Spend a day at Belvedere
Spend a day at Belvedere. Explore the landmark site of Landstrasse (3rd district), the famous Belvedere. The Baroque palace complex consists of two palaces (Upper & Lower Belvedere), the Orangery and the Palace Stables that are set symmetrically along a central axis defined by its marvelous baroque gardens.
The gardens in between the two palaces were designed in a manner that resembles the Versailles in Paris. Prince Eugene of Savoy chose this plot of land outside the city gates of Vienna to build his two magnificent palaces, the Upper and the Lower Belvedere, in the first half of the 18th century. They would serve as his summer residence.
With its combination of slope and level terrain and its exposed location, the land corresponded to three essential concepts within the theory of baroque garden architecture: a panoramic view, a pleasant background scenery, and a natural perspective.
The splendid view onto the city of Vienna with St Stephen’s Cathedral and Kahlenberg later gave the palace and grounds its name: Belvedere, meaning beautiful view. The garden’s main feature is austere symmetry that stretches along a central axis from the Lower Belvedere to the Upper Belvedere linking the two ceremonial rooms of the twin Palaces, the Marble Halls.
A number of paths lead the visitor to the heart of the complex, the Upper Belvedere. The palace structure is inspired by Olympus, the seat of the gods according to the Greeks. The two cascades act as a monumental base.
The main cascade is situated between the top and central park terraces. Adorning the basin are the sculptures of heroes and Nereids, fighting with monsters. The second cascade connects the slope down to the lower terrace with a shell-shaped basin fountain of Tritons and Nereids. The extended garden boasts of a series of sculpted Muses, Putti, and Sea Nymphs (Nereids).
Today the Upper Belvedere houses an impressive collection of Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present day.At the heart of the displays of art around 1900 is the world’s largest Gustav Klimt collection. The glittering highlights are Klimt’s golden pictures Kiss and Judith, and masterpieces by Schiele and Kokoschka.
Prominent works by the French Impressionists and the outstanding collection of Viennese Biedermeier paintings are further attractions at the Upper Belvedere. The Lower Belvedere & Orangery house temporary exhibits while the Palace Stables now house a permanent collection of medieval religious art and a collection of medieval tapestries. More