Belvedere Quarter | Grandiose Vienna

When sightseeing in Vienna you would not want to miss out on visiting the Belvedere quarter with it’s vast palaces, gardens and parkland, including the Karlsplatz gardens where you can see the famous Karlskirche. It is the area that got developed after the Turkish invasion retreated for good in the 17th century. Therefore, it is one of the most extravagant areas with summer palaces built for the Prince who was a brilliant military commander, now housing an Austrian Art collection from the Middle Ages to today. You can also find Vienna’s botanical garden here.

I will guide you on what to do in this grand area of Vienna.

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When sightseeing in Vienna you would not want to miss out on visiting the Belvedere quarter with it's vast Palaces, gardens and parkland, including the Karlsplatz gardens where you can see the famous Karlskirche. It is the area that got developed after the Turkish invasion retreated for good in the 17th century. Therefore, it is one of the most extravagant areas with summer palaces, now housing an Austrian Art collection. I will guide you on what to do in this grand area of Vienna.

 

Karlsplatz, Belvedere quarter

This is a bit of a square and a bit of a park. It has beautiful grandiose buildings all around, including the Musikverein (or Concert Hall), a beautiful University and museums.

We entered the Ressel Park near by the Karlsplatz Pavillions. They are a bit of a landmark, but were simply built as part of the underground system in 1899.

 

Belvedere Quarter. Grandiose Vienna. A Travel Guide. Karlsplatz Pavilions.
Karlsplatz Pavilions. This one has been turned into a café.

Straight away you can see the Karlskirche through the park with it’s green dome sitting snug between two giant columns, decorated in a spiral scene inspired by Trajan’s Column in Rome.

 

Belvedere Quarter. Grandiose Vienna. A Travel Guide. Karlskirche.
Karlskirche.

After the plague epidemic in 1713, Emperor Karl VI had this new church built and dedicated to Saint Borromeo who was celebrated for the help he gave the plague sufferers. You can spot him in the photo above – the white figure crowning the pediment.

The design is considered a masterpiece bringing together Baroque, ancient Greece and Rome, with a dash of the Orient. So, eclectic is a good word here, I think.

 

Belvedere Quarter. Grandiose Vienna. A Travel Guide. Hill Arches Statue.
Henry Moore’s Hill Arches in front of the Karlskirche.

In front of the church is a pleasant pond and a sculpture by Henry Moore, which I thought would look odd, but in person it looks rather good there.

So, here’s to something I was less impressed by. Firstly, to get into the Karlskirche you are expected to pay. No problem, we thought. We were expecting great things. And great it is. Except, I could not be wowed when there was a giant pile of scaffolding supporting a lift shaft.

 

Belvedere Quarter. Grandiose Vienna. A Travel Guide. Inside Karlskirche.
Scaffolding/lift inside Karlskirche.

This photo does not to the scaffolding justice. It really is a significant eye sore. What it does allow, for an additional fee, is for you to head up there and see the ceiling frescoes up close. They too depict Saint Borromeo.

The pulpit is is richly gilded.

 

Belvedere Quarter. Grandiose Vienna. A Travel Guide. Karlskirche Pulpit.
Karlskirche Pulpit.

The High Alter is, for me, the best feature and shows Saint Borromeo being assumed into heaven on a cloud full of angels. It is stunning.

 

When sightseeing in Vienna you would not want to miss out on visiting the Belvedere quarter with it's vast Palaces, gardens and parkland, including the Karlsplatz gardens where you can see the famous Karlskirche. It is the area developed after the Turkish invasion retreated in the 17th century. It is one of the most extravagant areas with summer palaces built for the Prince, now housing an Austrian Art collection. You can also find Vienna's botanical garden here. I will guide you on what to do in this grand area of Vienna.

 

There is no doubt this is a beautiful church with a fascinating history. However, Vienna is crammed with churches that have even more beautiful interiors and are free to enter.

I would recommend, however, sitting across the pond and gazing at it’s beautiful exterior. There is often a quality coffee stall there, so it’d be rude not to.

TOP TIP: Step behind the Karlskirche to see the Art Nouveau French Embassy. It is a Belvedere quarter stunner.

 

Palaces and gardens of the Belvedere

There are various entrances into the Palaces of Belvedere. The entrance we came across is from the Rennweg. You get to step into part of the Lower Belvedere before heading into the gardens. Access into the gardens is free, but you’ll have to pay if you want to see the Austrian Art collection within the Palace.

 

Belvedere Quarter. Grandiose Vienna. A Travel Guide. Palaces.
Entrance to the palace gardens.

I regretting that we didn’t have enough time to explore inside. The decorative walls in this room alone is so tantalising, let alone the ancient art beyond.

 

Belvedere Quarter. Grandiose Vienna. A Travel Guide. Palace Interior.
Highly decorative Palace room.

There are actually two Palaces linked by a formal garden. As the site is on a slope there are various levels within the garden and a series of gorgeous water features.

 

Belvedere Quarter. Grandiose Vienna. A Travel Guide. Fountains In Palace Gardens.
Fountains in the Palace gardens.

Looking towards the Upper Belvedere, the bigger and more beautiful Palace…

 

Belvedere Quarter. Grandiose Vienna. A Travel Guide. The Belvedere.
The Upper Belvedere.

This Palace is highly decorated. There is a slightly mocking and victorious theme to the domed copper roofs as they are intended to look like Turkish tents. As mentioned above these Palaces were built for Prince Eugene of Savoy, who was a brilliant military commander and who’s strategies helped vanquish the Turks (1683).

 

Belvedere Quarter. Grandiose Vienna. A Travel Guide. Belvedere Gardens.

 

The Upper Cascade has water bubbling over five shallow steps into a pool below and is one of the main features of the garden.

 

Belvedere Quarter. Grandiose Vienna. A Travel Guide. Belvedere gardens.
The Belvedere and gardens.

If you have enough time in Belvedere Quarter, head inside the Upper Belvedere to see:

  • The Klimt Collection – the highlight
  • The Tiger Lion – Austrian expressionism
  • The Plain of Auvers – Van Gogh’s
  • Sala Terrena – sculpted figures holding up the ceiling vault
  • the Chapel – beautiful and serene.

 

Other must see sights of the Belvedere quarter

 

  • Botanical Gardens
  • The Imperial Hotel – along wit the Sacher Hotel, this hotel is Vienna’s best known and finest. Adolf Hitler made this his headquarters after the Anschluss.
  • Musikverein – home of the great Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.

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Other travel articles about Vienna

Stephansdom Quarter | Sightseeing Old Vienna

 

Hofburg Quarter | Sightseeing Imperial Vienna

Best places to eat cake in old Vienna

 


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42 Comments - Write a Comment

  1. Oh yes! Husband and I went to Vienna this spring and we absolutely loved this area in Vienna. I think the art nouveau at Karlsplatz was my absolute favourite.
    #FarawayFiles

    1. It was super pretty – although there is a hideous satellite pole right near it! Nothing that a little cropping couldn’t sort haha x

  2. I’m so sad we didn’t get to visit these sights on our city break in beautiful Vienna. There seems like there is so much to do and see. We really must go back – and when we do the Belvedere Quarter will definitely be on the list. Thanks for sharing. #FarawayFiles

    1. My husband always says – ‘well, we’ll have to come back then,’. Virtually every trip I miss something, so it’s lovely to get a second chance. x

    1. It wasn’t as touristy. The Stephansdom and Hofburg Quarters had more to them, but this area is big scale and grandiose – it would be best in spring/summer x

  3. It looks beautiful! I’ve not been to Vienna – in fact the only place I’ve been to in Europe is Portugal (where I went to learn the language before going to work in a Portuguese-speaking African country in the mid 1990s). Everywhere is so far from Australia, but I do want to get to Italy at some point. (It’s on my bucket list!)

    #teamlovinlife

    1. I really would love to revisit one day too. But I would also love to explore Austria a little more next – all those green hills… x

    1. I think traveling can make you appreciate home all the more. Sometimes I come home feeling in love with Englands lush greenness, but then again sometimes I come back thinking things like ‘why can’t we be as neat a Vienna?!’ You must feel very proud of being a child of Vienna! x

    1. It’s so difficult to make a choice when there is so much to see. It’ll probably be decades before I get back simply because I ave such a list!! x

  4. Oh wow this is truely breathtaking! Every photo shows the building beautifully. This is definitely the kind of place I would visit if I was in town! So stunning!!
    Thank you for sharing this with us at #TriumphantTales. I hope to see you back next week!

  5. Oh I’d love to visit Vienna. It looks like a stunning place. One day… I’ll make it there! Thank you so much for joining in with the #HoneybeeLinky. Have a lovely Sunday 🙂 xxx

    1. It was off our radar for years too – then my husband got some work there. It is so worth looking into – a beautiful city. x

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