Miramar Castle or Il Castello di Miramare, in Trieste, was Maximilian and Carlota's residence before coming to Mexico. It's a very curious place, and my own visit, back in 2003, as part of my research for my novel The Last Prince of the Mexican Empire / El último príncipe del Imperio Mexicano was enormously and, to me, surprisingly, valuable.
I wrote about the visit in an essay, "From Mexico to Miramar or, Across the Lake of Oblivion," that was published a few years later, in 2006, in The Massachusetts Review. I think of "From Mexico to Miramar" as "a nonfiction novela about a fairytale." As of last week, the CD, a professionally made recording of my reading of the essay, is back in stock at CDBaby.
More Miramar links:
Official website of Miramar Castle
(In English, Italian, French and German.)
The Treaty of Miramar
Photos from my visit to Miramar, winter 2003
In the brief trailer for my book in Spanish, there is a spectacular photo (not mine-- it's istock.com) of Maximilian's sphynx, a souvenir of his visit to Egypt, in front of the towers.