The Stables of Miramare Castle reopen with an exhibition on the exploration voyage of the frigate Novara

After a long post-pandemic hiatus, the Scuderie del Castello di Miramare reopens with an exhibition focusing on the 1857 voyage of the frigate Novara to explore undiscovered areas of the planet and cataloguing artifacts.

The Stables of Miramare Castle reopen after a long post-pandemic hiatus with the exhibition KOSMOS. The Vessel of Knowledge, curated by Andreina Contessa and the Museum’s Exhibitions Office, which will be open to the public from Dec. 21, 2023 to June 16, 2024. The exhibition focuses on the voyage that led the frigate Novara to set sail from Trieste on April 30, 1857, to travel 51,856 nautical miles, with twenty-two main stops on five continents.

The main objectives of the expedition were the exploration and cartographic description of undiscovered areas of the planet, the knowledge and study of indigenous peoples, the collection and cataloguing of mineral finds, as well as plant and animal species, in addition to the important goal of weaving new diplomatic relationships. Today, the exhibition aims to tell the story of how scientific knowledge was born and how it still continues to be a spur and goal for many scholars.

The exhibition project develops many scenic components and presents relevant artifacts and works that have never been exhibited before, which mainly come from the voyage of the Frigate Novara and were presented upon the expedition’s return to Trieste in 1860 in the Palazzo della Borsa. Thus, more than 150 naturalistic artifacts, ethnographic objects, historical navigation and surveying instruments and scientific tools, photographs and old books, paintings and watercolors are on display. The exhibition also makes use of digital installations, scale models and dioramas intended to give the public the experience of life aboard a ship adapted for a major scientific expedition.

Never before has so much of the Earth been explored in such a short period as in the nineteenth century; so many anthropological findings and botanical, zoological and geological specimens were discovered, catalogued and studied, studies that produced a considerable amount of documents.

The exhibition is also, indirectly, a tribute to the figure of Maximilian of Habsburg and his love of the sea, travel and ships. In the same years that Maximilian was building Miramare Castle and defining the botanical collection of his great garden, he was in fact promoting science by supporting a network of knowledge and contacts among the scholars of the time. The main promoter of international missions of the Austrian Navy, whose command he held since 1854, Maximilian participated directly in the expedition to Brazil between 1859 and 1860 and followed at a distance and with attention the diplomatic, scientific, commercial and military voyage made by the Novara between April 1857 and August 1859, with the aim of carrying out the circumnavigation of the globe.

Thanks to loans from important Viennese museums, such as the Albertina Museum, the Heeresgeschichtliches Museum, and the Weltmuseum Wien, and to collaboration with many institutions, such as the University of Trieste, the Civic Museum of the Sea in Trieste, the Trieste Civic Museums, the Trieste International Foundation, SISSA, and OGS, the exhibition examines contemporary travel and thecurrent, unquenchable thirst for discovery, today characterized by tools and technologies that, on the one hand, allow universal knowledge of the world but, on the other, do not grant alibis of unawareness.

For all info you can visit the website of the Historical Museum and Park of Miramare Castle.

The Stables of Miramare Castle reopen with an exhibition on the exploration voyage of the frigate Novara
The Stables of Miramare Castle reopen with an exhibition on the exploration voyage of the frigate Novara

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