Gardens and Mirabell Palace

The Austrian city of Salzburg is famous for its world-famous luxurious garden surrounding the pompous Mirabell Palace with exquisite decor and excellent finishes.

This magnificent palace and park ensemble, not inferior in beauty to Versailles, appeared at the beginning of the 17th century, thanks to the romantic love of Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Reitenau to the daughter of the city dignitary Salome Alt.

For his beloved, he instructed to build a baroque Altenau palace on the outskirts of the city and plant a garden around it, decorating it with fountains and sculptures, in which it was so nice for them to walk with their 15 children. But the envious people told the pope who were happy in love, and the priest was imprisoned for breaking a vow of celibacy, where he died after 2 years, his beautiful wife was expelled from the country, and their property passed into the possession of the city authorities.

Over the course of its long history, the gardens changed their appearance several times, the palace itself suffered from a big fire in 1818, but in subsequent years it was restored and ennobled. Gardeners of the park plant more than 80 thousand flowers annually, creating new ornaments from them each time.

Tourists from all over the world are happy to visit this amazing place to relax here for several hours among flowering plants and admire the masterpieces of landscape gardening art.

A distinctive feature of Mirabell Park can be safely called garden sculptures dwarfs, no more than a meter high, hiding among greenery. In the 17th century, it was very fashionable to keep small people at court for fun and decorate their possessions with such figures. Unfortunately, the ugly sculptures of the gnomes, embodying human vices, were completely displeased by the Crown Prince Ludwig I and he gladly sold them. Contemporaries had to work hard, collecting dwarfs around the world and restoring them, but over the course of a century, only 15 out of 28 figures were returned to the historical site.

Garden entrances are open from several sides. On the south side, visitors are greeted by sculptures of fencers holding out their hands to each other, and a statue of boxers. On the north side, the journey to the garden begins on the “do-re-mi” steps, known for the movie “Sounds of Music”, where the children learned notes, singing them alternately and running up the steps. And the entrance itself is guarded by two stone statues in the form of mythical unicorns - symbols of spiritual purity and purity.

Main element landscape design project Mirabell Palace Complex is the central square of the park, called the Great Parterre, which offers beautiful views of the Cathedral and the ancient fortress of Hohensalzburg. In the center of the square is a large octagonal fountain framed by four sculptural groups of Greek gods and goddesses, symbolizing the four elements: earth, fire, air and water.

On the other side of the Great Parterre there are also statues of gods and goddesses of Ancient Greece, which determine the seasons: spring, summer, autumn and winter. These sculptural compositions are real works of art and the hallmark of the park around the world.

Along the western part of the palace there is the Small Parterre of the park with two fountain sculptures: the copper winged horse Pegasus, popular in Greek mythology, and Susanna in a font repeating the image of the beloved Archbishop Salome Alt. A small aviary for birds with a domed roof has been preserved in the northern part of the stall; today, exhibitions are periodically held here.

In the east direction from the garden ground there is a spacious Winter Pavilion with exotic palm plants. In ancient times, orange trees were grown here, which were considered a symbol of wealth and were compared with the golden apples of the Hesperides.

Part of the greenhouse is the Baroque Museum with ancient paintings by famous artists. Performances and concerts are periodically held in the premises.

The south side of the palace is decorated with a beautiful rose garden with 17 decorative marble vases. It is noteworthy that in the first difficult years after the war there was an ordinary garden, but a decade later the rose garden was restored to its original form.

Among the visitors, a maze of garden plants and a green gallery with one of the oldest operating open-air theaters are especially popular. The frame of the Green theater is a hedge of trimmed shrubs that serves as walls and wings. Two sculptures of stone lions guard the scene. Since ancient times, artists from the famous Salzburg Festival have been performing here.

Today, the mayor’s office and the council of the city of Salzburg are located in the palace, and wedding ceremonies are held in the luxurious marble hall.

Mirabell Gardens is one of the most famous places in the history of landscape design, which is visited by 3 to 5 million people a year. Entrance is free for visitors, money for maintaining the park comes from the city budget.

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2024-04-18 12:58:20

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