If you have not visited Salzburg, Austria, here is a destination you should put on your list. If you have heard of the movie The Sound of Music with Julie Andrews, this is the city a lot of the scenes were shot in. Mirabell Palace Gardens was one of the locations used in that movie.
History and architecture of Mirabell Palace:
Mirabell Palace or Schloss Mirabell was built in 1606. The name which comes from Italian is a combination of two words admirable and beautiful. The palace is located in the city center. Originally it was built by prince-archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau 1559-1617. It was built for his mistress Salome Alt. They had 15 children together. The palace was built in six months and called Altenau Castle. Later in 1612 Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau was arrested and his successor Mark Sittich von Hohenems took the castle away from Salome and renamed it Mirabell. Later in 1721-27, it was redone in Baroque style. It is also the birthplace of the Greek King Otto in 1815. The city of Salzburg has owned the palace since 1866.
Mirabell Palace Gardens:
The garden was constructed by Prince-Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun in 1687 according to the designs by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. The garden is mythology-inspired with statues of Hercules, Paris, and Pluto. There is an orangery as well. Emperor Franz Joseph I, opened it up to the public. It is beautifully maintained with lots of formal flower beds it is a tourist spot today. During the time of the year I visited, they planted Begonias to create elegant parterres. Daylilies complemented the fountains, Red roses in the rose garden were all in bloom and trailing geraniums in beautiful antique pots.