With the construction of Belvedere Castles, Prince Eugene of Savoy, the most successful military commander of his time, left behind a spirited baroque signature, which reaches from today’s Vienna Central Station to Vienna’s inner city.[tweetbutton]
Belvedere Castles and Baroque gardens
Prince Eugene of Savoy expressed all of his pride in his European heritage through the building of the Belvedere. The three great national styles of Baroque all come together harmoniously in this palace.
The park-garden, created in the spirit of French Baroque, the double-winged palace built in Austrian Baroque style and the palace’s interior that was decorated by important Italian Baroque masters, are a mirror image of the man who commissioned them all.
Only a few of the rooms of the Lower Belvedere were planned as residential rooms. Most of the space was used for the Orangery and the Palace Stables.
Five years after the completion of the Lower Belvedere, Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt created the Upper Belvedere.
Belvedere Garden Vienna (Photo: Maximilian Just)
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Prince Eugene of Savoy invited Dominique Girard to come to Vienna to create the garden-park for the Belvedere. Girard designed the garden complementing it with his own specialty: Jeux d’eau or water games.
Lower Belvedere Castle in Vienna (Photo: Maximilian Just)
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The original design envisioned the Belvedere Castle in Vienna as a garden palais. The architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt was commissioned by Prince Eugene of Savoy in 1714 to build the palace, and he completed the Lower Belvedere Castle just two years after the beginning of construction.
Water games in the garden-park of the
Belvedere Castle, Vienna (Photo: Maximilian Just)
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Prince Eugene of Savoy spent his youth in the Palace of Versailles. It was there that he became familiar with the art of French Baroque gardens.
Upper Belvedere, Vienna (Photo: Maximilian Just)
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Like a system of individual pavilions, the building of Upper Belvedere is divided into numerous blocks, each one adorned with its own roof construction.
The Belvedere Palaces remained in the possession of the Habsburg family and the last to live here was the heir apparent Franz Ferdinand who was assassinated in Sarajevo in 1914.
Gustave Klimt in the Upper Belvedere Palace
The Belvedere owns the world’s largest collection of paintings by Gustav Klimt, including the world-famous painting ‘The Kiss’.
For more than 600 years Vienna was the center of imperial elegance and the Habsburg power. From the 13th century to the end of World War I, the Habsburg dynasty reigned over their large, multinational empire from Vienna. The epicenter of imperial power was the Hofburg. Each of the emperors expanded the Hofburg by another new castle.
But there are many other sights in Vienna that are as interesting as the Hofburg Castle itself. In Vienna lived and worked Antonio Vivaldi, Arcimboldo, Prince Eugene of Savoy, Maria Theresa, Elisabeth – Sisi, Franz Joseph, Sigmund Freud, Otto Wagner, Adolf Loos, Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, Ludwig van Beethoven, Schubert, Mozart, Johann Strauss and many others. With this guide you can explore all streets, churches, buildings, museums and castles in two or three days.
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The guidebook Historic City Center of Vienna is in many ways a different Vienna travel guide. Away from the tourist traps you will be guided through the castles and gardens unique for its historical importance and glance.
In WHO IS WHO and WHAT IS WHAT IN VIENNA you will find more than 100 brief biographies of historical figures as well as about 90 public places with the addresses, opening hours, admission fees and public transport connections for each one of them.
Last but not least: This guide will be updated and published 2-times a year. If you buy the book once, you will be able to download new book version with recent information, new chapters, pictures and maps every six months without additional charge. The actual version is 1.8
You can read the first chapters for FREE here: Vienna City Walk 2013 – Palaces, Streets and Squares