This lovely palace and garden was built in 1606 by Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau for the greatest love in his life, Salome Alt, and their 15 children. As a member of the clergy, he could not marry her so he had the palace and garden built for her in hopes that it would make up for being excluded from social events and their children being considered illegitimate. Originally named Altenau in Salome’s honour, was later renamed Mirabell by his successor.
Located in Salzburg, Austria, Mirabell is considered one of Europe’s most beautiful Baroque gardens and is visited by many each day.
Sculptures and water fountains are positioned throughout the garden. Adding in colour with seasonal flowers which are planted in geometrically designed beds. The flower beds, hedges, water features and statues are set amidst generous grassy plots separated by paved pathways that permit visitors to easily wander throughout the garden. These are all surrounded by an inner and outer marble balustrade topped with elaborately decorated marble vases sculpted by Johann Berhnard Fischer von Erlach who was trained as a sculptor but is best known as Austria’s Father of Baroque Architecture.
Though Mirabell Gardens has gone through many remodels and reconstructing it is just as gorgeous today as it was in the 1600′s. First opened to the public in 1854 by Emperor Franz Joseph, the garden, palace and many other features are open all year round. The Marble Hall, which has the ballroom and concert venue, and where Wolfgang Mozart performed, is considered one of the most beautiful wedding halls in the world. Now, if only I had the time to travel to Austria tomorrow…