The Belvedere garden palace was built by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt between the years 1717 and 1723. Von Hildebrandt was recruited by Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), a renowned Viennese general and avid art collector, to create the palace as his summer home.
Belvedere Palace was originally located just outside the gates of the city, and is currently in Vienna’s third district. The stunning baroque architectural dream has two palaces (Upper and Lower Belvedere), connected by a gorgeous baroque garden.
Today these magnificent structures house one of the world’s most beautiful and important museums and are among Vienna’s most visited sites. Along with many other treasures in the Belevdere, they are used to house and present artworks throughout the generations in Austria, including the world's largest Klimt collection.
The Upper Belvedere rises above the surrounding areas, and has an excellent view of Vienna, and the Lower Belvedere contains the well-preserved and splendid staterooms.
The Belvedere Gardens are a major highlight of the palace. Their baroque landscape architecture is a must-see for anyone who appreciates true beauty. Part of the spectacular palace design is a reflecting pool placed right in front of the palace in order to reflect the building's façade.
Large terraces with charming ponds connect the Upper and Lower Belvedere. Other garden highlights include the Kammergarten, which was originally reserved only for the man of the house and the people with whom he was closest, and the Alpine Garden in the palace park, the oldest garden in Europe.
The Belvedere is home to one of Europe's most precious museums, the Gallery Belvedere Vienna. Located in the Upper Belvedere, you can find the world's largest collection of the works of Gustav Klimt, as well as pieces created by Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka.
There are also precious works of art created by French impressionists such as Renoir and Monet, works by Van Gogh, and a large Biedermeier collection prominently featured in the Belvedere.
The three most popular tours of the gallery are Gustav Klimt and His Time, Vibrant Baroque, and Fascination Masterpiece. These tours are masterful introductions to Gustav Klimt, other impressive artists, and the history of the Belvedere, and are offered in German, English, French, and Italian, and other languages with a special arrangement. Tours are for up to 25 people (special booking is required for more) and you need to book tours at least one week in advance.