Lavish Imperial Dining Car Now on Display in Prague

Visitors to the National Technical Museum can see the royal saloon of Habsburg monarch Franz Joseph I

The National Technical Museum in Letná is honoring the 100th anniversary of the death of Franz Joseph I of Austria by giving the public the rare opportunity to visit the lavish dining car of the emperor’s 19th-century locomotive.

The dining car belongs to to one of four saloon cars that are part of the museum’s permanent collection of historic railway vehicles. It was manufactured in 1891 in the Franz Ringhoffer factory in Smíchov, one of the largest industrial enterprises of the Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Should you miss your chance to view the real deal (the exhibit runs through Sunday) take heart: in 2015 Viennese real estate developer Stefan Gutmann created an extravagant seven-carriage replica, the Majestic Imperator Train de Luxe, modeled on the original built for the Habsburg Emperor and his wife, Elisabeth. 

The train, which departs from Vienna, is currently accepting bookings for advent tours, a New Year’s Eve gala, and other fanciful outings that lets guests relive the golden era of luxury stream train travel in royal surrounds. 

Franz Joseph I was Emperor of Austria and King of Hungary, Croatia, and Bohemia from December 2, 1848 until his death on November 21, 1916. He was the third longest-reigning monarch of any country in European history. 

Czechoslovak presidents T.G. Masaryk and Edvard Beneš reportedly traveled aboard the extravagant royal dining car as well. 

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