Few places in Salzburg are more famous than the beautiful garden of Mirabell Palace with its unobstructed view of Hohensalzburg Fortress. This is where the most beautiful souvenir photos are taken against the magnificent backdrop of Salzburg’s old town.

The historic grounds, the magnificent gardens and the stories associated with Mirabell Palace are fascinating and make it an absolute highlight of any visit to Salzburg.

Love, pomp and fire

The castle’s eventful history begins around 1606. Archbishop Wolf Dietrich had the first castle built here, parts of the foundations of which are still preserved today. He built the castle for his mistress, Salome Alt, with whom he had 15 children. This was probably one of the reasons why he was overthrown and imprisoned in 1612.

The baroque design and significant expansion of the castle took place in the 1720s. Archbishop Franz Anton von Harrach loved magnificent buildings and had Mirabell Palace remodeled in addition to the redesign of the Salzburg Residence. The master builder was Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt. He built numerous palaces and castles in Austria, as well as St. Peter’s Church in the center of Vienna.

Around 100 years later, in 1818, a fire in the town caused extensive damage to the castle. As Salzburg was no longer a separate archbishopric at this time, but belonged to Austria, the renovation was commissioned by Emperor Franz I.

The castle as the center of the city

Today, the castle premises are used by the offices of the mayor and the city administration. However, you can still visit the magnificent Marble Hall and the Angels’ Staircase. These were created during the renovation in the 1720s and give an idea of how magnificently the palace was once furnished.

The Marble Hall is now used for weddings in keeping with its original construction. Couples from all over the world come here to celebrate the most beautiful day of their lives. However, classical concerts are also regularly held in the Marble Hall. A good opportunity to enjoy the ambience of this beautiful hall.

If you enter the palace from the garden side (Pegasus Fountain), you should definitely look at the ground. It was covered with a modern view of the city of Salzburg and the surrounding area. Here you can test how well you already know your way around Salzburg.

The beautiful gardens of Mirabell

If you are interested in our two hotels, IMLAUER Hotel Pitter and IMLAUER & Bräu Hotels Salzburg, you can reach the Rosenhügel in just a few minutes on foot. It offers you the first wonderful view of the castle, garden and fortress.

If you are also a fan of the movie “Sound of Music” about the life of the Trapp family, then your heart will beat faster. The steps down to the garden and the Pegasus fountain here are one of the locations from the famous 1965 musical film.

The artfully laid out flower borders adorn the large garden with a fountain in the center. The rose garden right next to the castle lends a southern flair. The Heckentheater, which also dates back to the 18th century, is somewhat hidden from view. The entrance to the orangery with its exotic plants and palm trees is located in a side courtyard.

Europe’s oldest dwarf garden

The Mirabell Gardens were redesigned at the end of the 17th century by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach, one of Austria’s most important Baroque architects.

The so-called “dwarf garden” was also built as part of the redesign. It is the oldest of its kind in Europe. The 28 (today only 24) sculptures are made of Untersberg marble. They show humorous depictions of people of small stature. Fischer von Erlach thus followed the taste of the times.

The original gardens with several fountains and the 28 statues on high pedestals are no longer preserved. Today, the remaining 24 statues have been erected at the water bastion.