Belvedere Palace in Vienna
Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), the most brilliant military mind of his age and Commander in Chief of the Imperial Army in the war against the Turks (his equestrian statue can be found on Heldenplatz), commissioned Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt to design and build this garden palace as a summer residence outside the walls of the city.
After Eugene’s death, the palace, one of the most exquisite Baroque structures in the world, was acquired by the Habsburg family.
At the beginning of the 20th century, it was the residence of Archduke Francis Ferdinand, who was assassinated at Sarajevo in 1914. When the palace became the property of the Republic of Austria, a majority of the rooms were adapted to house the Austrian Gallery.
Oberes Belvedere, 3rd district
Prinz-Eugen-Strasse 27 Tramm D: Schloss Belvedere
This architectural marvel, built in 1721-22, represents the ultimate achievement of Hildebrandt’s creativity.
Prince Eugene never lived in the Upper Belvedere but used the palace for aristocratic galas and festivities. The Center Hall on the 2nd floor, decorated lavishly with red marble, was the scene of the signing of the Austrian State Treaty by the foreign ministers of Austria, France, Great Britain, the Soviet Union and the United States on May 15, 1955, ending the ten-year occupation of Austria by the four Allied powers after World War II, and re-establishing Austria as a free and independent country.
In the Upper Belvedere, the Austrian Gallery of the 19th and 20th Centuries show a marvelous collection of Austrian as well as international art from the last two centuries: the largest collection of works by Klimt, Schiele and Kokoschka, prominent works of the French impressionists, and the most important paintings of the Biedermeier era with works by Waldmüller, Amerling, and Fendi. It also contains major paintings by Romako, Makart, Boeckl, Wotruba, Hausner, Lehmden, Hundertwasser and many others.
The famous composer Anton Bruckner lived in the caretaker’s wing for a number of years and died there in 1896 (memorial plaque).