Belvedere Palace

Belvedere Palace | Discovering Vienna's Baroque Jewel

Belvedere Palace, located in Vienna, Austria, is an architectural masterpiece renowned for its Baroque beauty and historical significance. Built in the 18th century by Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, it comprises two magnificent palaces, the Upper and Lower Belvedere, surrounded by stunning gardens.

The Upper Belvedere, with its striking yellow facade and grand interiors, houses an impressive collection of Austrian art, including works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele. The Lower Belvedere, originally designed as a residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy, features lavish ceremonial rooms and exhibitions showcasing Baroque art and culture.

The palace complex is connected by sprawling gardens adorned with sculptures, fountains, and manicured lawns, providing a serene retreat in the heart of the city. Belvedere Palace stands as a testament to the grandeur of the Habsburg dynasty and remains a must-visit destination for art enthusiasts and history buffs alike.

History of Belvedere Palace

  • Belvedere Palace was constructed as a summer residence of Prince Eugene by Austrian architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt in 1717.
  • After the death of Prince Eugene in 1736, Maria Theresa acquired the entire Belvedere property and later decided to display the imperial collection in the Upper Belvedere.
  • In 1781, the Upper Belvedere opened to the public, and it became one of the first public art museums in the world.
  • The imperial collection in the museum was later moved to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in 1888, which led to the closure of the Upper Belvedere.
  • Renamed the Austrian State Gallery, the Lower Belvedere reopened in 1903 as the Modern Gallery, displaying Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the 20th century.
  • Severe damage during World War II led to the reconstruction of both palaces and the reopening of the Austrian Gallery.
  • In 2002, the Belvedere Museum secured the Schwanzer building, which consisted of 21er Haus and a contemporary art museum.
  • The buildings were rebranded in 2018 as the Upper Belvedere, Lower Belvedere, and Belvedere 21.

Read More: History of Belvedere Palace

What to See Inside Belvedere Palace?

Gustav Klimt’s The Kiss

In 1908, the Modern Gallery, under the Imperial Ministry of Culture and Education, acquired Gustav Klimt's iconic masterpiece "The Kiss" for Belvedere Palace. This renowned artwork depicts Klimt and his muse, Emilia Floge, capturing the essence of love and subtle sensuality. A must-see for visitors, it encapsulates the timeless allure of the palace's art collection.

Character Heads by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt

Displayed on the first floor of the Upper Belvedere, the Character Heads offer avant-garde expressions. These 16 sculptures provoke intrigue, with some speculating that they reflect the artist's schizophrenia, while others see them as manifestations of genius imagination. Regardless of interpretation, they add depth and complexity to the artistic legacy of Belvedere.

The Marble Hall

What initially served as the place for ceremonial receptions in its time, The Marble Hall is now a structure that shows the success of Prince Eugene as a commander. The Marble Hall also serves as a great place to see the view of Vienna.

The Architecture of the Belvedere Palace

The architecture of the Belvedere Palace showcases the Baroque style in its two individually constructed buildings, the Upper and the Lower Belvedere. Commissioned by Austrian General Prince Eugene of Savoy in the 18th century, the renowned architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt designed it as a summer residence. Empress Maria Theresa later transformed the Upper Belvedere into one of the first public museums in the world. The architectural highlights of the palace include the Sala Terrena, grand staircase, and Marble Hall.

There is also a French garden between the two Belvedere buildings that offers a serene escape through the carefully planted flower beds and fountains. The palace houses extensive art collections featuring works from the Middle Ages to the 21st century, including iconic pieces by Gustav Klimt. The Lower Belvedere hosts temporary exhibits, while Belvedere 21 focuses on contemporary art. Both the architecture and art at Belvedere Palace create an iconic landmark that bridges the difference between rich history and vibrant modernity in Vienna.

Who built the Belvedere Palace?

Belvedere Palace, a masterpiece crafted by Austrian Baroque architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt, stands as a testament to his profound influence on Central and Southern European architecture. Inspired by the grandeur of Louis XIV's era in France, Hildebrandt's legacy extends to other notable works like Schönborn Castle near Gollersdorf and the episcopal residence at Wurzburg, Germany.

Attractions of Belvedere Palace

Lower Belvedere Palace

Standing amidst picturesque gardens overlooking Vienna City, the Lower Belvedere Palace is an integral part of the grand Belvedere complex. This 18th-century architectural attraction was constructed between 1712 and 1717 and served as the residential palace of Prince Eugene. Today, it is recognized as a UNESCO World Heritage Site for its stunning Baroque architecture and interiors. Some of the highlights of this palace include the Hall of Grotesques, the Marble Gallery, and the Golden Room. As soon as you enter the complex, you can explore Baroque sculptures, preserved wall paintings, and murals that seamlessly blend history, art, and architectural splendour.

Upper Belvedere Palace

The Upper Belvedere Palace is another key component of the Belvedere Palace that houses the majority of the permanent exhibits from the extensive art collections in the palace. Designed by Lukas von Hildebrandt, this exquisite Baroque palace is renowned for its structural and artistic appeal. It boasts the largest collection of Gustav Klimt paintings in the world, which is a visual retreat for art enthusiasts. Originally serving as a venue for festivals and state functions during the reign of Prince Eugene, the palace now showcases masterpieces from the Middle Ages to the present. Some of the best things to see in this palace are the majestic Marble Hall, the Palace Chapel, and themed rooms

Belvedere 21 Museum

Located near the complex of the Belvedere Palace, Belvedere 21 Museum serves as the hub of contemporary art in Vienna. This museum is a vibrant platform for modern artistic expression, showcasing artwork from Austrian and international artists spanning the last 70 years. Originally designed by Karl Schwanzer as the Austrian pavilion for the 1958 World Exhibition in Brussels, it transitioned to Vienna to open it as a museum for 20th-century art. In 2011, a renovation by Adolf Krischanitz transformed it into a contemporary art space that offers you a dynamic experience with exhibitions featuring prominent works from the 20th and 21st centuries. 

Know Before You Book Belvedere Palace

Essential information
How to Reach

Location: Prinz-Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Wien, Austria

Opening Hours:  The opening hours of the Upper Belvedere Palace are between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m., while the Lower Belvedere Palace opens from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Belvedere 21 Museum remains open between 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday, with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Thursdays. 

Best Time To Visit: The best time to visit Belvedere Palace is between April and May and from September to October when the place experiences the spring and autumn seasons, respectively. During this time, the weather remains pleasant, and the crowds are less to explore the exhibits of the attraction at your own pace. If you are thinking of the best time of the week, weekdays are preferable to weekends for a less crowded experience. You can also consider early morning and evening visits at 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m. to enjoy a peaceful and immersive experience with the artworks and gardens.

  • By Bus- To reach the Belvedere Palace by bus, you can take bus number 13A and drop off at Mommsengasse stop. From there, you can take a 6-minute walk to reach your final destination, covering a distance of 400 metres.
  • By Car- If you prefer driving your own car, you can drive for 3 kilometres from the city centre to visit the Belvedere Palace. While on-site parking is not available, public parking is situated just a minute away from the Lower Belvedere.
  • By Metro- You can use Metro route U1 from Hauptbahnhof station, which is the largest station in Vienna. It will directly take you to the Belvedere Palace in 20 minutes

Tips to Visit Belvedere Palace

  • Visit the Belvedere Palace early in the morning to enjoy the quieter experience of its garden.
  • Book the tickets online in advance to avoid the long queues at the ticket counter and make the most of your time in the palace.
  • Avail yourself of a knowledgeable guide to learn insights into the artworks and other exhibits of the palace.
  • Use efficient public transport to relish a seamless exploration journey of Vienna.
  • Combine your visit to the Belvedere Palace with other nearby attractions for a richer experience.
  • Allocate at least 2 to 3 hours for a comprehensive enjoyment of the Belvedere Palace and its surroundings. 

FAQ's Of Belvedere Palace

What is the history of the Belvedere Palace?

The history of the Belvedere Palace dates back to the 18th century when Austrian architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrandt constructed the Upper and Lower Belvedere. After the death of Prince Eugene in 1736, Maria Theresa acquired the property and opened the Upper Belvedere as one of the first public art museums in the world in 1781. The imperial collection moved to the Kunsthistorisches Museum in 1888, which led to the closure of the palace. After suffering damage from World War II, both palaces were reconstructed. In 2002, the 21er Haus added a contemporary art dimension to the palace. The place was rebranded in 2018 as the Upper Belvedere, Lower Belvedere, and Belvedere 21.

What are the opening hours of the Belvedere Palace?

The opening hours of the Belvedere Palace are between 9 a.m. and 7 p.m. for the Upper Belvedere and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. for the Lower Belvedere. Belvedere 21 Museum operates between 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. from Tuesday to Sunday, with extended hours until 9 p.m. on Thursdays

What is the best time to visit the Belvedere Palace?

The best time to visit the Belvedere Palace is between April and May and then from September to October when the place enjoys the spring and the autumn seasons, respectively. During this time, the weather remains cool and pleasant, and there are fewer crowds, so you can explore the attraction at your own pace. As far as the time of the week is concerned, the best time to explore the attraction is on weekdays rather than weekends. You can also pay a visit at 10 a.m. or after 3 p.m. if you want to avoid large crowds.

Is there any dress code of the Belvedere Palace?

There is no strict dress code at Belvedere Palace, but it is advisable to wear appropriate and respectable attire.

Is photography allowed in the Belvedere Palace?

Yes, photography is allowed in the Belvedere Palace Museum, but only for personal use. You are not permitted to use flash, tripods, or selfie sticks to ensure that they do not cause any harm to the exhibits. However, some areas in the palace might have restrictions on photography. If you want to indulge in photography for academic or reporting purposes, you need to get a special permit from the communications department of the palace

How much does it cost to go to the Belvedere Palace?

It will cost you anywhere between EUR 9.30 and EUR 75 (which is around INR 850 to INR 6,900) per person. The price of entering Upper Belvedere is EUR 17.70 (INR 1,630), EUR 15.60 (INR 1,500) for Lower Belvedere, and EUR 9.30 (INR 850) for Belvedere 21. If you want to avail of combo tickets, the 2-in-1 day ticket is priced at EUR 26.30 (INR 2,410), and the 3-in-1 day ticket costs EUR 28.40 (INR 2,600) per person. You can also opt for an Annual Ticket at EUR 39 (INR 3,580) and a Friends Membership ticket at EUR 75 (INR 6,900) per person.

Is it worth visiting the Belvedere Palace?

Yes, visiting Belvedere Palace in Vienna is absolutely worthwhile. It showcases outstanding Austrian art from artists like Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oskar Kokoschka. Upon visiting, you can enjoy the beautiful gardens and sculptures of the palace that offer a rich cultural and aesthetic experience

When was the Belvedere Palace constructed?

The Belvedere Palace was constructed in 1717 as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy. It was commissioned work by Prince Eugene that was designed by architect Johann Lukas von Hilderbrandt. Starting in 1712, it took five years for the construction of the Belvedere Palace to be completed

What facilities are available in Belvedere Palace?

Belvedere Palace offers accessibility facilities, which include elevators with wheelchair ramps and helpful staff. The exhibition rooms have some seating, and museum stools can be borrowed from the cloakroom for added comfort. Moreover, the staff is ready to assist you at all times to ensure a welcoming and accommodating experience for all

. What is Belvedere Palace famous for?

Belvedere Palace is famous for its beautiful Baroque architecture that features two palaces called the Upper and the Lower Belvedere and stunning gardens. The palace houses an exceptional collection of Austrian art, including works from the 16th to 17th centuries, a vast assortment of Gustav Klimt paintings, and pieces by renowned artists like Monet and Van Gogh. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, the baroque gardens also attract a myriad of visitors towards its sculptures, manicured hedges, and artistic flower beds


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