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A classic view of the gardens of Schloss Mirabell looking across towards the Festung Hohensalzburg (literally "High Salzburg Fortress"), which is located on the far bank of the River Salzach. Weather conditions were not of the best and I had to use a slow shutter speed to get a reasonable depth of field, hence some of the visitors looking slightly blurred.

Some information about the Mirabel from the castle's web site (http://www.salzburger-schlosskonzerte.at/en/Schloss_Mirabell.htm):

“In 1606 Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau had a palace built outside the town walls for Salome Alt which he called "Altenau". Salome Alt was the daughter of the prominent merchant and councillor, Wilhelm Alt, and the prince archbishop's mistress.

After Wolf Dietrich's death - he was forced to abdicate in 1612 and was held captive in the Fortress until his death - Altenau was re-named "Mirabell" by his successor, Markus Sittikus von Hohenems (1612 -1619). Prince Archbishop Paris Lodron (1619 -1653) included the palace and gardens in his extended ring of fortifications. He spent much of his leisure time at Mirabell which he loved and where he died in 1653.

Prince Archbishop Franz Anton von Harrach had the palace remodeled extensively from 1721 to 1727 by the famous Baroque architect, Lukas von Hildebrandt, who combined the individual parts of the building to form a homogeneous palace. The palace was heavily damaged by the disastrous town fire in April 1818, destroying the frescoes painted by Johann Michael Rottmayr and Gaetano Fanti. Fortunately, the great marble staircase leading into the palace and the Marble Hall remained undamaged.

Peter de Nobile, court architect and director of the school of architecture in Vienna, gave the palace its present unassuming, neo-classical appearance. Details such as the scroll work around the windows, the chapiters and the stucco work are the reminders of its former splendor. The stairway by Lukas von Hildebrandt is one of the palace's great masterpieces. White marble putti (cherubs) adorn the lavishly embellished marble balustrade; the figures in the niches are the work of the famous sculptor, Georg Raphael Donner (1726) and among the most beautiful creations of the European Baroque era.”

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Additional Photos by Stephen Nunney (snunney) Gold Star Critiquer/Gold Star Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 6150 W: 61 N: 17890] (80577)
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