Castello di Miramare

Trieste, Friuli Venezia Giulia

This lofty castle, with its majestic white towers, was named Miramar after Prince Ferdinand of Saxony’s residence in Portugal. This neo-Gothic castello in Trieste is the result of a sweeping romantic gesture. In the mid 1800s, Archduke Maximilian of Austria bought it for his new wife Charlotte of Belgium. Visitors who tour the castle today can view some of the original furniture from Maximilian’s day, including a red throne room decked out in red silk and a bedroom that resembles a frigate’s cabin. One of its most impressive features is its massive park, which was overseen by Maximilian himself. Exotic trees, rare plants, sculptures and ponds are situated on 22 hectares of land. But this lavish residence, built on love and romance, might have less positive underpinnings to it. According to one version of the ghostly legend, Charlotte went mad following her husband’s murder in Mexico and after her death she wandered the castle each day in search of her beloved Maximilian.