Museo di Miramare
The Museum is housed in the Duke and Duchess’s apartments, which have been largely preserved in their original condition. Particularly noteworthy are the so-called Maximilian’s rooms, among them the Study, called the “Novara” room, reproducing the flagship on which Maximilian set sail to become Emperor of Mexico. The wood panelling on the walls of the room is decorated with a crowned anchor, recalling his role as Commander-in-chief of the Austrian Navy, and a pineapple, symbol of wealth and prosperity. These motifs, reproduced also on the blue wallpaper, recur almost obsessively throughout the first floor. The 19th-century furnishings, mostly in a Flemish style, are complemented by Oriental-style objects which document Maximilian’s love of the exotic. The four rooms forming the Duchess’s apartments are decorated with the coats-of-arms of the Duke and Duchess’s respective families, the Hapsburgs-Lorraine and the Saxe-Coburg-Gotha. The Lombard-style furniture of these rooms was a wedding gift to the couple by the City of Milan, as a sign of gratitude to the Duchess for having accepted to be portrayed in a Lombard costume.
The comfort and intimacy of the ground floor contrast with the stately appearance of the first floor rooms, characterized by luxury and ostentatiousness. The first rooms, originally destined to Maximilian’s assistants, were refurbished in a modernist style in 1930-1937 for the family of Duke Amedeo d’Aosta. The remaining rooms, also part of Maximilian’s apartments, are decorated with wood and veneer panelling and deep-red wallpaper highlighted by gilded decors. The motif of the pineapple returns in these rooms, this time juxtaposed with an eagle holding a snake in its beak, crowned by the lettering MM (meaning Maximilian of Mexico) and I (meaning Emperor or the First). The Udienze room, wonderfully located at the centre of the palace and providing spectacular views over the bay, contains a portrait of Empress Sissi by E. Türck and mosaic-topped coffee tables. Finally, the Seagulls room reflects Maximilian’s love of the sea: its ceiling is embellished by a painting of thirty-six seagulls holding scrolls with Latin mottos.
Museo di MiramareViale Miramare
34014 Miramare (TS)