress Elisabeth of Austria, also known as Empress Sisi, got married to Emperor Franz Joseph in Vienna, Austria, her dress disappeared. Since then, the wedding dress of Empress Sisi has remained a secret for nearly 200 years.

Image believed to be Queen Sisi’s wedding ceremony.

Now, thanks to a series of clues, Austrian researcher Dr. Monica Kurzel-Runtscheiner has been able to partly decode the puzzle of this historical costume.

In 2021, Dr. Kurzel-Runtscheiner, known as the “lost treasure hunter,” received a message from a stranger. It was a woman and a freelance researcher from Spain – Silvia Santibañez.

In that message, Silvia Santibañez said that she had found a rarely known portrait of Elisabeth painted in 1857 at the Silesian Museum in Opava, Czech Republic. In this painting, Sisi is wearing a wedding dress, and the train of the dress is quite similar to the one kept at the Imperial Carriage Museum.

“I’m very pleased,” Dr. Kurzel-Runtscheiner said. “Finally, I have evidence that Sisi did wear the dress we possess at the time of her wedding. Moreover, it shows us how the overall dress looked. Something that we could only imagine before.”

Afterwards, Kurzel and the designers created an illustrated prototype of Empress Sisi’s wedding dress. The dress was recreated along with the 1857 portrait of Sisi and exhibited at the Imperial Carriage Museum until November 5, 2023.

Let’s admire the mysterious and enchanting wedding dress below:

The newly discovered portrait shows Empress Sisi wearing a never-before-seen dress.

A handcrafted replica of Empress Sisi’s wedding dress is displayed next to her portrait.

This is the first time the public can see two parallel versions of the dress that Kurzel believes to be the missing wedding dress of Empress Elisabeth of Austria for nearly 200 years.

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The elusive lost wedding gown of the most rebellious Queen in Europe, missing for 179 years, has been hunted for over 2 centuries and remains a mystery till now.