10.08.2013 11:01

§   The heirs to the Holy Roman Empire in Scaraicalasino   §          

On a frosty and windy winter night, in January, 19 1739, Francis Stephen, Duke of Lorraine (Nancy 1708 – Innsbruck 1765) and his wife, Maria Theresa of Austria (Vienna 1717 – 1780), Archduchess and Sovereign of Austria, Hungary and Croatia, Queen of Bohemia, Mantua, Milan, Lodomeria and Galicia, the Austrian Netherlands and Parma, were travelling south of Bologna, accompanied by Francis’ brother Charles.

The Royal couple, who had been married since 1736, had a retinue of 360 people, between soldiers, officers and servants.

The cortege reached Scaricalasino at 2 am, preceded by six postilions blaring great trumpets.

For the occasion, all windows facing the piazza were festooned and brightly lit; the Senate of Bologna met the cost of this.

Father Paolo Salani, abbot of the convent, surrounded by all the monks and six pages, holding torches, waited for the illustrious visitors on the doorstep of the monastery.

Soon after the royal party had entered the monastery, dinner was served, and then the guests were lead to their rooms. As was customary, the nobles and high officers lodged in the monastery, while servants and troops had to find room, according to their rank, in local inns, private houses, stables and cellars.

The following day, the party resumed the journey toward Florence, were Francis Stephen was to become Grand Duke of Tuscany, but the Florentine sojourn lasted just over two months since new political concerns and military events dictated their quick return to Vienna.

On April 26, Francis Stephen and Maria Theresa made their way back along the Apennine road toward Bologna, passing through Scaricalasino once again, without stopping.

In October 1740, following the death of the Emperor Charles V, Maria Theresa became Empress Consort of the Holy Roman Empire. It was only in 1745, following the Peace Treaty of Fussen, that she made her husband co-regent of her hereditary dominions, taking the throne of the Holy Roman Empire as Francis I.