The History - Miramare after 1867
In 1867, with Maximilian’s death and Charlotte’s departure for Belgium, Miramare became the occasional residence of the Hapsburg family.
In the period 1869-96, the castle was visited at least fourteen times by Franz Joseph’s wife the Empress Elizabeth, better known as Sissi, and he also stayed there in September 1882, on the occasion of an official visit to Trieste. On March 22, 1900 the Chapel at Miramare saw the wedding of the Hungarian nobleman Elemér de Lónyay and Stefania of Belgium. On March 1914 Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne, had the Prussian Emperor William as his guest; two months later he was assassinated in Sarajevo. The last Hapsburgs in Miramare were the Emperor Carl and his wife Zita, with whom the history of the Hapsburg Empire ends.
With the outbreak of the war in 1914, all the furnishings in the castle were transferred to Vienna. Then, at the end of the conflict, when Trieste came under Italian sovereignty, the Castle became State property, and an agreement was reached with Austria for the return of the furnishings and the opening of the Castle as a public museum.
After the necessary restoration made by the Soprintendenza, on March 24, 1929 the museum was opened, to be closed afterwards on the arrival of the Duke Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta, who lived there from 1931 to 1937.
In 1943, during the Second World War, the Germans turned the castle into a training school for officers, and the furnishings were removed and kept in various buildings of the town.
In 1945 the New Zealand troops took possession of the Castle, followed by the English, and finally the Americans, who stayed there from 1951 to 1954, when Trieste was returned to Italy thanks to a Memorandum of Understanding signed in London on October 5.
The Castle, the Castelletto and the Park, again State property, underwent some restoration works carried out by the local Soprintendenza. On the basis of graphic records and period pictures, it is possible to recreate the wooden decorations and replace furniture, paintings and tapestries.
On March 1955 the Park was reopened to the public, and on June 2nd of the same year the Museum – officially called the “Historical Museum of the Castle of Miramare” – was opened and entrusted to the “Soprintendenza per i Beni Storici Artistici ed Etnoantropologici del Friuli Venezia Giulia”.