Trieste is Empress Sisi’s stepping stone into the south. It is the starting point for many of her voyages by sea. The Austrian monarch stays here on 14 occasions between 1869 and 1896, either before or after a voyage across the Mediterranean. Departing from Trieste, Elisabeth also travels to Greece. On the island of Corfu, the empress has a white marble palace, Achilleion, built for herself around 1890 and is drawn to it repeatedly.
While in Trieste, Sisi resides in the Miramare Castle at the gates of the city – a dream castle standing on the cliffs over the sea. The castle was built by order of the brother of Emperor Franz Joseph, Maximilian, who reigns as emperor in Mexico beginning in 1864 but is eventually executed there in 1867. Inside the castle, there is much evidence that Franz Joseph and Elisabeth visited here. The castle with a white limestone facade is an extremely well-maintained historical site with more than 20 rooms designed in the fashion of romantic historicism.
The spacious park in which even exotic plants can be found was originally planned to be a place of meditation and is designed in terraces. Steps lead down to the sea. A Castelletto, or small castle, serves as a garden house in which in later years Maximilian’s wife Charlotte was confined due to mental disturbance. The area has been under the sovereignty of the Habsburgs since the 14th century. Coming from the castle to the picturesque seaport of Trieste, visitors have a view of the monument of Elisabeth, once forgotten but now placed in front of the main railway station. Mussels, which were also a culinary favorite of Sisi, were cultivated in the Gulf of Trieste until the mid-twenthieth century. Today the region is famous for it’s mussel cultivation.
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