Saturday, June 28, 2014

Sarajevo: Morning

June 28, 1914

It is the morning of Franz Ferdinand and Sophie's wedding anniversary.  They are at the Hotel Bosnia in Ilidze.  According to Greg King and Sue Woolman's definitive The Assassination of the Archduke (St.Martin's Press), "Franz Ferdinand dictated a telegram to his children at Chlumetz."   'Papa and Mama' are well, and were "looking forward to seeing them again."

Shortly after 9:30 a..m, Archduke Franz Ferdinand and the Duchess of Hohenberg left the hotel, and were driven to the railroad station for a ten minute journey to Sarajevo.

When the train pulled into the station, the 15th Army Corps band played the national anthem.  The archduke was the first to alight from the train, and was greeted by local officials including the mayor.  Franz Ferdinand was dressed in the uniform of an Austrian cavalry general.   His wife, Sophie, followed him.  She was dressed in a "white silk summer dress adorned with panels of lace and ornamented with a small corsage of red and white rosebuds at her waist."

The couple's first stop was at the Filippovic Barracks, which across from the train station.  It was shortly after ten a.m., when they were greeted by General Michael von Appel, military commander for Sarajevo.  Franz Ferdinand reviewed the troops, as Sophie walked with him.  Normally, she would have "stood discreetly to this side," but this morning, Sophie "did not want to be separated from him."

It was all over in about ten minutes, and Franz Ferdinand and his wife were escorted to a "line of seven motorcars waiting in front of the station."

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