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The Kaiserappartements, on the first floor, are where the emperors and their wives and children lived. To reach the apartments, enter through the rotunda of Michaelerplatz. The apartments are richly decorated with tapestries, many from Aubusson in France. Unfortunately, you can't visit the quarters once occupied by Empress Maria Theresa and now used by the president of Austria. The court tableware and silver are outrageously ornate, reflecting the pomp and splendor of a bygone era. The Imperial Silver and Porcelain Collection, from the Habsburg household of the 18th and 19th centuries, provides a window into court etiquette.

The Imperial Apartments seem to be most closely associated with the long reign of Franz Joseph. A famous portrait of his beautiful wife, Elisabeth of Bavaria (Sissi), hangs in the apartments. You'll see the "iron bed" of Franz Joseph, who claimed he slept like his own soldiers. (Maybe that explains why his wife spent so much time traveling.) The Sissi Museum opened in 2004 with six rooms devoted to the life and complex personality of this famous, tragic empress.