Works of art and gardens at the Belvedere Palace

Art comes in many forms in the Austrian capital. Vienna is home to an abundance of different works, both classical and modern. As well as monumental Baroque works, the public flock to the capital to immerse themselves in the paintings of famous painters. The Belvedere Palace alone represents this junction between past and future history. This magnificent Baroque palace houses the most important collection of Austrian art, from the Middle Ages to the present day. In particular, it contains major works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka, which attract a great deal of interest from tourists. You'll need several hours to see everything, as the palace is divided into two castles: the Upper Belvedere houses an immense collection of paintings, while the Lower Belvedere contains Prince Eugene's former flats and a superb garden.

© canadastock / Shutterstock
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Prince Eugene of Savoy originally built this garden palace as his summer residence, away from Vienna. He was a great lover of art, so in 1714 he commissioned the famous architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt to build a place conducive to reflection and tranquillity.

Eight years later, it was done: the sublime Baroque rooms, combined with the grand courtyard, provided an ideal place of refuge for the prince. He then installed an immense collection of paintings, which has grown steadily over the years.

As well as its glorious Baroque past, the Belvedere Palace is also known for another historic landmark: the signing of the Austrian independence treaty on 15 May 1955. Signed between the Allied occupying forces (the United States, the USSR, France and the United Kingdom) and the Austrian government, the treaty enabled the country to regain its sovereignty.

The Belvedere Palace.

- © Triff / Shutterstock

The Upper Belvedere and Klimt's paintings

The Belvedere Palace attracts so much interest and thousands of tourists, not least because of the works of Gustav Klimt. Klimt was a major figure in Austrian painting, as the leader of the "Secession" movement. This artistic approach broke with the academic tradition and classicism that had previously prevailed in this city steeped in tradition.

'The Kiss' by Gustav Klimt (1908)

- © Palais du Belvédère

The movement's motto? " To each age its art, to each art its freedom ". A number of artists joined the movement, including Koloman Moser and Josef Hoffmann, and many of the works born of this artistic effervescence are on display at the Upper Belvedere.

The jewel in the Palace's crown is Klimt's iconic painting The Kiss, but many other paintings are well worth a visit. Many visitors also come for the major works byEgon Schiele,Oscar Kokoshka, Friedrich Hundertwasser, Claude Monet, Vincent Van Gogh andEdvard Munch.

The Lower Belvedere and its gardens

Inside the Lower Belvedere.

- © BearFotos / Shutterstock

Temporary exhibitions are sometimes held in the Orangery or in the lower Belvedere. You can also visit part of Prince Eugène's residence, with its marble gallery and gilded cabinet testifying to the lavish tastes of the master of the house.

The gardens of the Belvedere Palace.

- © photosounds / Shutterstock

But the real showstopper in this part of the building are the many gardens that adorn the palace's vast courtyard. Considered to be among the most beautiful Baroque gardens in Europe, they are inspired by the Château de Versailles. The wide paths, the water features and the large pool, which magnificently reflects the façade of the Palace, are always a great attraction!

Our favourite hotel near Belvedere Palace

grätzlhotel beim Belvedere Vienna
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grätzlhotel beim Belvedere

This hotel offers spacious rooms in renovated former workshops and shops in the trendy surroundings of Vienna's Wieden district.
8.7 Superb
From
£125 / night
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Practical information for the Belvedere Palace

The Palais du Belvédère is a must-see for art lovers, but will appeal just as much to novices, who can also enjoy its fabulous gardens. Allow half a day's visit to complete the tour.

⏰ Opening times of the Belvedere Palace

  • Upper Belvedere: daily from 10am to 6pm
  • Lower Belvedere: daily from 9am to 6pm

👛 Prices of the Belvedere Palace

Upper Belvedere:

  • Full price: €15.90
  • Over 65s: €13.40
  • Students under 26: €13.40
  • Under-19s: free
  • Vienna City Card: €14.50
  • PRM: €4

Lower Belvedere :

  • Full price: €13.90
  • Over 65s: €10.90
  • Students under 26: €10.90
  • Under-19s: free
  • Vienna City Card: €12
  • PRM: €4

You can book your tickets online on the Palais du Belvédère website.

The Belvedere Palace reflected in the great pool.

- © Mistervlad / Shutterstock

📍 Where is the Belvedere Palace?

Please note that the entrances to the upper and lower Belvederes are not in the same place. The former stands at 27 Prinz Eugen-Straße, while the latter is at 6 Rennweg.

🚌 How do I get to the Belvedere Palace?

Away from the city centre, the easiest way is to get there by public transport.

Upper Belvedere:

  • U1 underground: Südtiroler Platz-Hauptbahnhof station (15 minutes' walk from the monument)
  • tram D: Schloss Belvedere station

Lower Belvedere :

  • tram 71: Unteres Belvedere station
  • Tramway D: Schwarzenbergplatz station
by Editorial Team
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