Another vampire legend is that of Eleonore von Schwarzenberg.
Some time ago I presented you with the events surrounding the discovery of ~the 3 Cesky Krumlov skeletons~. As you can imagine that founding make quite a stir so many researchers jumped to investigate the origins of the vampires who were unearthed.
What they concluded was released to the public in 2007 [dramatizations included] in a documentary with the title “The vampire princess”
The main focus in this movie is the infamous Eleonore von Schwarzenberg.
Let`s start with what we can be sure of; I quote from our trusted wiki:
Princess Eleonore Elisabeth Amalia Magdalena von Schwarzenberg, born von Lobkowicz (born 20 June 1682, in Mělník and died 5 May 1741, in Palais Schwarzenberg, Vienna) was a member of the House of Lobkowicz and was, by marriage, princess of Schwarzenberg.
We know how she lived her life: she married into the royal Austrian family and had two children with her husband. By the time she widowed her daughter was already married and her son was taken to the royal court leaving her in solitude at her castle.
When she died, unusual enough, Franz von Gerstoff, the Emperor’s physician, requested an autopsy and because of it we can diagnose cervical cancer as the cause of death.
Now let us move our attention to the strange things that are said to have happened, especially around the time of her death and after, and that link her to vampires and the 3 skeletons discovered!
The woman the documentary describes is indeed pretty special!
When she married into the grandiose Schwarzenberg family in 1701 she moved into the castle of Krumlov alongside her husband.
To pass the time the couple would organize hunting events and host parties like bals and carnivals. Like all aristocratic families at that time, the two were a power union and shared little in common. The prince was mostly at hunting when he didn`t host it himself and the princess was left with her preoccupation – mostly related to the occult.
Since the only thing needed to fulfill her meaning as an aristocratic wife is a male to carry on the name, Eleonore starts to summon physicians from all over the empire.
But to no result!
So she turns to the darker practices and installs packs of wolves in the basement of the castle. During the hunting seasons the guests were forbidden to kill wolfs – in stead they would capture them and lock them up for the princess.
In those times it was believed that the consumption of milk from wolves would help produce a male child. This was related to the myth of Romulus and Remus who were raised by a wolf.
After years of efforts she manager to have her second chield, a boy named Joseph Adam. She was 41 and her managing to give birth at that age was considered by many either a miracle or the result of witchcraft.
To tell the truth, the second was considered strongly because everyone knew of what she had been through and the wolf was preached against by the church. It was considered a satanic animal sent forth by Satan to instill terror in mankind and in some regions it was considered either the familiar of the vampire or the preferred form of one when it would choose to metamorphose.
When the boy was taken away from her at the death of his father she started to feel the solitude of her immense palace [The Krumlov castle is one of the largest in Europe] especially since the only visits she would receive were the ones of the doctors. She continued to consume a large amount of medicine both in number and variety.
During the last year of her life it was recorded that she was weaker and weaker as she lost weight and became pale. She would be in a great deal of pain and would have problems sleeping.
When it became clear that she was going to die she travelled to the castle of her family in Vienne in hopes that she would get better medical care.
All was in vain!
The strangeness of her death is put to shadow because of what happened after.
An autopsy was performed on the body even though at that time the aristocracy wasn`t submitted to such treatment.
Not only that is puzzling about the autopsy: in the document that is kept to this day we find a price for the procedure – in today’s value an estimated 130,000.00 U.S. dollars, but no conclusion was drawn over the cause of death.
We have notes indicating that the internal organs were atrophied and that in her stomach they found a tumor the size of a football. It is based on these notes that modern day doctors can state that the princess died of cervical cancer.
Looking back we can only assume that in the eyes of her family she was a victims of vampiric attacks and we can go further speculating that the so called autopsy was nothing but a way of taking actions against an eventual rising from the grave on behalf of Eleonore. Maybe the doctor had the mission to destroy her heart and the money was given as a reward for his help and measure to ensure that word wouldn`t break out.
Yet another slap in the face of this noble woman is the fact that she was denied the resting place she was entitled to, along side her ancestors, in a Viennese monastery. Her body was dispatched back to Cesky Krumlov that very night as per the instruction of a will that she supposedly had made a couple of days prior to her death.
We can actually find her name on a spot from the monastery but in the records we are given the true location of her grave… it was buried in the church of the land she presided over during her married life.
No one from her family attended the ceremony that took place at night, not even her son! The only ones attending were the poor people from the villages in her region and it is they who walked her to the grave.
In accordance to her suspicious will [many question its authenticity] she did not was any special markings, just for a specific text: “Here lies the poor sinner Eleonora.Pray for her.”
[Hier liegt die arme Sünderin Eleonora. Bittet für sie.]
According to the archives at the church she had specific instructions in regards to the way she wished to be buried… supposedly she was to be laid to rest inside the church itself, in a large pit that was filled with holy soil [from the cemetery] once the coffin was placed in it and and the grave was to be covered [basically blocked] with a very heavy rock.
There is a theory as to why she wasn`t buries at the side of her other family members and it is based on “De masticatiorum mortum”, a medieval paper that claimed that during the transformation, a vampire would start to eat at its shroud and then attack the nearby corpses.
Due to her name she was believed to be at the root of ~Lenora~ by G.A. Burger. It is a ballad about a bride that curses at the sky when her groom is killed at was and it later rejoined by him. In the bliss of the encounter she does not realize that he is the undead and ends up joining him to his grave for eternity.
Due to her birth origin it is believed that she is the inspiration for the vampire princess in Stoker`s first chapter, the one added after his death. The main character, Harker, is lured into a cemetery where he is attacked by an undead princess. He awakens after a snow storm and believed it to be a dream.
Bottom line is.. there was a real Eleonore von Schwarzenberg, an austrian princess indeed. Even more so she might have been suspected of being a vampire