Mirabell Palace, located in the historical center of Salzburg and is considered one of the most famous attractions not only of the city, but of the whole of Austria. Called by the female name common in Italy, it reflects its meaning as accurately as possible – “beautiful, admirable.” Mirabell Park and Castle were appreciated not only by the governing bodies of UNESCO, which included it on the World Heritage List, but also by the famous Hollywood director Robert Wise, who shot several scenes from the sensational musical Sound of Music.
Brief historical background
The romantic Mirabell Palace, surrounded by the picturesque gardens and waters of the Salzach River, was erected in 1606 in honor of Salome Alt, the beloved woman of Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Reitenau. Once he remained behind the city gates, now his territory is in the heart of Salzburg.
Now you are sure to say that the appearance of this castle is no different from many other love stories. But this is not at all! The fact is that, according to religious laws, ministers of the church could neither fall in love, nor marry, nor even have children. However, love is rarely amenable to any rules and the luxurious Mirabelle, in which 10 archbishop’s offspring grew up, is another proof of this.
At first, the palace was called Alteno, but after the death of Wolf Reitenau, thrown into prison for treason, he changed not only the owner, but also his own name. Regarding the origin of the latter, there are 2 versions at once. According to one of them, the castle was named after the sort of plum Mirabelle, which grew in an incredible amount in the garden. But most historians are inclined to believe that we are talking about a stunning view, opening onto the slopes of the Alps.
The subsequent owners of the palace tried to change Mirabelle to their own taste, giving the already beautiful structure even more luxury. Unfortunately, in 1818, all this beauty was destroyed by a big fire, in which most of the rooms and ancient elements of the decor (including unique murals decorating the walls and ceiling) burned down. Only the Marble Hall and the staircase leading to it regretted the fire – their appearance remains the same.
In 1868, the Mirabell Palace became a city property, and in 1948 – also the official residence of the Salzburg Mayor. Now within its walls are the office of the burgomaster, the magistrate and several concert halls in which they hold meetings of congressmen, awarding ceremonies of various awards and other special occasions.
As for the creator of one of Austria’s main attractions, locals say that the inconsolable ghost of Archbishop Reitenau still wanders around Hohensalzburg, looking for his beloved. The latter was simply kicked out into the street, so her further fate remains unknown.
What to see in the complex?
Mirabell Park in Salzburg is famous not only for its origin, but also for many wonderful places that cause genuine interest among tourists. We offer a walk!
Once this truly luxurious room served as the ceremonial hall of the princes-archbishops and the music room of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart himself. Today, the Marble Room is the world-famous registry office, accepting couples in love from all over the world and busy for several months in advance. The painting in the most beautiful wedding hall in Austria lasts 15 minutes, after which the newlyweds go to the park for a traditional photo shoot. In addition, wonderful Palace concerts are often held here, in which the entire color of the Austrian nation is present.
Another curious element of the palace is the front marble staircase. One of the best creations of the sculptor Georg Rafael Donner is located in the western wing of Mirabelle (Georg-Raphael-Donner-Stiege) and is decorated with figures of angels.
See also: 5 ways to get to Salzburg from the city of Vienna .
The Baroque park surrounding the palace deserves no less attention. Broken in 1960 during the reign of His Grace Johann Ernst von Thun and overlooking the Fortress and the Cathedral, it makes a truly indescribable impression.
At the same time, the Mirabell Gardens in Salzburg have several highlights at once:
- Pegasus Fountain with a sculpture of a winged horse – installed in the first half of the 20th century according to the design of Caspar Grasse from Innsbruck;
- The Green Theater, which hid behind high sheared curtains, is located on the western edge of the complex, is one of the oldest summer theaters in Central Europe, and is the venue for many festivities;
- Large fountain – built in 1690, surrounded by statues created by Ottavio Mosto and symbolizing 4 natural elements;
- Garden of exotic roses – spread along the southern facade of the castle;
- Orangery – today it grows a variety of palm trees;
- The Garden of the Dwarves is another pride of the Mirabell Palace in Salzburg, which has become the main embodiment of human vices and virtues. According to local beliefs, the park initially had 28 marble figures “written off” from real midgets. However, Crown Prince Ludwig of Bavaria, who lived in the castle at that time, did not like these sculptures terribly, so most of them went under the hammer.
What other attractions to see in the city, first of all, see here .
Mirabell Palace and Garden are located on Mirabellplatz, which is the largest square in the city. You can get to it from almost any corner of Salzburg using the municipal bus number 120, 152, 160, 9399, 170, 260, 130, 141, 155, 131, 180, 154 or 270. The stop you need is Schloss Mirabell (Salzburg Mirabellplatz) .
The park is open for visitors throughout the year. Opening hours – from 8.00 to 16.00. Admission is absolutely free. The only exception is the Baroque Museum – in this case you will have to pay about 5 €. In addition, the Museum operates on its own schedule:
- Monday is a day off;
- Tuesday – Saturday: from 9.00 to 17.00 (lunch break – from 12.00 to 14.00);
- Sunday – from 10.00 to 13.00.
Important! You can update the current information and get any information you are interested in on the official website of the Mirabell Palace: www.salzburg.info/ru/sights/top10/mirabel-palace-gardens.
Note: not far from the park, in the city center is the main religious attraction of the city – Salzburg Cathedral. Detailed information about him is collected in this article .
Having decided to visit Mirabell in Salzburg, take note of a few useful recommendations:
- Both the palace itself and the gardens are beautiful at any time of the year, but the best period for their contemplation is spring-summer, when everything around is blooming and raging with bright colors. As for winter, the park will be covered with snow, and most of the sculptures will be covered with a protective film, so you are unlikely to get acquainted with all the sights of Mirabel;
- The park on Mirabellplatz is one of the most visited places in Salzburg, so there are plenty of tourists here. If you want to enjoy the beauty of the surrounding nature and take cool pictures, come early in the morning. By the way, the most quiet place is the open Green Theater;
- Managed to get hungry during a long walk? On the street behind the garden there are several cozy cafes where you can have a snack and drink delicious coffee;
- Most tourists prefer to explore Mirabelle on their own, but with a guide everything is much more interesting;
- The most beautiful photographs are taken against the backdrop of the Big Parterre. The main thing is to get lucky with the weather;
- If you move around the city on your own transport, leave it in the underground parking opposite the gardens;
- From the highest point of Mirabell Park, a wonderful panorama of the Hohensalzburg Fortress opens. She is especially good at sunset;
- Walking through the park, be vigilant – there are a lot of beggars around, as well as petty thieves;
- If you come to Salzburg with children, be sure to go with them to the playground with slides and swings, located directly behind the park. You can get there through a small tunnel;
- Fans of symphonic music should attend a concert in the pink marble hall. They say it has amazing acoustics.
As you can see, the Mirabell Palace is a truly unique creation, for acquaintance with which you should not spare either time or effort. Enjoy your time and vivid emotions!