The Mirabell Palace and Gardens are a popular wedding venue. You do not have to marry, though, to visit this magic place. The romantic castle of Salzburg with its impressive marble hall still forms the representative setting for honors, atmospheric concerts and marriages. Today, the Mirabell Palace houses the city administration and the offices of the Salzburg mayor. But already Leopold Mozart, the father of Wolfgang Amadeus and his children Wolfgang and Nannerl, performed in the imposing rooms of Mirabell Palace. Incidentally, the castle was originally called Altenau Castle and is itself a romantic love story. No wonder it’s a popular wedding venue.
The (love)story of Mirabell Palace
In 1606 Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau had the castle built for his beloved, Salome Alt. Wolf Dietrich built the castle as a dignified residence for his lover and her ten illegitimate children. It was meant to be compensation for the many social events that excluded Salome Alt. Because as a priest Wolf Dietrich was not allowed to marry his great love. The castle owes its present name, Mirabell Palace, to Markus Sittikus, the successor and nephew of Wolf Dietrich.
Between 1721 and 1727 Prince-Archbishop Franz Anton Fürst von Harrach generously remodeled the Mirabell Palace by the well-known baroque master Lukas von Hildebrandt. In 1818 big fire raged in Salzburg, badly damaging the Mirabell Palace and Gardens. Luckily, the large marble staircase and the marble hall have remained intact. The staircase with the marble balustrade is certainly one of the greatest treasures. This work of master Lukas von Hildebrandt is one of the most beautiful creations of European Baroque.
Opening times of Mirabell Palace and Gardens:
Baroque staircase and angel steps: Daily from approx. 8am to 6pm
Marble Hall: Monday, Wednesday and Thursday: approx. 8am to 4pm, Tuesday and Friday: 1pm to pm, for special events no sightseeing possibility!
Other premises inside the palace can not be visited, as the city administration does its work here.
The visit is free (not valid for special events and concerts)
The Mirabell Garden
The baroque garden surrounds Mirabell Palace on the south and west sides. It is divided into several areas. In the center of the garden is a fountain which is surrounded by four large sculptures which symbolize the four elements. The garden is also home to statues of two unicorns and a pair of lions. They are a popular photo opportunity for newlyweds and tourists.
A special and somewhat bizarre place is the Dwarf Garden. Guarded by two dwarfs you will pass through the portal of the dwarf garden. A narrow wooden bridge, which is well secured, will lead you to the weir bastion. Between tall trees you will find 13 derisive comedian-like statuettes of marble. They depict young and old dwarfs of both sexes, often with hat and headgear. Dwarf gardens were not uncommon during the Baroque period as midgets were part of European courts. The dwarf garden in Salzburg was the first of its kind in Europe.
Read more about the Mirabell Palace.