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The Strada Costiera (Coastal Road) from Duino village is the most scenic route to Trieste, passing by Miramare Castle.
 
This majestic white castle, the beloved home of Archduke Ferdinand Maximilian of Habsburg (brother of Emperor Franz Joseph), overlooks the sea and is surrounded by a huge park full of rare and exotic tree species collected by the Archduke himself in his scientific expeditions around the world aboard the frigate Novara.

The Castle was built for Maximilian, who fell in love with the view of the small bay and decided to build his home here, where he lived with his wife Charlotte of Belgium.
 
Maximilian and Charlotte were able to enjoy their beautiful castle for only four years or so before leaving for Mexico, where Maximilian was crownedEmperor Maximilian of Mexico, only to be executed by firing squad in 1867.
Legend has it that Charlotte, mad with grief, still wanders in the park calling his name.

Their home, a splendid example of an aristocratic 19th century residence, retains all its original interior furnishings.

The beauty of the castle and the park, together with the sad and romantic story of the young imperial couple, still fascinates tourists all over the world and has made it one of the most visited destinations in Europe.

 

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