Miramare after 1867

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Miramare after 1867

In 1867, with Maximilian’s death and Charlotte’s departure for Belgium, Miramare became the occasional residence of the Hapsburg family.
In the period 1869-96, the castle was visited at least fourteen times by Franz Joseph’s wife, the Empress Elizabeth, better known as Sissi, and he also stayed there in September 1882, during an official visit to Trieste.

On March 22, 1900 the chapel at Miramare saw the wedding of the Hungarian nobleman Elemér de Lónyay and Stefania of Belgium. On March 1914 Franz Ferdinand, the heir to the throne, had the Prussian Emperor William as his guest; two months later he was assassinated in Sarajevo. The last Hapsburgs in Miramare were the Emperor Carl and his wife Zita, with whom the history of the Hapsburg Empire ended.

With the outbreak of the war in 1914, all the furnishings in the castle were transferred to Vienna. At the end of the conflict, Trieste came under Italian sovereignty and the castle became State property. In 1925-26, after reaching an agreement with Italy, Austria returned the furnishings and the castle was opened as a public museum.

After necessary restoration works, on 24 March 1929 the museum was opened only to be closed shortly afterwards by the arrival of the Duke Amedeo of Savoy-Aosta, who lived there from 1931 to 1937.

In 1943, during the Second World War, while occupying Trieste, the Germans turned the castle into a training school for officers, and the furnishings were removed and kept in various buildings in town.

1945 saw New Zealand troops take possession of the castle, followed by the English and finally the Americans, who remained from 1951 to 1954, when Trieste was returned to Italy on the basis of the London Memorandum, signed on 5 October that year.

The castle, the castelletto and the park, again State property, underwent yet more restoration work by the local Fine Arts Office. On the basis of drawings and old pictures, the wooden decorations of the rooms were restored, and furnishings, accessories, paintings and tapestry were put back in their place.

In March 1955 the Park was reopened to the public. On 2 June that same year, the local museum was opened, now officially named “Historical Museum of the Castle of Miramare” and placed under the management of the “Superintendence for the Artistic, Historical, and Ethnographic Heritage of Friuli Venezia Giulia.”

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