Tag: museo d’arte orientale


Behind Piazza Sant’Antonio, in Via San Lazzaro 15 is Casa Allodi, known as the “Casa delle bisse” (House of snakes). It was built on a project by the architect Bubolini in 1771 in a neoclassical style with elements of French Rococo and over the years it has undergone numerous interventions that have transformed the original appearance conceived with only two floors while today it is presented with an additional floor and with the attic. Trieste says that the inscription: “Aedes anno MDCCLXXI ob aque inopiam aceto absoluta” which appears inside the house was placed to remind us that during the construction, in 1771, the city lacked water and the wells were dry, and the builder to avoid delaying the delivery, he bought a large quantity of vinegar to prepare the mortars.
“Hoc me ornament Galli affecerunt MDCCCIX” this is the writing that appears at the entrance. Trieste tells that the house was hit by a cannonball fired by the French during the battle with the Austrians who wanted to drive them out of the Trieste Castle and is still preserved in the entrance. In 1813, to commemorate the event, the owner of the house since 1793, the reverend Don Marco Sadnech, had an allegorical sculptural group placed on the main entrance portal.

The group depicts a snake, allegory of Napoleon I, attacked by three eagles, representing Austria, Russia and Prussia. From the architrave hangs a golden sphere, placed in memory of the cannonball.


The Castle stands on the Miramare promontory overlooking the sea near the bay of Grignano a few kilometers from the city. Maximilian of Habsburg-Lorraine, Archduke of Austria and Emperor of Mexico, in 1855.
It is said that Maximilian of Habsburg-Lorraine, Archduke of Austria and Emperor of Mexico, in 1855 following a storm, took refuge in the small port of Grignano and was fascinated by the promontory of Miramar, in Spanish “mirar el mar”. In memory of the castles that overlooked the coasts of the Atlantic Ocean, the Archduke was inspired by the place for the construction of the Castle as his home
Trieste Massimiliano e Carlotta
of him and his wife Charlotte of Belgium and entrusted the project to the engineer Carl Junker. The works began on March 1, 1856 and ended in 1871 and the cost was around 600,000 florins. Miramare Castle was built in white Istrian stone in an eclectic style that combines neo-Gothic with medieval revival. The client and the architect were inspired by the current “romantisches Historismus”, developed in those years by Theophilus Hansen at the Arsenale of Vienna and the Pereira villa, just north of the imperial capital.
It is divided into two buildings connected to each other by a rear central body and a tower positioned in the area facing the sea. It is spread over two floors and a mezzanine and has battlements along the entire summit perimeter expressly desired by the Archduke. The castle overlooks, on one side, an open space decorated with flower beds and a fountain, while from the western wing, on the small port and finally, on the side opposite the entrance, it is surrounded by a terrace overlooking the sea.
Inside, the Castle was divided into numerous rooms. The ground floor was intended for the couple’s residence, while the upper floor was for guests and representatives. Franz and Julius Hofmann carried out the interior decoration.The ground floor works ended in 1860, when Massimiliano and Carlotta moved to the Castle, after their decay from the office of governor of Lombardy-Veneto, while the representative rooms were completed around 1870. In 1930, part of the representative floor was used as the residence of Duke Amedeo d’Aosta, who lived there for about seven years and modified some rooms according to the style of the time as well as replaced Imperial-Regie insignia with Savoy crosses.
The rooms of the Castle also preserve a valuable collection of oriental vases and retain all the original furnishings including ornaments, furniture and objects dating back to the mid-19th century.
The décor of the castle mostly follows the Biedermeier style but also Renaissance and Second Empire which implied a greater use of gold and the same decorations in the ceiling and floor.
Room XIX is decorated with a series of paintings by Cesare Dell’Acqua depicting the history of Miramare made with the collaboration of the historian Pietro Kandler from Trieste. On April 14, 1864, Massimiliano sailed with his wife to Mexico, aboard the Novara, the same ship that will bring his body back four years later.Before leaving I leave the testamentary dispositions in which the Castle was left to his dear Carlotta : “From what I have most dear, my Carlotta, I take leave with a heart full of gratitude. I feel the need to confess that I owe infinite happiness to her; since the smallest quarrel has never divided us, since she has always had meekness heartily for my mistakes and in all phases of our eventful life she had the truest and most faithful love that filled me with happiness ….. “No one knows better than her, what was dear to me in life and she will honor him; in particular, however, I recommend my dear Miramare and Lacroma, of which she already owns according to the deed of donation dated April 5, 1864. “

In Mexico he was crowned Emperor in 1864 and was shot in Querétaro in June 1866.

The Castillo de Chapultepec was the home of Maximilian and Charlotte in Mexico and has many architectural and natural features similar to Miramare Castle.

It is said that Carducci wanted to see the castle during one of his trips to Trieste, whence the unhappy Maximilian had left for the empire of Mexico. He entered the Archduke’s study room, built so that it resembled the cabin of the rear-flagship Novara which transported him to Mexico, he saw the portraits of Dante and Goethe at the place where Maximilian sat studying; he saw an ancient edition of Castilian romances open on the table; he saw more Latin sentences engraved in the main hall; these among others: Si fortuna iuvat caveto tolli – Si fortuna tonat caveto mergi – Saepe sub dulci melle venena latent – Non ad astra mollis and tenuis via – vivitur ingenio, caetera mortis erunt. What impression that visit made on the poet is told by the ode, which immediately afterwards he thought of, and of which he immediately wrote these first stanzas. clouds “…
With the slender shape and the white of the karst marble silhouetted against the blue of the sea, the Castle is visible from all over the city and is one of the most visited castles in Italy.


The Castle is surrounded by a large park of about 22 hectares.
Inside the park, Massimiliano built the small “Gartenhaus” also called Castelletto, as it recalls the exterior of the Miramare Castle. It overlooks the small port of Grignano and was inhabited by the spouses until their apartments inside the Castle were finished.

After Massimiliano’s death in the Castelletto under medical supervision, Carlotta retired showing the first signs of mental imbalance.

In addition to the Miramare Castle, Carl Junker also designed the Park and the work was entrusted in 1857 to the court gardener Josef Laube, subsequently replaced by the Bohemian Anton Jelinek. The Archduke himself defined which plants should be planted and brought 820 species of plants from nurseries and villas of Veneto,

subsequently numerous tree typologies arrived from the imperial greenhouses of Vienna of the Habsburg family, while the more exotic ones were imported following the circumnavigation of the globe with the frigate Novara.

In the park there are sculptures from the Berlin school Moritz Geiss, the greenhouses, the Swan lake, the cannons donated by Leopoldo I, king of the Belgians and the chapel of San Canciano.

Like a silent sentinel, a Ptolemaic sphinx dating back to the 2nd century BC. C., carved in pink granite, is located at the top of the quay of the Castle’s harbor. It is a precious artefact belonging to the Egyptian collection brought together by Maximilian thanks to the scientific advice of Egyptologist Simon Reinisch, and now preserved in Vienna at the Kunsthistorisches Museum.