Miramare Castle in Trieste

8 December 2017 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Museums, Exhibitions, Palaces, Castles, Manors, Parks

© Žiga

© Žiga

Miramare Castle is a 19th-century castle on the Gulf of Trieste near Trieste, northeastern Italy. It was built from 1856 to 1860 for Austrian Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium, later Emperor Maximilian I and Empress Carlota of Mexico, based on a design by Carl Junker. The castle’s grounds include an extensive cliff and seashore park of 22 hectares (54 acres) designed by the archduke. The grounds were completely re-landscaped to feature numerous tropical species of trees and plants. The work, steadily supervised by Maximilian, was finished only after his departure in 1864 for Mexico where he was appointed Emperor, and where after a brief reign he was shot in Querétaro in June 1867. Maximilian intended to create an intimate atmosphere in the castle in the area reserved for his family – an area which he wanted to be in contact with nature, reflecting both his own spirit and that of an epoch. 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; the library, whose walls are lined with bookshelves and the rooms of the Archduchess with their tapestry of light-blue silk. 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.   read more…

Theme Week Istria – Motovun

28 June 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Aconcagua/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Aconcagua/cc-by-sa-3.0

Motovun is a village in central Istria. The population of the village itself is 500, with a total of 1,000 residents in the municipality. The Parenzana was a narrow gauge railroad that ran from Trieste to Poreč between 1902-1935, passed valley below the town. Motovun is a medieval town that grew up on the site of an ancient city called Kastelijer. It is situated on a hill 270 metres (886 feet) above sea level with houses scattered all over the hill. On the inner walls are several coats-of-arms of different Motovun ruling families and two gravestones of Roman inhabitants (dating from the 1st century).   read more…

Theme Week Istria – Umag

27 June 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Peko/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Peko/cc-by-sa-3.0

Umag is a coastal city in Istria. The city hosts a yearly ATP tennis tournament on clay courts. It is the westernmost city of Croatia, and the municipality includes Savudrija, the westernmost point of Croatia. In 1993 with the establishment of the new local rule Umag became an independent municipality (općina), and in 1997 was awarded the status of town or city (grad).   read more…

Theme Week Istria – Poreč

26 June 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, UNESCO World Heritage

Main square with church © Johann Jaritz/cc-by-sa-3.0

Main square with church © Johann Jaritz/cc-by-sa-3.0

Poreč is a town and municipality on the western coast of the Istrian peninsula. Its major landmark is the 6th century Euphrasian Basilica, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997. Ever since the 1970s, the coast of Poreč has been the most visited tourist destination in Croatia. Poreč is almost 2,000 years old, and is set around a harbor protected from the sea by the small island of Saint Nicholas/San Nicolo (St. Nicholas). The town’s population of approximately 12,000 resides mostly on the outskirts, while the wider Poreč area has a population of approximately 17,000 inhabitants. The municipal area covers 142 square kilometres (55 sq mi), with the 37 kilometres (23 miles) long shoreline stretching from the Mirna River near Novigrad to Funtana and Vrsar in the south.   read more…

Theme Week Istria – Labin

25 June 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Alessandro Vecchi/cc-by-sa-3.0

© Alessandro Vecchi/cc-by-sa-3.0

Labin, with a town population of 7,000 and 12,000 in the greater municipality (which also includes the small towns of Rabac and Vinež, as well as a number of smaller villages), lies on the east coast of the Istrian Peninsula, halfway between Pula and Opatija.   read more…

Theme Week Istria – Mošćenička Draga

24 June 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

© Roberta F./cc-by-sa-3.0

© Roberta F./cc-by-sa-3.0

Mošćenička Draga is municipality in Primorje-Gorski Kotar County. It has 1,600 inhabitants. It is situated southwest of Opatija under Mt. Učka. The centre of the municipality is the former fishing village of Mošćenička Draga which is today a tourist resort with seven beaches, small marina and walking paths. Above Mošćenička Draga there is the hilltop town of Mošćenice.   read more…

Theme Week Istria

23 June 2014 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General, Theme Weeks

Rovinj © David Orlovic/cc-by-sa-3.0

Rovinj © David Orlovic/cc-by-sa-3.0

Istria, formerly Histria (Latin), is the largest peninsula in the Adriatic Sea. The peninsula is located at the head of the Adriatic between the Gulf of Trieste and the Bay of Kvarner. It is shared by three countries: Croatia, Slovenia, and Italy.   read more…

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