Édouard Manet: The execution of Emperor Maximilian of Mexico, oil on canvas, 1868/69

Kill, live & die

Over the centuries improvements in hygiene, medicine and food supply led to increases in population and life expectancy. However, many people died an unnatural death: wars waged by the Habsburgs cost innumerable lives. Religious dissidents and political opponents were persecuted and executed. But some of the rulers themselves led dangerous lives and became the targets of assassins.

Why did people die? Which Habsburgs met with an unnatural death? Whom did they themselves kill? How were they buried?