With a name loosely meaning “admirable beauty”, originating from its female Italian name, Mirabell Palace is indeed one of the most beautiful landmarks in Austria, and a central gem in the small city of Salzburg. It is a centre of history, and the site, with its palace and gardens, is a listed cultural heritage monument, which stands at the heart of Salzburg’s idyllic old centre. In addition to being a tourist attraction, the palace is home to the official offices of the city mayor and the local government of Salzburg.
The Marble Hall, once the main banquet hall of Mirabell Palace, is a wide, light and open space, with views over the landscaped gardens, and often used as a romantic wedding venue. There is also a marble stairway inside the palace, carved with delicate angel figures, and containing masterful sculptures created by renowned artistic, Georg Raphael Donner. Mirabell Gardens, a space of flowered walkways and colourful trees, is full of specific beautiful features including the Pegasus Fountain, the Grand Fountain and the Hedge Theatre, still used for folk and heritage events. Locals tell the story that Mozart played in the gardens for the Royal Family of Salzburg, and visitors can capture the beauty of the music and its history today, by attending an intimate classical concert in the same spot.
Mirabell Palace is in the historical centre of the city, near to the river and in the shadow of the dominating castle. The main station of the city, Salzburg Hbf, is less than a 15-minute walk from the palace, but there are also local buses that travel directly to the city centre. The nearest airport, Salzburg Airport, is a 50-minute journey via public transport from the centre of the city.
In 1606, originally named Altenau Castle, Prince-Archbishop, Wolf Dietrich Raitenau, built the palace for his mistress, Salome Alt, and himself to enjoy. Decades after, his successor, Mark Sittich, changed the style and name to its current appearance and title, and, eventually, the palace opened to the public in 1854. Directors used Mirabell Palace during the filming of the famous musical, The Sound of Music, and visitors can witness and recognise the specific venues of film scenes while walking through its gardens.