Miramare | The Geneva Convention: Miramare

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

Miramare

Adriatic Sea
Miramare Entrance
Miramare Castle
Miramare Castle
Miramare Castle Grounds
Miramare Castle Grounds
Miramare Castle Grounds
Miramare Castle Grounds
Miramare Castle
Miramare Castle Grounds
Miramare Castle Grounds
Miramare Castle
Miramare Castle Grounds

Another in a long series of beauties: Miramare. Slightly removed from the city of Trieste, it was built by a Hapsburg -- Maximillian, Kaiser Franz Josef's younger brother, who eventually became Emperor of Mexico. Maximillian started his career as Rear Admiral in the Austrian Navy, which made its base in Trieste, their main port city. After spending so much time there, he chose a spot just outside the city for his home.

By Hapsburg standards it's actually quite small. All the plans were drawn up, but only the first floor finished, decorated, and lived in by the time Maximillian and his wife Charlotte left to rule Mexico. Work continued even though they were on a different continent, and the house was finally finished years after Maximillian was killed by Mexican revolutionaries. Charlotte was declared insane and spent the rest of her life with her family in Belgium. No one ever considered it a permanent residence again, although Hapsburg family members did stay there from time to time until the Austrian Empire broke up about 50 years later.

It's quite a sad story, really, but an enormous house without one isn't much to look at. We weren't allowed to take pictures inside, but in my opinion it's the grounds that make the trip here worthwhile, anyway. I only wish I'd had more time to properly explore them. I would allow at least four hours at Miramare, if you visit (and you absolutely should!). The gardens come equipped with a cafe, and tours of the house come in multiple languages.

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