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…

Trieste on the Adriatic Sea

18 April 2015 | Author/Destination: | Rubric: General

Trieste Collage © DanieleDF1995

Trieste Collage © DanieleDF1995

Trieste is a city and seaport in northeastern Italy. It is situated towards the end of a narrow strip of land lying between the Adriatic Sea and Italy’s border with Slovenia, which lies almost immediately south and east of the city. Trieste is located at the head of the Gulf of Trieste and throughout history it has been influenced by its location at the crossroads of Germanic, Latin, Austro-Hungarian and Slavic cultures. In 2009, it had a population of about 205,000 and it is the capital of the autonomous region Friuli-Venezia Giulia and Trieste province. Trieste was one of the oldest parts of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1382 until 1918. In the 19th century, it was the most important port of one of the Great Powers of Europe. As a prosperous seaport in the Mediterranean region, Trieste became the fourth largest city of the Austro-Hungarian Empire (after Vienna, Budapest, and Prague). In the fin-de-siecle period, it emerged as an important hub for literature and music. However, the collapse of the Austro-Hungarian Empire and Trieste’s union to Italy after World War I led to some decline of its “Mittel-European” cultural and commercial importance. Enjoying an economic revival during the 1930s and throughout the Cold War, Trieste was an important spot in the struggle between the Eastern and Western blocs. Today, the city is in one of the richest regions of Italy, and has been a great centre for shipping, through its port (Port of Trieste), shipbuilding and financial services.   read more…

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