Belvedere Palace Vienna – two sumptuous palaces in one
You get double the baroque beauty at the Belvedere Palace. This is actually two palaces in one: the Upper and the Lower Belvedere. They were built as a summer residence for the Prince Eugene of Savoy. Not a bad place to spend your holidays.
For a while, Belvedere Palace was Franz Ferdinand’s residence. If he’d have stayed home on 28th June 1914 the First World War might never have happened. Speaking of war, the palace was badly damaged during World War II, but sensitive reconstruction work restored the palace to its present form.
Home is where the art is
Prince Eugene was an art connoisseur. So it’s fitting that his palaces are now filled with Austrian masterpieces. In the Lower Belvedere you’ll find 18th century Austrian art. And in the Upper Belvedere 19th and 20th century art. Look out for the sumptuous Klimt paintings – you won’t find a collection this big anywhere else in the world.
In between the Upper and Lower Belvedere is the Belvedere Garden. It was designed by a famous French gardener, Dominique Girard, and thus demonstrates an extremely French influence. No wonder, as Girard had trained at Versailles and was well-known for his skill. The Belvedere Garden is slowly, but surely, being restored back to its former glory.
Other interesting facts about Belvedere Palace
- The Lower Belvedere and Orangery have been adapted to stage special exhibitions
- Prince Eugene bought the land for the Belvedere in 1697 and started drawing up architectural plans immediately
- The Sala Terrena in Upper Belvedere was originally structurally unstable, and the architect had to add a vaulted ceiling and pillars
- Empress Maria Theresa purchased the palace, but never moved in