The Belvedere Palace was built in the 18th century as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736). He commissioned Lucas von Hildebrandt, an Italian trained Austrian architect, to design the two magnificent palaces. Surrounding these buildings are extensive French inspired gardens by Dominique Girard who was trained by the creator of Versailles Champs Elysees in Paris and James’ Park in London.
Since Prince Eugene did not assign an heir it was passed on to other members of royalty through affinity or acquisition. Later on it became the home of Archduke Franz Ferdinand whose assassination in 1914 triggered World War I. Other residents of the Belvedere included family members who fleeing from Napoleon.
The Lower Belvedere a residential palace, which was used to welcome guests. It also showcased trophies, al frescos and other mementos of Eugen’s triumphs an Imperial Commander including various artworks on the walls and ceiling which have been preserved to their original state.
The Upper Belvedere on the other hand was built to have a majestic view of the city. It was used as a residence for guests. It opens to a garden with a grand ceremonial staircase. This garden hall was used for state receptions, banquets, and balls.
The palaces and their majestic gardens are “one of the world’s finest Baroque landmarks”. Today the Belvedere palace houses baroque art, 19th and 20th century art pieces and medieval art. The Palace is accessible via U Bahn. A restaurant and gift shop can also be found in the premises.
Prinz Eugenstrasse 27
Image from reivax