Mirabell Gardens were desigend by Fischer von Erlach in 1690. It has many sculptures, ranging from Mythological characters to funny looking dwarves.
I highly reccomend the Zwerg Garten, wich is where the dwarves are located. The Zwerg Garten is not only funny, but also historic, as it is located on top of part of the old wall that surrounded Salzburg centuries ago.
The Zwergerlgarden or Dwarf Garden is the most unique and bizarre feature of Mirabell, with four foot high statues of dwarves who lived in the palace during the time of Archbishop - Prince Franz Anton Graf Harrach and created by an unknown sculptor approximately 1715. There may have been as many as 28, apparently modelled on real life subjects. Depending on the source, as few as nine originals remain. The modern day park site dates from the 1920's.
Dwarves were a part of most Baroque courts in the 17th and 18th C, kept for entertainment but also valued for their loyalty to their masters. Image 5 shows the relationship of the dwarf garden to the pegasus statue and the palace. There is no signage and this discrete segment of the gardens is easy to miss.
Mirabell Gardens is one of the most visited sites in Salzburg, both on its own merits and its role in the Sound of Music movie. A garden has existed since the early 17th C backing the Altenau Palace, originally just a kitchen garden but oriented from the first with the long axis putting the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Salzburg cathedral in the background and creating one of the most famous images of Salzburg (images 1,2). As tastes changed, the garden was renovated several times. What we see today dates from 1730, by Baroque landscape architect Franz Anton Danreiter.
The most used entrance is from Makartplatz near the pedestrian bridge. Two large semicircular balustrades are centered on the famous fencers created by master sculptor Andreas Gotzinger dating from the late 1600's (image 3). The balustrades feature 16 statues of Roman gods from the same time period ( pictures lost when camera 2 was stolen in Vienna ), very impressive. Note how the fortress is framed by the fencers - in real life the entire entranceway encloses the fortress and cathedral in the background.
A featured segment of the famous movie was filmed at the Mirabell Gardens. Walk in their footsteps by entering the gardens through the unobtrusive gateway ( image 1 )from Rainierstrasse and enter a subdivision of the gardens with a central fountain with a statue called the Papagena (images 2,3 ) modelled after a similar work in the old city. This is a delightful little park, a nice and peaceful place for a brief rest amidst the chaos of the bus tours in other areas.
Entering the gardens proper, turn right and walk behind the palace to the Pegasus statue ( Image 4 ). Made of copper, it was originally created in 1661 for a well near the cathedral. It would later grace the watering trough in front of the Mirabell and reach its final place in the Small Parterre behind the palace in 1913. Behind the Pegasus are the stairs leading to the Rose Garden ( image 5 ), used in the movie for the song Do-Re-Mi with the characters bouncing up and down the stairs. Pegasus statues flank the base of the stairs. Above the steps is a rose garden, with on our visit very few roses. Today these steps are stated to become in the evening a major cruising point for the homosexual population of Salzburg.
This beautiful palace and gardens is one of the first landmarks encountered in Salzburg as you make your way through the New Town in the direction of the more picturesque Old Town.
It was built by order of the Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich for Salome Alt. 'Mirabell' meaning 'beautiful sight' was adopted as the name.
The gardens were designed by Fischer von Erlach and the main features include sculptures and fountains as well as floral borders.
It is free to peruse the gardens although there is an entry charge for the palace itself.
First built in 1606 by Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau under the name of Altenau. After his death in 1612, the palace was renamed Mirabell by his successor Markus Sittikus von Hohenems (1612 - 1619). Prince Archbishop Paris Lodron (1619 - 1653) included the palace and gardens in his extended ring of fortifications.
Famous personalities have stayed at Mirabell Palace: three years before the great fire on July 1, 1815, just after Salzburg was transferred to Bavaria, Prince Otto of Bavaria, later to become the King of Greece, was born in Mirabell Palace.
Today the Palace accommodates the office of Salzburg's Bürgermeister (mayor) and the municipal administration.
Prince Archbishop Johann Ernst Graf von Thun (1687 - 1709) had the famous Mirabell Gardens remodelled in 1690 according to plans by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. They were redesigned around 1730 by Franz Anton Danreiter.
The Heckentheater (Hedge Theater) is located on the west side of the Gardens. Built between 1704 and 1718, it is one of the oldest hedge theaters north of the Alps.
In 1854 Emperor Franz Joseph opened the Mirabell Gardens to the public. It has remained a jewel of horticultural architecture to this day.
The Garden Mirabell is a wonderfull relaxing park, especially if you walked eight hours on the previous day :) Its flowers, statues, fountain, palace, combined with a nice weather makes you feel really good.
The picture on the left is a macro of a nice little red flower I hope you will appreciate.
The Mirabell Gardens are beautiful, no wonder they are famous gardens! They were opened to the public by Emperor Franz Joseph in 1854 and are known as a horticultural masterpiece.
A lovely fountain, is the Pegasus Fountain, which has four groups of statues surrounding it. These symbolize the 4 elements which are fire, air, earth and water. There are many lovely statues dotted around the garden, and I loved the Urns with the angry faces that were sitting on the fence line of the Palace! The annual flowers are in swirls and different designs, they look beautiful when viewed from the top terrace of the gardens.
Altogether, a lovely garden, NOT TO BE MISSED
FREE TO VIEW
Isn't this a romantic story.....
The Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau had Altenau Palace built in 1606 as a token of his love for Salome Alt. They must have really been in love to produce 15 children, with 10 of them surviving!
The Palace is known as "A precious jewel." Fire destroyed some of its frescoes and buildings, luckily the grand marble staircase that led into the palace and the marble hall survived unscathed.
To me, it was a rather plain very large building, with some nice sculptures and beautiful little cherubs decorating the Marble balustrade. I think the garden is what makes the Palace.
Today, the Palace is the home of Salzburg's mayor and the municipal council. It has a Marble Hall considered to be one of the "most beautiful wedding halls in the world."
Meetings, awards ceremonies and concerts are held here regularly.
PALACE IS OPEN.....
Mon, Wed, Thu: 8 am - 4 pm, Tues + Fri: 1 - 4 pm.
No visit in case of special occasions.
Angel Staircase (staircase in baroque style): open daily approx. 8 am-6 pm.
The Mirabell Gardens are like an oasis in the centre of Salzburg, a place where you can sit and rest after a days sightseeing. I never noticed it at the time but the gardens were built on a north-south axis and are oriented towards the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Salzburger Dom Cathedral. The original gardens were attributed to J B Fisher von Erlach in 1689 but they were remodelled in 1730 by Franz Anton Danreiter and have remained virtually unchanged since then.
The palace is from 1506 and was called Mitwald, later Miribelle. It was built for the ruling king's mistress, and they had 15 children; all dead by 1612.
This has a very well manicured garden. Even though it is small in comparison to some others in Europe, it is always well taken care of. The serenity is what one looks for plus the beauty. Concerts have been held here for many years. They were designed in 1690, under the guidance of Prince Graf von Thun. Later they were redesigned again. It was designed in baroque style, having the statues and fountains as its theme, with the entrance having 2 lion statues.
One of the first sights I saw in Salzburg was the Schloss Mirabell and its adjoining gardens. I spent most of my time in the gardens checking out the views toward the Old Town and up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, which presides over the city on the opposite side of the river. The palace was originally built by Archbishop Wolf Dietrich, but today it houses some local government offices. On the day that I visited, it was also playing host to a wedding. Inside the palace, be sure to check out its beautiful Baroque staircase.
The beautiful Mirabell Garden is yet another perfect place - beside downtown and the Hochensalzburg - to make some photo memories of your Salzburg visit.
This is the central fountainn, surrounded by the four statuary elements presented below.
The Mirabell Palace itself is nothing special (maybe except the Wedding Hall) but it has a great French style garden from which and over which you can enjoy some of the nicest views of the fortress and the ensemble below it - according to my opinion both look best from here, much nicer to see them from the distance than to visit them, especially the cathedral.
A remarkable garden is also the "Zwergerlgarten" (Dwarfs Garden), only a few steps from the great views. It is an early form of the later sweetened garden dwarfs so typical for German gardens (but they seem today to be mostly produced in South East Asia and sold by Vietnamese in Poland along the streets leading to the German border...)