Archduke Johann "The Styrian Prince"

Archduke Johann


He was the thirteenth child of Archduke Leopold from Tuscany and the daughter of the Spanish King Maria Luidoviksa and was born in the Pitti Palace in Florence.


When he was eight years old his father was called back to Vienna to take the place of the dead Emperor Joseph the second. His parents both died young and his brother Franz was enthroned as Emperor. He was forced to command   a battalion in the French revolution and as an 18 year old general lost the battle of Hohenlinden (end of 18th Century).


He travelled a lot and loved the Alps. His favorite place was Tirol but the people there ostracized him because of the lost war in 1805, all his energies were then diverted to the province of Styria.


In 1848 he had to leave Styria because he was appointed to rule the empire until a new Emperor was enthroned. The Styrian Prince came back disappointed   to the province in 1850 and resided in Graz, in the Meran Palace (Leonhardstrasse).  


He tried over the years to establish at least one college to teach mining technology, in 1840 he at last succeeded and in November of that year the Mining College was opened in Vordernberg (Hauptplatz 110), the first head master was the renowned Peter Tunner. Tunner moved to Leoben in 1849 and in 1861 opened the mining academy there. In 1894/1895 the academy was given the same status as the Technical Colleges of the day and renamed “Technical High school. In 1975 it became the   Mining University of Leoben.


 In 1822 The Archduke purchased the “Meranhouse” in Vordernberg . His wife Anna Plochl lived in the house for many years.