At Italy On This Day you will read about events and festivals, about important moments in history, and about the people who have made Italy the country it is today, and where they came from. Italy is a country rich in art and music, fashion and design, food and wine, sporting achievement and political diversity. Italy On This Day provides fascinating insights to help you enjoy it all the more.

Monday, 4 June 2018

Claudia de’ Medici – Archduchess of Tyrol

Medici daughter who was born to rule


Lorenzo Lippi's portrait of  Claudia de' Medici, painted in around 1626
Lorenzo Lippi's portrait of  Claudia
de' Medici, painted in around 1626
Claudia de’ Medici, who ruled the Tyrol region of Austria while her son was still a minor, was born on this day in 1604 in the Palazzo Pitti in Florence.

Claudia was the daughter of Ferdinando I de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany, and his wife Christina of Lorraine.

She was destined for a marital alliance with someone equally aristocratic and became engaged at just four years old to Federico Ubaldo della Rovere, Duke of Urbino.

She was educated in a convent where, in addition to piety, she learned to play the harp and paint pictures.

At the age of 16, she married Federico, Duke of Urbino and was initially disappointed when she found out he had his mistress installed in the ducal palace.

But two years later she had a daughter with him, Vittoria della Rovere. Her husband died a year later in 1623 leaving her a widow at the age of 19.

Claudia remarried in 1626 to Leopold V, Archduke of Austria, and became the Archduchess consort of Austria. She had five children by Leopold before his death six years later in 1632.

She assumed the regency of Tyrol in the name of her son, Ferdinand Charles, and held it until 1646 when Ferdinand became 18 and was able to rule for himself.

Joseph Heintz the Elder's 1604  portrait of Leopold V
Joseph Heintz the Elder's 1604
portrait of Leopold V
During that time she arranged for a reform of the militia, built up fortifications and concluded an alliance with Spain and the Emperor Ferdinand II. She also reformed the criminal justice system to make it less cruel.

Claudia died on Christmas Day in 1648 at the age of 44 in the Palace of Innsbruck.

Her daughter, Vittoria della Rovere, married Ferdinando II de’ Medici, Grand Duke of Tuscany.

Of her children by Leopold V, her son, Ferdinand Charles of Austria, married Anne de’ Medici. 

Her daughter, Isabella Clara of Austria, married Charles III Duke of Mantua.  Her second son, Sigismund Francis of Austria, married Countess Palatine Maria Hedwig Auguste of Sulzbach.

Her youngest daughter, Maria Leopoldine of Austria, married the Holy Roman Emperor, Ferdinand III. The couple had one other child, which died in infancy.

The Palazzo Pitti in Florence was the main residence of the Medici family from 1550
The Palazzo Pitti in Florence was the main residence
of the Medici family from 1550
Travel tip:

The Palazzo Pitti, where Claudia was born, was originally built for the banker, Luca Pitti, in 1457 in the centre of Florence, to try to outshine the Medici family. The Medici family later bought it from his bankrupt heirs and made it their main residence in 1550. Today visitors can look round the richly decorated rooms and see treasures from the Medici collections.

Urbino's magnificent Ducal Palace is the focal point of the city in the Marche region
Urbino's magnificent Ducal Palace is the focal point of
the city in the Marche region
Travel tip:

Urbino which is about 35km (22 miles) inland from the Adriatic resort of Pesaro, in the Marche region, is a majestic city on a steep hill.  It was once a centre of learning and culture, known not just in Italy but also in its glory days throughout Europe. The Ducal Palace, a Renaissance building made famous by The Book of the Courtier by Castiglione, is one of the most important monuments in Italy and is listed as a Unesco World Heritage site.

Also on this day:

1966: The birth of opera singer Cecilia Bartoli

1970: The birth of Olympic skiing champion Deborah Compagnoni

Home


No comments:

Post a Comment