For more photos of the exhibit, see our photo album on Facebook

Wars, family feuds, marriages, and opulence are the foundation of much of the world's history. The Habsburg family was one of Europe's longest-reigning and most powerful dynasties. This summer, the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston (MFAH) hosts "Habsburg Splendor" - a one-of-a-kind exhibition featuring the armor, artwork, clothing, and other medieval luxuries of one of history's most influential families.

The exhibition comes straight from the world-famous Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien of Vienna, Austria. Most artifacts have never been seen in the US prior to this exhibition. The nearly 100 artworks and artifacts include arms and armor, Greek and Roman antiquities, court costumes, horse-drawn carriages, sculpture and paintings by legendary painters. The exhibit includes masterpieces such as The Crowning with Thorns (c. 1602/04) by Caravaggio; a portrait of Jane Seymour (1536), Queen of England and third wife to Henry VIII, by Hans Holbein the Younger; and Giuseppe Arcimboldo's "Fire" (1566).

The Habsburgs' shifting empire extended to nearly every corner of Europe at different periods in their 500 years of dominance. The family is famous for its rise to power through political marriages rather than war and conquest. It was once commonly said that, "Others make war, but thou, O happy Austria, only marry". The House of Habsburg produced Archdukes, Holy Roman Emperors, Kings of various European empires, and queens and princesses such as Marie Antoinette.

Three "tableau" displays exhibit larger objects from the Habsburg family such as suits of armor displayed on horseback with jousting weapons from a royal tournament, a full-size Baroque horse-drawn carriage and sleigh procession, and uniforms and ball gowns from the court of Franz Joseph. These remarkable displays are surrounded by countless other artifacts that exude the rich history and lavishness of the Habsburgs.

The MFAH has planned events throughout the summer to compliment the exhibition. From lectures by curators from the MFAH and Kunsthistorisches Museum to armor and fencing demonstrations, there is plenty of excitement around the Habsburgs in Houston. Don't miss a screening of The Sound of Music on July 9 and 12! For a full list see our event calendar.

Do not miss this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to view centuries of European history. The exhibit runs from June 14-September 13, 2015. Tickets are free for children under 12 and range from $10-$18 for adults. See a full list of museums and all that Houston's Museum District has to offer.