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Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Salzburg

Mirabell Palace and Gardens, Salzburg (must see)

The Mirabell Palace and Gardens are located north of the Salzach River. It was used by the Prince Archbishops to entertain guests and now houses government offices including the office of the Mayor of Salzburg.

The palace was constructed and the extensive gardens were laid in 1606 as the residence of the mistress of Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, Salome Alt. At the time it was called the Altenau Palace. His successor renamed it as the Mirabel Palace. Successive Archbishops improved and added to the structure and the gardens. It was damaged by a fire in 1818 and most parts were burned except the marble staircase and marble hall. After the reign of the Archbishops came to an end, it became the residents of the royal family of Austria.

The Mirabel palace today is not open to the public. The marble hall that was once the concert hall and ballroom of the Archbishops is regarded as one of the most beautiful wedding halls in the world. Today it is the venue for meetings, award ceremonies, and concerts. The Mirabell gardens consist of a hedge garden, a dwarf garden with sculptures of dwarfs made of locally quarried Untersberg marble. The famous Pegasus fountain was the setting for the song Do Re Mi in the 1965 Hollywood film, 'The Sound of Music'.

***The Sound of Music Movie***
Perhaps the best place to start The Sound of Music tour of Salzburg is the open grounds of the Mirabell Palace Gardens, the location where the Do Re Mi song was filmed for the movie. The Palace was completed in 1606 (rebuilt in 1693) as the home for Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau’s mistress, and its gorgeous gardens appeared later, in 1715-30. In addition to its Sound of Music fame, the Palace is also where Mozart used to play private concerts as a child.

Entering the gardens from the south, you will recognize the two pairs of impressive Greek statues of fencing warriors whose playful poses the Von Trapp children mimicked in the film. Wandering further in, you will also remember the central spouting Pegasus Fountain (opposite the Palace & guarded by lion statues) around which they danced. From here you can turn around and check out the fantastic views of the High Salzburg Fortress (Hohensalzburg) towering over the city, and then follow the steps that the kids hopped up like musical notes in the dramatic finale of the song.

Near the fountain there's a small footbridge leading to the Dwarf Gnome Park (Zwergerlgarten) housing the total of 28 gnome statues carved out of the local Unterberg Marble. As you leave the dwarf garden to exit the Palace grounds, make sure to visit the long pergola vine tunnel and the hedge maze through which Maria and the Trapp children ran while singing the song.

Why You Should Visit:
The palace, which is also the venue for many classical concerts (need pre-booking) makes a nice backdrop to the marvelous gardens.
Standing next to the palace and gazing towards the garden, you get a spectacular view of the Hohensalzburg Fortress as well.

This sight is featured in a self-guided walking tour of Salzburg, Austria within the mobile app "GPSmyCity: Walks in 1K+ Cities" which can be downloaded from iTunes App Store or Google Play. Please download the app to your mobile phone or tablet for travel directions for visiting this sight. The app turns your mobile device to a personal tour guide and it works offline, so no data plan is needed when traveling abroad.

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Mirabell Palace and Gardens on Map

Sight Name: Mirabell Palace and Gardens
Sight Location: Salzburg, Austria
Sight Type: Attraction/Landmark
Guide(s) Containing This Sight:

Walking Tours in Salzburg, Austria

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