The History - The Castle
The Castle of Miramare and its Park were built by order of Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg who decided to have a residence befitting his rank built on the outskirts of Trieste, facing the sea and surrounded by a large garden. Struck by the tough, untamed beauty of the promontory of Grignano – a sheer Karst outcrop, then almost devoid of vegetation – Maximilian purchased several plots of land at the end of 1855. The laying of the foundation stone took place on 1st March 1856.
On Christmas Eve, 1860, Maximilian and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium, took up residence on the ground floor of the building, which was already completed externally. Internally the first floor was still in preparation. 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 architectural style of the time which was mainly eclectic: Gothic, Medieval and Renaissance models combine in a remarkable blend, recalling other examples of the great houses of the time, built by noblemen in Alpine landscapes on the banks of rivers and lakes.
In Miramare Castle, Maximilian creates a perfect combination of the sweet scent of the Mediterranean and the austerity of European form, recreating a unique atmosphere thanks to the presence of the sea, which gives the light-blue colours to the tapestry on the ground floor of the Castle, and inspires the names and furnishings of many of the rooms.
The craftsman Franz Hofmann and his son, Julius, were entrusted with the furnishing and decorations: the ground floor destined for the use of Maximilian and his wife, Charlotte of Belgium, has an intimate, family atmosphere, while the first floor was set aside for guests who couldn’t help being struck dumb by the sumptuous furnishings decorated with coats of arms and by the tapestry adorned with imperial symbols.