In 1606, Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau had a palace, which he called Altenau, built outside the city walls for Salome Alt. The palace was given its current name by Wolf Dietrich's successor, Markus Sittikus (1612‐19). He had Altenau renamed Mirabell after the death of Wolf Dietrich, who was forced to abdicate in 1612 and held prisoner in Hohensalzburg Fortress until his death. The palace and its gardens were drawn into the city by the defences built by Prince Archbishop Paris Graf von Lodron (1619‐53) who always enjoyed staying in the palace and died there.
The palace was badly damaged in the great fire that swept through the city on the 30th of April 1818; the frescoes by Johann Michael Rottmayr and Gaetano Fanti were among the treasures lost to the flames. Thankfully, the Marble Hall and the great marble steps that lead into the palace were unscathed.
The Marble Hall (called 'Marmorsaal'), once the ceremonial hall of the prince archbishops, is now one of the most beautiful wedding halls in the world. Leopold Mozart, and his children Wolfgang and Nannerl, performed here, although they would have played to accompany festive dinners rather than weddings. The Marble Hall is also an imposing venue for conferences, ceremonies, and atmospheric concerts such as the Salzburg Palace Concerts.
Throughout its long history, the Mirabell Palace has played host to many important visitors. Prince Otto of Bavaria, future king of Greece, was born here on 1 July 1815 during a short period when Salzburg belonged to Bavaria. The following year, Salzburg returned to Austrian rule, and the Mirabell Palace became a summer residence belonging to the Emperor. For the twelve years between 1851 and 1863, Archbishop Cardinal Maximilian Josef von Tarnóczy resided in the palace. The legendary Capuchin father Joachim Haspinger, loyal companion and comrade‐in‐arms of the famous Andreas Hofer who fought for Tyrolean freedom, stayed in the palace as a guest of his emperor between 4 September 1854 and 12 January 1858. He also died at Mirabell, and is remembered by a memorial plaque in the palace courtyard. Today, the palace houses the offices of the mayor and town council of Salzburg.
Schloss Mirabell, Mirabellplatz 4, A‐5020 Salzburg, Austria, Google Maps
Car park: Yes
Parking site for buses: Yes