Eleonora Gonzaga (1598–1655)

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For other women of the same name, see Eleanor Gonzaga (disambiguation)

Eleonora Gonzaga
Holy Roman Empress, German Queen,
Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia
File:Justus Sustermans 001.jpg
Eleonora Gonzaga
Born (1598-09-23)23 September 1598
Duchy of Mantua
Died 27 June 1655(1655-06-27) (aged 56)
Vienna, Austria
Spouse Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor
House House of Gonzaga (by birth)
House of Habsburg (by marriage)
Father Vincenzo I Gonzaga
Mother Eleonora de' Medici

Eleonora Gonzaga (23 September 1598 – 27 June 1655) was the second wife of Ferdinand II, Holy Roman Emperor, Archduchess consort of Austria, Queen of Germany, Queen consort of Hungary and Bohemia.[1]


Engraving of Eleonora Gonzaga

Born in Mantua in 1598, Eleonora was the youngest daughter of duke Vincenzo I of Gonzaga of Mantua and Eleonora de' Medici.

Eleonora spent her childhood at the court of Mantua. Famous for her singular beauty, she married Ferdinand in Innsbruck on 2 February 1622. Ferdinand's previous wife Maria Anna of Bavaria had died in 1616, but the Gonzaga family did not — as expected — profit from this connection, because some of Ferdinand's counsellors rejected the marriage. The Imperial troops even captured and destroyed Mantua in the War of the Mantuan Succession (in 1630).

The papal Nuncio Caraffa described Eleonora not only as beautiful but also as pious. For example she established Carmelite convents in both Graz and Vienna.

The royal couple had no children, but Eleonora became stepmother to Ferdinand's four surviving children from his previous marriage.

Eleonora died in Vienna in 1655 and was first buried in the Carmelite convent of the Austrian capital until her body was transported in 1782 into the St. Stephen's Cathedral of the same city.



  • Brigitte Hamann: Die Habsburger. 1988, p. 78f.

Portraits of Eleonore Gonzaga

Eleonora Gonzaga (1598–1655)
Born: 23 September 1598 Died: 27 June 1655
Royal titles
Preceded by
Maria Anna of Bavaria
Archduchess consort of Inner Austria
Succeeded by
Maria Anna of Spain
Preceded by
Anna of Austria
Empress of the Holy Roman Empire
German Queen
Queen consort of Hungary
Queen consort of Bohemia