Castello di Miramare

In my travels, I have visited homes of the aristocracy, including a palace or two. There’s always been something to admire about each of them and a couple of times, I’ve been awestruck. It wasn’t until today, however, that I felt a personal connection with one of these homes. I visited Miramare Castle (near Trieste, Italy), built by the Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Hapsburg as a residence for him and his wife. What struck me most about the Archduke was that he loved the sea and his favorite activity, according to the audio guide, was reading.  A man after my own heart!

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The Archduke was in the Austrian Navy and many of the elements of his rooms reflect that. This room was paneled in wood and the ceiling lowered to mimic a cabin on a ship. The bed was brass like that on a ship, but I’m not sure a portrait would have been standard furnishings!

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In the library, Maximilian wanted to celebrate the literary genius of four diverse cultures:  Greek, Italian, Anglo-Saxon and German. These are represented by busts of Dante, Goethe, Shakespeare (spelled Shakspeare on the bust), and Homer.

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It was the view from the terrace that made me understand why Maximilian had chosen this rocky outcrop for his home.

Before I left the castle grounds, I walked out on a stone jetty, where boats would have pulled up to discharge guests arriving by water. The wind was blowing, the waves were crashing against the jetty and I could look far out into the Adriatic.  It was wonderful, as was this view of the castle.

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