Schloss Ambras Review
When Archduke Ferdinand II wanted to marry a commoner for love, the court grudgingly allowed it, but the couple was forced to live outside the city limits. Ferdinand revamped a 10th-century castle for the bride, Philippine Welser, which was completed in 1556 and was every bit as luxe as what he had been accustomed to in town. Amid acres of gardens and woodland, it is an inviting castle with cheery red-and-white shutters on its many windows, and is, curiously, home to an oddball collection of armaments. The upper castle now houses rooms of noble portraits and the lower section has the collection of weaponry and armor. Be sure to inspect Philippine's sunken bath, a luxury for its time. Look around the grounds as well to see the fencing field and a small cemetery containing samples of earth from 18 battlefields around the world. The castle is 3 km (2 miles) southeast of the city. To reach it without a car, take Tram 3 or 6 to Ambras (a short walk from the castle) or Route 1 on the Sightseer from Maria-Theresien-Strasse.
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