300 Years of Upper Belvedere
One of the most beautiful baroque palaces in the world celebrates its birthday in 2023. The Upper Belvedere was opened exactly 300 years ago and initially served as the summer residence of the famous general Prince Eugene of Savoy. As a prelude to the celebrations, a large special exhibition invites visitors on a journey through the moving history of this unique overall ensemble of the Upper and Lower Belvedere as well as the beautiful gardens.
Belvedere Over the Years
After Prince Eugene’s death, Maria Theresie acquired the entire palace complex and made the Upper Belvedere the first public museum in the world. The imperial collections were exhibited here, most of which can now be admired in the Kunsthistorisches Museum. Before that, one of many glamorous festivities celebrated there was the wedding of Marie Antoinette in 1770.
For a short time, the palace served as a residence for the heir to the throne, Franz Ferdinand, before again functioning as an exhibition venue and as an Austrian gallery for prestigious donations and long-term loans, including many of Gustav Klimt’s famous works.
The beautiful Marble Hall offers an excellent view of Vienna and has been the venue for some important historical events. Probably the best known was the signing of the Austrian State Treaty in 1955 and the exclamation from the balcony “Austria is free!”.
Special Exhibition 300 Years Belvedere
The special anniversary exhibition, “The Belvedere. 300 Years as a Place of Art” can be seen in the Orangery (near the Lower Belvedere). Of course, the eventful history from 1723 to the present is on display, as well as the world-famous art collections with origins going back to the Middle Ages, including masterpieces by Klimt, Schiele, Funke, Messerschmidt and van Gogh. The exhibition illustrates how the focus has always been very different across the eras. The exhibition also addresses the return of works, such as Gustav Klimt’s “Goldener Adele” to the rightful heirs in 2006.
The Lower Belvedere, Prince Eugene’s former residential palace, will be celebrating the anniversary beginning in February with the special exhibition “Klimt. Inspired by Van Gogh, Rodin, Matisse…” and shows connections and influences on the Viennese Art Nouveau genius. In addition, many other highlights await in 2023, both throughout the palace grounds as well as in Belvedere 21, the architectural icon of post-war modernism and a venue for contemporary art, film and music.
Upper and Lower Belvedere are open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Belvedere 21 is open Tuesday to Sunday from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.
How to get from the Schick Hotels Vienna to Belvedere Palace
From Hotel Erzherzog Rainer, it is best to take a leisurely stroll and you will reach the entrance to the palace gardens in just 15 minutes. From Hotel Am Parkring you can take the D tram from Schwarzenbergplatz. The U1 subway line to Südtiroler Platz is the quickest way to get to your destination from Hotel Stefanie, Hotel Capricorno and Hotel City Central.
Schick Tip – Botanical Garden
The botanical garden of the University of Vienna borders directly on the palace gardens. Created in 1754 by Maria Theresia as a medicinal plant garden, it can be visited today for free.
Open 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. (in summer until 6 p.m.)
Header picture: Front of Upper Belvedere © Lukas Schaller