Wikipedia | Google | Google Images | FlickrBelvedere Palace is located southeast of the Vienna's Innere Stadt, in-between the Wieden and Landstrasse districts. Belvedere Schloss, the two magnificent palaces, were constructed as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, a famous Baroque architect.
They are known as the Upper Belvedere; full of huge rooms for entertainment and the Lower Belvedere; the former living quarters. The palaces are separated by an ornate 17th-century, French-style garden. It was sold to Maria Theresa in 1752. While they never lived there, they used the property to store and display art.
The Upper Belvedere is now a gallery showing Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present day. In the Lower Belvedere you can see the prince's living quarters, staterooms, and palace stables. Compared with the Lower Belvedere, the Upper Belvedere is especially luxurious in both size and design. The palaces with their extensive garden are considered to be one of the world’s finest Baroque landmarks.
Lower BelvedereThe Lower Belvedere was originally constructed as a garden villa, with a gallery and living quarters and is the older of the two buildings. The construction work of the Lower Belvedere lasted from 1712 until 1716. It contains opulent apartments, halls, and staterooms such as the two-storey Marble Hall, the Marble Gallery with antique statues and trophies of war, the Golden Cabinet and the Grotesque Hall with mirrored walls and rich ornaments. Prince Eugene of Savoy used the Lower Belvedere to receive guests in the Marble Hall, and to accommodate his guests’ horses in the stables. Until the Upper Belvedere was finished, he lived in the Lower Belvedere.
Upper BelvedereThe construction work took place between 1717 and 1723. The Upper Belvedere primarily had a representative function at the time of Prince Eugene, and served as an imperial painting gallery from the second half of 1770s. For this purpose, the paintings were brought from the Stallberg to the Upper Belvedere after 1776, where they were accessible to the public, making it one of the first public museums in the world.
Today, the Upper Belvedere houses an impressive collection of Austrian art. The highlight of the collections at the Upper Belvedere are the works of Gustav Klimt with his golden paintings “The Kiss” and “Judith”. You can also admire the masterpieces by Schiele and Kokoschka, works of French Impressionism and outstanding collection of the Vienna Biedermeier era.
Palace GardensThe gardens are set on a gentle gradient with beautiful Baroque sculptures of mythical creatures throughout. The beautiful view from the top of the sloping garden towards the Lower Belvedere is where the complex gets it name. The garden unfolds in strict symmetry along a central axis from the Lower Belvedere to the Upper Belvedere and interlinks the two premier ceremonial rooms of the palaces, the Marble Halls. A system of paths and axial perspectives leads you to the heart of complex, the Upper Belvedere. Spring and early summer are the best times to visit as many plants start to flower.
Palace StablesThe Palace Stables were used to accommodate the personal horses of Prince Eugene. Today, it houses some 150 objects of sacred medieval art, integrating with the Baroque ambient in a compelling fashion. Arranged according to specific themes, the display includes masterpieces of panel painting, sculpture, and Gothic triptychs.
OrangeryThe orangery was originally a heatable winter garden for orange trees. Since the south façade and the ceiling could be removed during the beautiful seasons, the plants did not need to be brought out arduously but could rather remain at their place. After the death of Prince Eugene and the relocation of the orangery to Schönbrunn Palace, the plant house was renovated and used as a stall. After 1918, a part of the Modern Gallery and, from 1953 until 2007, the museum of Middle Age art were both housed in this building. In 2007, the architect, Susanne Zottl, designed a modern exhibition hall as a white cube in the orangery.
VisitingBelvedere Palace is open every day from 10.00 AM to 18.00 PM with the Lower Belvedere building offering extended hours on Wednesdays. Guided tours are available. For fans of Gustav Klimt and Art Nouveau - you can get tickets both at the Belvedere Vienna, which houses the world’s largest Gustav Klimt collection, and the Albertina Museum, housing Klimt sketches and drawings, in one go.
Getting ThereThe Belvedere Palace is located a little outside the center of Vienna, however it is easily reached by public transport. The Upper Belvedere can best be reached by Tram D, get off at Schloss Belvedere station, where there is a small gate with access to Upper Belvedere. You can also take the train to the Sud Banhoff and then cross to the Belvedere's entrance at the corner of Prinz Eugen Strasse and Lanstraßer Gürtel. Another alternative is to take the Metro U1 to the Sudtiroler Platz and walk to the corner mentioned above. The Lower Belvedere can be reached by taking the bus or tram 71 to Unteres Belvedere.
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Author: Ayda. Last updated: Apr 03, 2015