Parallel to the building of the castle, Maximilian had the small Gartenhaus—also called “Castelletto” (small castle) for its exterior resemblance to the castle—constructed in the park.
Occasionally inhabited by Maximilian and Charlotte from 1859 to 1860, the Castelletto enjoys a remarkable panoramic position: it looks out to the small port of Grignano, preceded by a parterre adorned with trees and a fountain in the clearing in front of the glasshouses.
It is modelled on a square base with a terrace, a turret and an entrance pergola, and the surviving decoration on the upper floor shows many similarities with that of Maximilian’s first residence in Trieste—Villa Lazarovich, which the Archduke rented in 1852 from Nicolò Marco Lazarovich, arranging it according to his personal taste.
Many furnishings of this villa—which still exists as Via Tigor 23, located on the top of the hill of S. Vito—were brought to Miramare at Maximilian’s behest. The Castelletto is closely linked to the tragic history of Maximilian and Charlotte. It was here, in fact, that Charlotte was locked up, on her return from Mexico with a nervous breakdown, between the end of 1866 and the beginning of 1867.
In the 30s of the 20th century, during the period of the Dukes of Savoy-Aosta’s residence at the castle, the Castelletto became a museum open to the public, housing part of the original furnishings of the castle of Miramare.