Visit Sissi in the gardens of the Trauttmansdorff Castle
Enjoy a daytrip to Merano and the Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle
You’ll feel at home in former austrian Empress Sissi’s favourite town, Merano. Thanks to her majesty, the lovely town of Merano is now famous for being a spa town. With a dream location, a Tyrolean hamlet on a sunny plateau and magnificent historical buildings, the city centre has had much care invested into it and contains many beautiful decorations. Empress Sissi really loved this dreamy little town and the charming Gardens of Trauttmansdorff Castle.
You’ll find the gardens not far from the city centre and located on a sunny slope, set within an overall area of approximately 12 hectares. They stretch from the amphitheatre and on for about a hundred metres up to the panoramic lookout bridge.
The incredibly diverse flora is a unique feature of the gardens of Trauttmansdorff and you’ll find examples of botany from all around the world. Every plant has its own label bearing its name and origins, giving you a deeper insight into the array of flora, with many places to stop and look. When taking a leisurely stroll through the grounds, discover the exotic cacti and impressive bushes, accompanied by breath-taking views of the South Tyrolean countryside and its mountains.
There could hardly be a more beautiful connection between nature, culture and art. That’s why, in 2005, the gardens were given the accolade of the most beautiful gardens in Italy and received an international award in 2013.
At the Trauttmansdorff Castle, the lovely natural and cultural garden landscape is divided into over 80 different themed areas, with four large gardens. You’ll see forest gardens with miniature forests from Asia and America, sun gardens with plants that are typical of the south, water and terrace worlds with European botanical influences and the South Tyrolean landscape with its local flora.
These various areas and individual themes put all the plants at the centre of your experience and you can admire them from the numerous observation areas, art installations and inside the pavilions.
In addition to the amazingly beautiful and fascinating array of flora, the Schloss Trauttmansdorff gardens give you a great insight into the world of fauna. In the various garden areas, you’ll see animals and small creatures grouped into areas according to their natural habitats. Some examples include brightly-coloured parrots from the south, regional Zackel sheep, dwarf goats and leaf-eating ants in the large glasshouse’s tropical terrarium.
Then, the adventurous trail continues, leading you through a marshy landscape that was so typical of many South Tyrolean areas. These real nature experiences are accompanied by changing plant exhibitions and presentations with new themes.
For example, you can see the new Garden for Lovers, designed by the South Tyrolean artist, Matteo Thun, with its special objects of art. From high up, you can enjoy the sun as it shines down and experience the tranquillity, with a special ritual for lovers.
Learn about the historical context in the magnificent and beautiful castle of the former Empress Elisabeth. Sitting in the middle of the gardens, the Trauttmansdorff castle takes centre stage. It has a museum with an interesting exhibition of the history of the Alpine region, including pictures and interactive exhibits.
In addition, there’s an incredibly beautiful view from here and the slightly elevated position gives you a complete view of the castle’s gardens, the friendly town of Merano and the wonderful mountain South Tyrolean landscape right down to the southern Adige Valley.
The castle’s restaurant and café are great places to spend time and take in the fantastic world of nature. It’s also a good idea to take advantage of the numerous events in the gardens. Have breakfast with Sissi or listen to the enchanting sounds of the World Music Festival by the lily pond. Relax with a nice aperitif in the gardens as the evening sets in and spend a wonderful time surrounded by nature, stimulating works of art and world-famous music.
Watch nature come to life in the spring, see how the buds bloom, enjoy the sun in the summer under the palm trees, watch the autumn with its colourful changes or stroll in the winter right by the snow-capped peaks of the Texel group of mountains.
Trauttmansdorff Castle opens its gardens from April to mid-November.
Opening times are from 9am to 7pm (5pm in the cold months).