In the spirit of this week’s Zigzag weekly photo challenge, I give you the garden of the stunning Belvedere Palace (1717-1723) in Vienna’s fourth district. After many hours of wandering around trying to find it, J.L. von Hildebrandt who designed this summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy does not disappoint. The best time to see it is spring or early summer with its rows of clipped hedges and great water basin putting on a spectacular display in the alpine garden.
Although not quite able to match the splendor of the Schönbrunn Palace and the Hofsburg Palace, the Rococo style architecture is still wondrous to behold even though critics at the time viewed it as fanciful and frivolous. I love this style of architecture though for its ornate grandeur which favors lighter colors and curves. The word ‘rococo’ itself which is derived from the French words rocaille (stone) and coquilles (shell) are both heavily featured motifs and lend to its opulence.
The two Baroque palaces face each other though the Upper Belvedere is more grand and gives you incredible views of the first district. You can also find Klimt’s renowned work The Kiss here as well in the Sammlung Österreichischer Kunst.
Entrance to the gardens are free and well worth seeing. From the large sphinx statues which symbolise strength and intelligence to the sculptures which depict victories over the Turkish army in 1683 it’s quite spectacular. We didn’t get to go inside but with its reception and banquet halls it’s definitely something I’ll check out if I get the opportunity to visit here again!
A short video showcasing the views from the Upper Belvedere: