Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrThis is a historical building with an incredible Marble Hall that once was graced by the presence of the Mozart family. Even though today the Palace serves government functions, housing the mayor and municipal council of Salzburg, it continues to regularly host concerts and cultural events as well. Mirabell Palace and Gardens is an iconic stop for anyone visiting Salzburg.
HistoryMirabell Palace was originally built under the name Altenau Palace in 1606, to honor the mistress of Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau . When his predecessor, Markus Sitticus von Hohenemes, took over, the palace was soon renamed Mirabell Palace, the name which it still holds to this day.
Mirabell Palace went through a few major stages of restoration in its history. The first major reconstruction occurred under Prince-Archbishop Franz Anton von Harrach from 1721 to 1727. Another major time for rebuilding was after the palace was damaged by a devastating fire that swept through Salzburg on April 30, 1818. Each time the palace has been reconstructed it has reflected a new and unique perspective and style of architecture.
The gardens also have their own, somewhat distinct history. They were consistently growing and changing under the care of various rulers. They went through a major project to redesign under Prince-Archbishop Johann Ernst Graf von Thun in 1690. They were finally opened to the public in 1854. A notable addition has been the Pegasus Fountain designed by Kaspar Gras that was added to the gardens in 1913. These gardens will forever be etched in the memories of many Sound of Music fans. They were featured in memorable songs, such as Do-Re-Mi in the musical movie rendition released in 1965.
ArchitectureWhen the palace was first built in 1606, it followed the conventional French and Italian models of the time. When a major project to reconstruct the palace occurred in 1721, it was done in a lavish, Baroque style. However, looking at the palace today, one will note the Neoclassical architecture. This dates back to the rebuilding of the palace after the fire that occurred in 1818. Some memorable features of the palace are the staircase and the marble hall.
GardensThe Mirabell Gardens truly are a site in and of themselves. The main square of the gardens are iconic due to their strong depiction in The Sound of Music film. However, there are a couple other features in the garden that are quite unique. There is also a Hedge Theater which was created between 1704 and 1718. This theater is still used for different event, and can be considered one of the oldest hedge gardens found north of the Alps. In addition, there is also the Dwarf Garden. This is an open garden full of strange looking creatures crafted from white Untersberg marble. The dwarf sculptures were added during the time when Franz Anton von Harrach was in power, around 1720.
Mirabell gardens are a memorable feature of visiting the palace. Far larger than the palace itself, they are filled with sculptures and interesting flower arrangements. In addition, there are several different parts of the garden that can be explored. For any nature lover, this is yet another part of Salzburg that makes it worth the visit.
VisitingThere is no cost to enter the palace nor the gardens. Visiting the palace is very restricted due to its active role in local government. However, the Marble Hall is open to the public as long as no special events are taking place. The Marble Hall can be visited on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays from 8 a0 feet to 4 p0 feet, or on Tuesdays and Fridays from 1 p0 feet to 4 p0 feet
The main portion of the gardens are open from 6 a0 feet to dusk. These are beautiful and are open year round to the public. The only exceptions to this are the Dwarf Garden and the Hedge Theater which are closed during the winter months.
If there is an ideal time to visit Mirabell Palace, it is probably in the spring. Though Salzburg is beautiful year-round, the negative to visiting Mirabell Palace in the winter is that certain parts of the gardens are closed. It also may be a good idea to check the calendar of events if you want to take a step inside the Marble Hall, just in case a special event has it closed for the day!
How to get thereThe Mirabell Palace and gardens are located directly to the east of the Salzach River in the heart of Salzburg. They are also located west of Kapuzinerberg Hill, another identifying landmark that is easily identifiable while roaming about the city. There are two bus stops that take you directly to the gardens, Salzburg Mirabellgarten, and the palace, Salzburg Mirabellplatz (Schloss Mirabell). One stop of the other puts you just a few steps away from both.
There are also two train stations within a 15-minute walk from Mirabell Palace and Gardens. One can find Salzburg Mülln-Altstadt Station across the river, or the main station in Salzburg, Salzburg Hbf on the same side of the river. Trains are a reliable and frequent form of transportation in Salzburg.
Nearby and Similar LandmarksSome nearby things to see in Salzburg are Kapuzinerberg , the Salzburg Cathedral, and Mozart's birthplace. It should be noted that there are a number of hop-on-hop-off tour buses that take you to all of the things you may want to see. There is even a Sound of Music themed tour bus! Other notable palaces on a world scale are the Taj Mahal, Buckingham Palace, and Palace of Versailles.
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Author: brendalyn.r. Last updated: Apr 05, 2015