Miramare Castle, Italy
My husband and I had a family obligation in Trieste so we used our limited free time for a quick visit to Miramare Castle with our baby boy. Miramare Castle is situated in the Gulf of Trieste just a short drive from Trieste’s city center along the coast. It was a hot day in June and all the beaches on the way to the castle were jam-packed. Luckily, we managed to find a free parking spot just outside the castle grounds gate.
Once you enter the castle grounds anchoring, swimming or any other beach activity is prohibited because you’re in the area of the Miramare Marine Nature Reserve. We put our baby in the stroller and walked slowly to the castle. We passed by the WWF-managed visitor center of the first Italian marine park housed in the Old Stables of the castle. Then we walked slightly uphill through the park to the castle. Our walk rewarded us with gorgeous views of Miramare Castle perched on the rocks above the Adriatic Sea.
Miramare Castle (Castello di Miramare) was built in 19th century for Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of the House of Hapsburg and his wife Charlotte of Belgium. Back then Trieste was a part of Austro-Hungarian Empire. Carl Junker designed Miramare Castle and its beautiful park following strict wishes of Archduke Ferdinand. Unfortunately, the Archduke didn’t get to enjoy his castle for too long because he was declared the Emperor of Mexico in 1864. Not long after, Ferdinand Maximilian (or Maximilian I as he was known in Mexico) was assassinated and his wife Charlotte suffered a major nervous breakdown. However, Miramare Castle continued to be visited by many members of Hapsburg family. For instance, Emperor Franz Joseph and his wife Elizabeth (Sissy) stayed in Miramare Castle during their official visit to Trieste.
This wasn’t my first visit to Miramare Castle but the sight of a gorgeous white castle still took my breath away. We didn’t have enough time to actually go inside the castle and see its splendid rooms and furnishings so we just wandered around it for a bit and took photos. Also, it would have been impossible to go upstairs with a stroller or to carry around the castle our baby boy who was 7 months old at the time of our visit and already quite a big boy. So, we had to satisfy ourselves with a delicious Italian ice-cream in the park instead 🙂 Miramare Park has a surface area of 22 hectares and boasts a number of exotic plant species. There are several structures in the park from fountains to greenhouses and there’s even a little house by the swan’s lake. You’ll find Castelletto in the park too which is in a way a smaller reproduction of the main castle. Only Ferdinand and his wife lived in Castelletto.
We enjoyed our short but sweet visit to Miramare Castle.
The admission to the park and the castle grounds is free so you can just enjoy the beautiful park without visiting the castle. To find more about the castle click here.
Have you visited Trieste? Would you like to visit Miramare Castle too?