Belvedere Palace

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Belvedere Palace
Upper Belvedere

Upper Belvedere

Creation time : 1714-1716 (Lower Belvedere);
1721–1723 (Upper Belvedere)
Conservation status: Receive
Standing position : High nobility
Place: Vienna 3.
Geographical location 48 ° 11 '36.2 "  N , 16 ° 22' 49.8"  E Coordinates: 48 ° 11 '36.2 "  N , 16 ° 22' 49.8"  E
Belvedere Palace (Vienna)
Belvedere Palace

The Belvedere Palace (from Italian “beautiful view”; traditional xenographic pronunciation without ending -e and emphasized on “der”: [belveˈdeːɘ] listen ? / I ) in Vienna is one of Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt (1668–1745) between 1714 and Palace complex built in 1723 for Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663–1736) (since 1850 in the Landstrasse district ). The Upper Belvedere and the Lower Belvedere (named because of their location on a slope that climbed south of the city at that time) form a baroque ensemble with the connecting gardens . The two palace buildings now house the Belvedere's collections ( Austrian Belvedere Gallery ) and rooms for temporary exhibitions. On May 15, 1955, the Austrian State Treaty was signed in the Upper Belvedere . Audio file / audio sample

Lower Belvedere

Lower Belvedere, garden side

Starting in 1697, Prince Eugene had Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach build his city ​​palace on Himmelpfortgasse in the walled city of Vienna . In 1702 Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt was commissioned by the client to complete the palace.

Neighbor and "architect exchange"

The Winter Palace was only partially completed when, in 1714, Prince Eugen commissioned Hildebrandt to build an additional garden palace for him outside the walled city. To this end, the prince had bought a piece of land from 1697, right next to one of his political opponents, Heinrich Franz von Mansfeld . Mansfeld had Hildebrandt build a palace, the shell of which was completed by 1704. Count Mansfeld died in 1715 without having completed his palace. Its area was expanded from 1716 to 1728 into a palace and garden for the Schwarzenberg family .

Prince Schwarzenberg did not let Hildebrandt, who was now working for his neighbor Prince Eugen, take care of this redesign or completion, but instead commissioned Eugen's former contractor Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach.

Prince Eugene's summer residence

A pleasure building erected 1694–1697 , which Prince Eugen had acquired with the property, was converted by Hildebrandt into the Lower Belvedere in 1714–1716. Prince Eugene used to live here in the summer (see below for details of the building). After the prince's death, the palace was passed on to the imperial family by his heiress. In 1806, when Napoléon I threatened to invade Tyrol, the so-called Ambras collection of the Habsburgs from Tyrol was housed in the Lower Belvedere; In 1890 this collection was transferred together with other imperial art collections to the then newly built Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien .

In 1903, when the modern gallery was housed , the Austrian State Gallery since 1909 , continuous museum use began, which after the First World War could also be extended to the Upper Belvedere. It is perceived by the Austrian Belvedere Gallery , a federal museum .

Prince Eugene's last days and the lion in the Belvedere

Eugen's Last Days and the Lion in the Belvedere, Franz Wacik, 1913

Hugo von Hofmannsthal wrote:

“... the King of France, whom he had defeated so often, adored an African lion for him ... finally came three days when the lion no longer saw his master, he refused to eat and ran restlessly up and down the cage ... around three o'clock in the morning he let out such a roar that the keeper ran out to the menagerie to see. Then he saw lights in all the rooms of the castle, at the same time he heard the death of the valley in the chapel and so he knew that his master, the great Prince Eugene, had died at that very hour. "

- Prince Eugene the noble knight, his life in pictures . As told by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Franz Wacik .

Construction details

The masters Johann Georg Haresleben * and Elias Hügel from Kaisersteinbruch received stonemason orders .

What is known today as the Lower Belvedere was completed in 1716. Only a few rooms were planned as living spaces; the largest space was taken up by the orangery and the magnificent stables.

The Marble Hall (not to be confused with the so-called State Hall in the Upper Belvedere) is the center of the Lower Belvedere and originally served the representative reception of guests. The original of the Mehlmarktbrunnen made of lead cast by Georg Raphael Donner can be seen here. (The fountain on today's Neuer Markt , called Donnerbrunnen , is made of bronze casts.)

The ceiling painting by Martino Altomonte shows Prince Eugene as a youthful hero and as Apollo surrounded by muses. The parade bedroom connects to the west and the table room to the east . The ceiling painting of the parade bedroom is also by Altomonte, (evening and morning) , with pseudo-architecture by Marcantonio Chiarini and Gaetano Fanti . Grotesque paintings by Jonas Drentwett can be seen in a western room .

In 2007 the orangery (at that time the bitter orange building with a movable roof structure) was adapted and the Lower Belvedere was rebuilt, where special exhibitions of the Austrian Belvedere Gallery have been taking place ever since.


Belvedere garden, right dome of the Salesian church
View of Vienna, seen from the Belvedere, the so-called “ Canaletto view ”: Dominant left is Karlskirche, center St. Stephen's Cathedral, right Salesian Church

The garden is the oldest part of the complex. It was laid out by the Le Nôtre student Dominique Girard shortly after the property was purchased around 1700 and was completed in 1725. Horticulture also included the water infrastructure; Prince Eugene had received permission to use the imperial water pipe and had numerous wells installed. The twelve fountains were restored between 2005 and 2010 after the systems between the Upper and Lower Belvedere could no longer be operated since 1994 due to high water losses.

Since the Upper Belvedere is around 23 meters higher than the lower, the theme of the sculptures is appropriately the ascent from the underworld to Olympus . A flight of stairs was built between the two areas . The garden is divided into an upper, middle and lower ground floor. To the side of the lower belvedere, in the area of ​​the orangery, is the chamber garden , which is separated from the rest of the garden. In this area, at the suggestion of Friedrich Carl Emil von der Lühe, a section was created exclusively for the plants of the Austrian monarchy , which was under the direction of Nicolaus Thomas Host (1761–1834), but was described as a little disordered as early as 1827 .

The differences in level are marked by two richly sculptured cascade fountains. The upper of the two (fountain 4) is known as the “large cascade fountain” or just as the “cascade fountain” and consists of two basins that are connected by a five-step cascade. The lower one is called the “shell fountain” (Fountain 7), as tritons hold a shell-filled basin in its center . In all three ground floors as well as in the chamber garden there are two smaller fountains with putti and naiads , with those on the upper ground floor and in the chamber garden being round, the other four regularly structured. The wall fountain at the orangery (fountain 12) and the “Great Basin” (fountain 1, also called “Great Pond”) south of the Upper Belvedere are also counted among the twelve fountains.

While the upper ground floor is determined by sphinxes in its sculptural decoration , there is a complicated program on the lower ground floor. There are statues of eight muses on the side avenues, while the ninth, Calliope , is shown together with Hercules . There are also allegories of fire, water and a representation of Apollo and Daphne . These statues were created by Giovanni Stanetti .

At the edge of the middle ground floor there is a ramp with a balustrade, which is lined with allegorical depictions of the month in the form of putti. They were created in 1852 in place of older figures.

To the east of the Upper Belvedere are the remains of the semicircular menagerie. There are seven statues of gods in niches in the semicircular wall.

The facility has been open to the public since 1780. (In that year Joseph II took over the sole reign in Austria after the death of Maria Theresa .) According to the UNESCO World Heritage requirements, the gardens are gradually being restored with considerable investment, as is the large fountain.

Upper Belvedere

Upper Belvedere seen from the main part of the garden
Main gate to the Upper Belvedere with lions bearing the coat of arms of the Prince of Savoy; Access from the Landstraßer Gürtel

The Upper Belvedere was originally designed as a small building that was supposed to visually complete the garden. After further land purchases by the prince, Hildebrandt expanded the planning and built the Upper Belvedere 1720–1723 in the size it is today; The construction work was completed in 1725/1726. The prince continued to live in the Lower Belvedere, while the Upper Belvedere was used for representation. To the east of the Upper Belvedere, the prince's menagerie was also housed in a semicircular area (the floor plan can still be seen today), which ended up in the Imperial Schönbrunn Zoo after Eugen's death .

The prince's sole heir, Anna Viktoria von Savoyen , who had been married to Princess von Sachsen-Hildburghausen since 1738, had the entire inventory and the library auctioned, so that today nothing is reminiscent of the original furnishings.

Construction details

The upper castle was built in communication with the surrounding nature from 1721 to 1723, originally there were also many more open halls and galleries. In front of the southern entrance there is a pond in which the castle is reflected. The building breaks up into several blocks ("pavilion system"), giving the silhouette a very lively impression. Each of these blocks has its own roof structure, which has reminded some observers of "Turkish tents".

Atlases in the Sala Terrena (2006)

The Sala terrena in the lower area was originally open and designed as a single hall. Soon after construction, however, there were structural problems, which is why it had to be rebuilt and the ceiling had to be supported with the four atlases that still exist today . Here, too, the marble hall on the piano nobile is the center of the building. It is decorated with a central ceiling painting by Carlo Innocenzo Carlone , the pseudo-architecture being attributed to the quadraturist Marcantonio Chiarini. All around were living and state rooms, in which the Baroque collections, the turn of the century (around 1900) and the Vienna Secession are now on display. Parts of the legendary library and Prince Eugene's collection of paintings were also housed here. In the chapel there are also frescoes by Carlone, the altarpiece is by Francesco Solimena .

The stones used are Sankt Margarethener Stein , Eggenburger Stein (now known as Zogelsdorfer Stein ), solid Kaiserstein from Kaisersteinbruch, Mannersdorfer Stein , Oolithic limestone ( Jura ) from Savonnières in Lorraine , Adneter Kalkstein (Lienbacher Stein) and also artificial marble . In the Sala Terrena , the atlases are made of Zogelsdorfer stone, the bases of Kaiserstein.

The magnificent staircase

Magnificent staircase with steps made of Kaiserstein

The magnificent staircase made of Zogelsdorfer stone has a rich decoration of foliage and banding combined with cartouches and emblems. The steps are made of Kaiserstein with intense blue inclusions, the floor slabs at the central heel are made of Mannersdorfer stone and the putti are made of Savonnières limestone. These are labeled (Theodor) Friedl , a 19th century sculptor. It is noteworthy that this staircase was open on both sides. It was not until 1904, when it was converted into the residence of heir apparent Franz Ferdinand , that it was locked in the form of glazed doors and windows.

The State Hall

The State Hall ( Marble Hall ) is dominated by Adnet marble (Lienbach stone) and also by artificial marble. Hofsteinmetzmeister Elias Hügel managed the work for this order in Kaisersteinbruch, and the stone carving work for the fountain systems with the cascade in the garden was added to the building. The masters of the brotherhood Johann Paul Schilck , Johann Baptist Kral , Simon Sasslaber , Joseph Winkler and Franz Trumler worked in comradeship .

Uses according to Prinz Eugen


Anna Viktoria sold the entire Belvedere area in 1752 to Empress Maria Theresia , ruler of the Habsburg Monarchy from 1740 to 1780. She transferred the original private purchase to the Imperial and Royal Arar in 1754 , but retained the decision of her family to use it ( Hofärar ). Maria Theresa's son Joseph II , then co-regent, had the imperial picture gallery, which had been kept in the Stallburg, transferred to the Upper Belvedere in 1775–1777 . Since 1890 it has been in the then newly built Kunsthistorisches Museum . The Hofärar, including the Belvedere, became the property of the republic proclaimed on that day on November 12, 1918.

Heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand

After four years of vacancy, Archduke Franz Ferdinand , heir to the throne since 1896, who was assassinated in 1914, resided and worked here for the last time in 1894–1914, after his world tour with a large entourage . In April 1894 Franz Ferdinand exhibited over 18,000 ethnographic objects from his world tour in the Belvedere. The heir to the throne and general, placed at the disposition of the supreme command , maintained his military chancellery in the Lower Belvedere from 1899, which reached its official climax when Franz Ferdinand was appointed inspector general of all armed forces by Franz Joseph I in 1913 . In the last decade of the life of Emperor Franz Joseph I, high state officials felt that Franz Ferdinand's Belvedere was a subsidiary government that could not be ignored, since the heir to the throne was known to be a very critical spirit and could be very harsh. The members of this military chancellery were busy preparing the future government of the heir to the throne. Since these officers did not always follow the sentiments of Emperor Franz Joseph I, there was cause for criticism. However, to cast doubt on the loyalty of the heir to the throne to his uncle could not be proven.

From his marriage in 1900 onwards, the heir to the throne lived in the Upper Belvedere with his unequal wife, Princess Sophie von Hohenberg , duchess since 1909, and their children, Sophie , Max and Ernst, born in 1901, 1902 and 1904 , if the family was not in their own Konopischt Castle in Bohemia. Franz Ferdinand enjoyed family life, because at home , the him and his wife in rank separating court ceremonial had no effect.

After the parents were murdered in Sarajevo , the children had to leave the Belvedere. The inventory of the estate was carried out from November 30th to December 5th, 1914. The new heir to the throne, Archduke Karl Franz Joseph , made no claims regarding the castle. Archduke Maximilian Eugen , the brother of Emperor Charles, moved in with his family in 1917 . In the course of this, all of the private belongings of the Franz Ferdinand family remaining in the Belvedere were brought to their Artstetten Castle and temporarily deposited there. That is why they did not fall victim to expropriation in 1918/1919, unlike all the holdings in Franz Ferdinand's Konopischt Castle in Bohemia, and represent a large part of the holdings of today's Archduke Franz Ferdinand Museum.

Anton Bruckner

Since the composer Anton Bruckner had to struggle with walking difficulties in the last years of his life and could not climb stairs, Emperor Franz Joseph I made it possible for him to move into an apartment in the Belvedere in 1895. These were rooms in the ground-level custodian wing south of the Upper Belvedere, the so-called Kustodenstöckl in Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 27. Bruckner died here on October 11, 1896.

Official residence of the dictatorship

The dictatorial ruling Federal Chancellor of the “Ständestaats” , Kurt Schuschnigg , lived in an official apartment in the Upper Belvedere until 1938, after the “Anschluss” with Nazi Germany in March 1938 under house arrest, monitored by the Gestapo before he was arrested.

Austrian Gallery Belvedere

Reverse side of the 10 shilling banknote (1950)

Republican Austria uses (e) the Upper Belvedere for its Austrian Gallery Belvedere . To this day, the palace is the main building of this federal museum , which was expanded from 2013 to 2017 to include the state rooms in the city and winter palace . The museum is called the Belvedere for short.

State Treaty 1955

The State Treaty , which made Austria free of occupying powers and other restrictions on sovereignty in 1955, was signed on May 15, 1955 in the marble hall of the Upper Belvederes. The weekly report of the huge crowd waiting in the Belvedere Garden for the signatories to appear on the balcony of the palace and who burst into jubilation when Foreign Minister Leopold Figl lifted the signed treaty is one of the icons of contemporary Austrian history. Figl's famous words “Austria is free!” Were not spoken on the balcony, on which there was no loudspeaker system, but immediately after the signatures were made in the marble hall.

New district

Due to the high level of awareness of the Belvedere, a new district to the south-west of the Belvedere, construction of which began around 2010, is called Quartier Belvedere . It is located at the 2012 and 2015 partially fully put into operation new Vienna Central Station in Vienna's 10th district . The former Südbahnhof S-Bahn station was renamed the Wien Quartier Belvedere stop on December 9, 2012 .


The castle and gardens were also used as a film set:

See also


in alphabetical order

  • Maria Auböck, Ingrid Gregor: The Belvedere. The garden of Prince Eugene in Vienna . Holzhausen 2004. ISBN 3-85493-070-4
  • Hans Aurenhammer , Gertrude Aurenhammer: The Belvedere in Vienna. Building, people, history . ISBN 3-7031-0222-5
  • Helmuth Furch : Stone study inspection with Andreas Rohatsch, TU Vienna, engineering geology, Belvedere, etc. In: Mitteilungen des Museums- und Kulturverein Kaisersteinbruch 54 (June 1999), pp. 21–33.
  • Helmuth Furch: Kaiserstein in Viennese buildings, 300 examples . In: Communications from the Museum and Culture Association Kaisersteinbruch 59 (December 2000).
  • Claudia Gröschel: “Foreign animals and foreign plants. Menagerie and orangery of Prince Eugene of Savoy in his summer palace on Rennweg in Vienna ” . In: Die Gartenkunst  20 (2/2008), pp. 335–354.
  • Salomon Kleiner : Residences Memorables De l'incomparable Heros de nôtre Siecle ou Representation exacte des Edifices et Jardins de Son Altesse Serenissime Monseigneur Le Prince Eugene Francois Duc de Savoye et de Piemont,… . Jeremias Wolff Erben, Augsburg 1731–1740.
  • Heiko Laß, Maja Schmidt: Belvedere and Dornburg . Imhof, Petersberg 1999. ISBN 3-932526-45-7
  • Helmut Nemec: Belvedere. Prince Eugene's palace and park . ISBN 3-210-24871-0
  • Ulrike Seeger, Gerbert Frodl: The summer palace of Prince Eugen Belvedere . Brandstätter, Vienna 2007. ISBN 3-902510-97-8
  • Ulrike Seeger: City Palace and Belvedere of Prince Eugene. Origin, shape, function and meaning . Böhlau, Vienna 2004. ISBN 3-205-77190-7
  • Stefan Schmidt: Park maintenance company Belvedere-Garten in Vienna . In: Die Gartenkunst 4 (2/1992), pp. 168–186.
  • Peter Stephan: The Upper Belvedere in Vienna. Architectural concept and iconography. The castle of Prince Eugene as a reflection of his self-image . Böhlau, Vienna 2010. ISBN 978-3-205-77785-4
  • Peter Stephan: Prince Eugen's “wonderful war and victory camp”. The Upper Belvedere in its original form . Freiburg 2000. ( online publication ).
  • Prinz Eugen and his Belvedere . Announcements from the Austrian Gallery (special issue). Vienna 1963.
  • Ludwig Varga: Belvedere garden. General renovation of the wells 2005–2010 . Brochure of the BHÖ, Vienna 2011. ( Online )
  • Franz Weller: The imperial castles and palaces in words and pictures. Hof-Buchdruckerei, Vienna 1880. ( Online )

Web links

Commons : Belvedere Palace  - Collection of images, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. despite origin from Italian, where the e is spoken, local Italian or traditional Austrian pronunciation without the ending -e due to French influence; see: BMBF: Austrian Dictionary. Österreichischer Bundesverlag, 42nd edition, Vienna 2012, ISBN 978-3-209-06884-2 , p. 106.
  2. Prinz Eugen the noble knight, his life in pictures . As told by Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Franz Wacik . Publishing house Seidel and Son in Vienna, 1913.
  3. ^ Helmuth Furch: In: Communications of the Museum and Culture Association Kaisersteinbruch .
    The Haresleben family . No. 3, 1990, pp. 6-13.
    Hans Georg Haresleben, Heiligenkreuz subject and master stonemason in quarry . No. 36, 1995, pp. 10-40.
  4. ^ Andreas Rohatsch : Leithakalk from Kaisersteinbruch, summary of the test results. Usage examples Schloss Neugebauten, Lower Belvedere. In: Elfriede Iby (Ed.) Schönbrunn Palace: On the early building history . Scientific series Schönbrunn, Vol. 2, 1996. p. 41.
  5. a b c General renovation of the well systems. (PDF) Burghauptmannschaft Österreich, accessed on April 6, 2014 .
  6. ^ Joseph August Schultes : Danube trips. Handbook for travelers on the Danube. Volume 2, Stuttgart and Tübingen: Cotta 1827, p. 466
  7. Administrative archives , city ​​expansion fund .
  8. ^ Peter Tölzer: Scalalogia writings for international stair research, stairs in Vienna . 1990, p. 102.
  9. ^ Friedrich Weissensteiner: Franz Ferdinand. The prevented ruler. Österreichischer Bundesverlag, Vienna 1983, ISBN 3-215-04828-0 , p. 158.
  10. ^ Archive Artstetten Castle / Belvedere / Military Chancellery / Correspondence + identical statements of the heir to the throne and plans
  11. ^ Weissensteiner: Franz Ferdinand. The prevented ruler. 1983, pp. 147/148.
  12. Wladimir Aichelburg: The heir to the throne and architecture. Archduke Franz Ferdinand of Austria-Este as the client. (published on the occasion of the exhibition of the same name at the Erzherzog-Franz-Ferdinand-Museum, Artstetten) Neuer Wiss.-Verlag, Vienna / Graz 2003, ISBN 3-7083-0125-0 , p.
  13. ^ Established in 1982 by the French Count Romée de La Poëze d'Harambure with the help of the historian Wladimir Aichelburg regarding private life in Belvedere Palace. Orag, ISBN 3-7015-0010-X .
  14. ^ The house where Anton Bruckner died, 1926. In: timelineimages ( SZ picture forum ), accessed on September 23, 2018.