Crown Prince Rudolf’s Travels

Rudolf’s Route


Whereas an 18th or early 19th century traveller headed for Italy, Crown Prince Rudolf’s ‘Grand Tour’ took in the most-advanced country in 1879, Great Britain and Ireland.  This route follows the order in which Rudolf made his visits.



Austro-Hungarian Embassy, 18 Belgrave Square, London SW1X 8PX is the only building of the Imperial and Royal Austro-Hungarian Foreign Service still used today by Austrian diplomacy.

Jesuit Church of the Immaculate Conception, Farm Street, W1K 3AH, known as the Farm Street Church, opened in 1849.   Crown Prince Rudolf worshipped here as did Sisi and Archduchess Marie Valerie.

The British Museum, Great Russell St, London WC1B 3DG already had one of the world’s great collections when Rudolf went there.

Westminster Abbey, Broad Sanctuary, London SW1P 3PA

House of Commons, Parliament Square SW1A 1AA.

Royal Academy of Arts, Burlington House, Piccadilly W1J 0BD

National Gallery, Trafalgar Square, London WC2N 5DN

Albert Memorial (properly called the Prince Consort National Memorial), Queen’s Gate, London SW7 2AR is a ‘high-Victorian gothic extravaganza’ that has been meticulously restored.

Royal Albert Hall, Kensington Gore, SW7 2AR had only been open for seven years when Rudolf toured it.

Victoria and Albert Museum, Cromwell Road SW7 2RL was known as the South Kensington Museum when Crown Prince Rudolf and Archduchess Valerie explored it.

Bank of England, Threadneedle St, EC2R 8AH.  Rudolf signed a £5,000 note during his visit.  The bank has an interesting museum.

The London Central Meat Market, Smithfield, EC1A 9LH was re-built to improve what had been awful levels of hygiene.

Tower of London, Tower Hill EC3N 4AB

Leighton House Museum, 12 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ was the home and studio of the Victorian painter Lord Leighton (1830 -96).   The house next door 14 Holland Park Road, London W14 8LZ was the home of Leighton’s neighbour and fellow artist Valentine Prinsep.



Windsor Castle, Castle Hill, Windsor, Berkshire SL4 1NJ.   Rudolf would have been entertained in the private quarters and his standard later went up in the chapel as a Knight of the Garter.

Windsor and Eton Central Station, High Street, Windsor was known as just Windsor Station when Sisi and Crown Prince Rudolf visited Queen Victoria.   Today it is part museum, part shopping mall and trains still use it.



Cottesbrooke Hall, Main Street, Cottesbrooke, Northamptonshire NN6 8PF was visited by Rudolf during his mother’s stay.


Isle of Wight

Osborne House, York Avenue, East Cowes, Isle of Wight PO32 6JX. Rudolf stayed with the aged Queen and planted a tree in the grounds.



Rudolf spent many hours at Portsmouth Historic Dockyard, Visitor Centre, Victory Gate, HM Naval Base, Portsmouth PO1 3LJ which was building warships. He lunched at Admiralty House.



The Court of Session, Parliament Square, Edinburgh EH1 1RF offered Rudolf the chance to sit with the judges but he said no thank you.

Museum of Science and Art now the National Museum of Scotland, Chambers Street, Edinburgh EH1 1JF was founded as the Industrial Museum of Scotland in 1855.

Scotland’s grandest home Hamilton Palace was demolished in 1921.  The grounds are now country parks with museums and a mausoleum.



The beautiful Marks and Spencer, 48 Donegall Place, Belfast BT1 5BY was once linen merchant and manufacturer Richardson, Sons and Owdens’ fine warehouse.

Rudolf attended a ball at Dublin Castle, Castle Street, 1 which was built on the site of the 10th century Viking fortress by the Normans.

He saw the Guinness Brewery, St James’s Gate, Dublin that has become the number one tourist attraction in the city.



Arriving at 2 a.m., Rudolf stayed at the Queen Hotel, City Road, Chester CH1 3AH opposite the railway station.

He went to mass at the newly-opened St Francis’s Roman Catholic Church, Grosvenor St, Chester.



In Liverpool Rudolf visited Albert Dock, Liverpool Waterfront L3 4AA which was officially opened in 1846 to handle sailing boats up to 1,000 tonnes in weight.

The Walker Art Gallery, William Brown Street, Liverpool L3 8EL had only been open to the public for a year when he saw the pictures.



Rudolf went to the Town Hall, Albert Square M2 5DB, which was then new, and is now widely-seen as the finest city hall in the country.



The Grand Victoria Hotel, Bridge St, Bradford, BD1 1JX, built by local architects Lockwood and Mawson, welcomed Rudolf and his party.

One of the mills visited by Crown Prince Rudolf was Salt’s Mill, Saltaire BD18 3LA (sat nav for car park BD17 7EF).  It is now a world heritage site and tourist attraction.



Kelham Island Industrial Museum, Alma Street, Sheffield S3 8RY holds the year knife with its 2,000 blades that Joseph Rodgers proudly showed to the Crown Prince.



The Jewellery Quarter is just north of the city centre and Birmingham New Street.

Gillott’s pen factory in the Victoria Works was on the corner of Graham Street and Newhall Street (east side), Hockley B1 (blue plaque).

The Pen Museum, Unit 3, The Argent Centre, 60 Frederick Street, Hockley Birmingham B1 3HS  (open daily) recalls the history of the 12 pen making companies.

Elkington’s plating works in Newhall Street is marked by a commemorative blue plaque.


Stratford -Upon-Avon

Shakespeare’s Birthplace, Henley Street, Stratford-Upon-Avon, Warwickshire CV37 6QW has been a tourist attraction for over 270 years.  Rudolf visited the Bard’s home.



Warwick Castle, Castle Street, Warwick CV34 4QU.  Perched high above the river Avon, beautiful Warwick Castle dominates the town today, just as it has done for 1,000 years.


Leamington Spa

Crown Prince Rudolf finished his tour of Britain and Ireland in Leamington Spa, home of Mary Throckmorton, his sister Archduchess Valerie’s governess.  The Regent Hotel opened in 1819 and was named by permission of the Prince Regent (later George IV).  It was stayed in by Princess Victoria (later Queen), the Duke of Wellington and the future Napoleon III and Empress Eugenie.  It is now the Premier Inn, 154-156 Parade, Leamington Spa CV32 4BQ

© L. and R. Offer own photos. Stained glass © Picture source Wikipedia



Jesuit Church, Farm Street, London where Sisi and Crown Prince Rudolf worshipped.

Jesuit Church, Farm Street, London where Sisi and Crown Prince Rudolf worshipped.

Prince Rudolf was taken to visit Smithfield Market,London.

Prince Rudolf was taken to visit Smithfield Meat Market,London.

Admiralty House in Portsmouth Docks, Portsmouth

Admiralty House in Portsmouth Docks, Portsmouth

Court of Session set up by James V in 1532, Edinburgh, Scotland

Court of Session set up by James V in 1532, Edinburgh, Scotland

Linen Mill now Marks and Spencer Store Donegal Street Belfast plus Statue of Queen VIctoria visited by Prince Rudolf.

Linen Mill now Marks and Spencer Store Donegal Street Belfast plus Statue of Queen VIctoria visited by Prince Rudolf.

Guinness Factory, Dublin

Guinness Factory, Dublin

Elkington Silver Plating Works, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham

Elkington Silver Plating Works, Jewellery Quarter, Birmingham