Miramare Castle

Grignano, Italy

Miramare Castle and its park were built by order of Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg (1832–1867). He was the younger brother of Franz Joseph, Emperor of Austria and later the only monarch of the Second Mexican Empire. In 1850, at the age of eighteen, Maximilian came to Trieste with his brother Charles and, immediately afterwards, he set off on a short cruise toward the Near East. This journey confirmed his intention to sail and to get to know the world. He decided to move to Trieste and to have a home built facing the sea and surrounded by a park worthy of his name and rank.

The castle's grounds include an extensive cliff and seashore park of 22 hectares designed by the archduke. The grounds were completely re-landscaped to feature numerous tropical species of trees and plants.

Designed in 1856 by Carl Junker, an Austrian architect, the architectural structure of Miramare was finished in 1860. The style reflects the artistic interests of the archduke, who was acquainted with the eclectic architectural styles of Austria, Germany and England.

On the ground floor, destined for the use of Maximilian and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium, worthy of note are the bedroom and the archduke’s office, which reproduce the cabin and the stern wardroom respectively of the frigate Novara, the war-ship used by Maximilian when he was Commander of the Navy to circumnavigate the world between 1857 and 1859. All the rooms still feature the original furnishings, ornaments, furniture and objects dating back to the middle of the 19th century. Many coats of arms of the Second Mexican Empire decorate the castle, as well as stone ornamentations on the exterior depicting the Aztec eagle.

The first floor includes guest reception areas and the Throne Room. Of note are the magnificent panelling on the ceiling and walls and the Chinese and Japanese drawing-rooms with their oriental furnishings. Of particular interest is the room decorated with paintings by Cesare Dell’Acqua, portraying events in the life of Maximilian and the history of Miramare. Currently, the rooms in the castle are mostly arranged according to the original layout decided upon by the royal couple. A valuable photographic reportage commissioned by the archduke himself made accurate reconstruction possible.

Nowadays to visit the castle is to experience the fascination of life in the middle of the 19th century in a residence that has remained largely intact and which gives the visitor an insight into the personality of Maximilian.


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Founded: 1856-1860
Category: Castles and fortifications in Italy


4.7/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Angie R (7 months ago)
Such a beautiful place and a lot of interesting history to be learned. Definitely pay to go inside, it's absolutely stunning. Don't miss a stroll through the gardens!
wobbly woz (10 months ago)
Really impressed with the area and setup. There is parking at the castle and outside but that was manic and people looked stressed, just back along the seafront there is on road free parking which we used and was ideal. There are free open showers scattered asking the promenade, fresh water fountains, steps to the sea and a couple of small cafes. Lovely walk the castle grounds, lots of steps and different areas to explore. Very quiet away from the castle but busier there with great sea views and places to eat and drink
Vecsei László (11 months ago)
If you have at least another hour or two, be sure to visit the castle park too. It's completely relaxing and refreshing: romantic walking paths, two lakes (one with lots of goldfish), gazebos with a pleasant atmosphere, special plants, fresh sea air - it's like being in the park of a fairytale castle. In addition, in the middle of the park (in a beautiful environment) there is a café (with toilets) where you can refresh yourself: not only drinks, but also light snacks (sandwiches, pasta, fruit, etc...). I recommend you find a bench, sit down, turn off your mobile and just enjoy the moment!
Ludo Van Raemdonck (12 months ago)
Really worth the visit. Beautifull! You can get here from Triëste by bus (line 6) or by boat. I took the boat (Delfino Verde company), which I can highly recommend. Visiting the park is free, access to the castle itself costs 10€.
Amalia S (2 years ago)
Beautiful place to visit, great for an outdoor walk! You can explore around the castle, next to the water or inside gardens with many paths and little lakes. Wish we had more time but I will definitely go back - recommend!
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