The Belvedere Palace is a majestic example of Baroque architecture in Austria. It was constructed by Johann Lukas Von Hildebrandt for Prince Eugene of Savoy. Hildebrandt had worked many times for the Prince and the Belvedere Palace was considered his masterwork.
The palace was an important highlight of Austrian Baroque and is among the most important Baroque buildings of the 18th century. It was used primarily as a summer venue by its owner.
The Belvedere Palace is a palace complex that consisted mainly of three parts: the Upper Belvedere, the Lower Belvedere, and the garden.
After the death of Prince Eugene, the Belvedere was owned by his successor Victoria who later sold it to Empress Maria Theresa of Austria in 1752.
The Lower Belvedere is notable for the painted ceiling in the Marmorsaal or the Marble Hall. The masterpiece was painted by Martino Altomonte which depicts Prince Eugene as the new Apollo. The Marble Hall also contains a sculpture by the celebrated Baroque sculptor, Balthasar Permoser.
The Upper Belvedere was intended to create a suitable border to the spectacular gardens of the palace. Similar to the lower palace, it also has a Marmorsaal with a painted ceiling done by Carlo Innocenzo Carlone.
The gardens of the palace was originally characterized by an amazing view of graveled pathways and jeax d’eau or water features similar to the Mannerist style of the Italian gardens that is well known before the flourishing of Baroque. It was designed by Dominique Girard, a French architect. However, the gardens of the Belvedere Palace have been modified against its original form because of the efforts to restore it to its previous glamour.
The Belvedere Palace is the present home of two museums which features the best of Austrian Art. In the Lower Belvedere, you will find the Österreichisches Barockmuseum or the Austrian Museum of Baroque Art. The Upper Belvedere, on the other hand, is the location of the Austrian Gallery which features 19th and 20th century Austrian paintings.
If you wish to experience amazing scenery which captures the beauty of Baroque architecture and art at its finest, a visit to the Belvedere Palace is surely worth the trip.