This palace was a token of love from Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau for his Salome Alt. Schloss Altenau Palace was erected in 1606, but Markus Sitticus changed its name to Mirabell later on. Kaiser Franz Joseph made the palace’s gardens open to the public in 1854, and they’re still a real gem of landscape design as well as a very popular location for photography.
Prince Archbishop Franz Anton von Harrach had Schloss Mirabell Palace refurbished by the well-known Baroque architect Lukas von Hildebrandt from 1721 to 1727 to create a closed compound. The huge fire that swept the city on the 30th of April 1818 damaged the building heavily: the Marble Room and the marble steps escaped unscathed. The staircase, with its charming angels, was designed by the master Lukas von Hildebrandt, and is one of Schloss Mirabell Palace’s greatest treasures. The sculptures in the niches are masterpieces by the famous Georg Raphael Donner. Peter de Nobile was responsible for Schloss Mirabell Palace’s design as you see it today.
The Mirabellgarten Gardens were redesigned under Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun in around 1690. The geometric forms integral to the Baroque design can still be seen today. Their direction towards the cathedral and castle gives these gardens a feeling of grandeur – and embeds them into the historic city landscape as a whole. These early Baroque gardens boast typical features of the style, such as floral ornaments, well-pruned trees, decorative vases and balustrades. Subsequent redesigns brought the diversity of the later Baroque period to the original gardens’ coherent design. Adjoining gardens were added such as the linden and beech paths, an outdoor theatre and the bastion garden. The garden’s beauty is enriched by fountains and stone statues.
Mirabell is a female forename from Italy, made by combining ‘mirabile’ meaning ‘wonderful’, and ‘bella’ meaning ‘beautiful.