Tag Archives: Habsburgs of Vienna

The Famous Habsburg Jaw

Jaw5The Habsburgs of Austria ruled a vast empire, the Austro-Hungarian Empire, for about 600 years.  They did not particularly care for fighting. Shrewdly, they built and maintained their empire mostly by judicious marriages.  Very often, a judicious marriage was marriage to a cousin in some other powerful part of Europe, like Spain.

Jaw1 Jaw2

As a result, the succeeding generations of the family very often displayed the famous “Habsburg jaw,” which is seen everywhere in Vienna. Did anyone consider this feature unattractive?  If they did, they may have wisely kept quiet about it.


Male family members proudly had themselves painted and sculpted with the distinctive jawline. What about the women? In all my wandering in Vienna, I have yet to see any female Habsburgs portrayed with the famously prominent jaw.


I guess beauty is in the eye of the beholder.  Still, I can’t say I blame the women for de-emphasizing this feature.

Note: this is a repeated post.  For reasons known only to invisible internet goblins, the previous post on the subject had some problems. Join me next time for more explorations in the art and history of Europe!