Gem of Baroque Landscape Architecture
The Belvederes garden is one of Europes most significant historical gardens in French style and, even in its pared down form today, is still a fine example of late Baroque garden design. In front of the Upper Belvederes outdoor steps, a large pool mirrors and duplicates the buildings façade. At the opposite end of the grounds, closest to the city on Rennweg, a cour dhonneur abuts the Lower Belvedere. The Kammergarten (Privy Garden) adjoins the Lower Belvedere to the right and continues to the Orangery at its northern end. This narrow strip on the west of the plot of land was for the sole use of the prince. Next to the Upper Belvedere, up until 1726 the grounds extended eastward to encompass a semi-circular menagerie. To the south, a geometrical kitchen garden was located in the area now occupied by Viennas Botanical Gardens.
The Belvedere gardens are a gem of Baroque landscape design. Together with the two palaces they form a harmonious whole that has been listed a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Although in the eighteenth century the park was primarily a stage for strolls, perambulation and conversation, it was also a striking presentation of the respective owners power, wisdom, and wealth. Linking the Lower and Upper Belvedere, the main garden is divided into three large terraces and comprises all the fundamental components of a Baroque park, such as symmetrical parterres of flowers, basins, tiers, steps, clipped hedges, and much more besides. The Palace Gardens were planned by the Bavarian Electorates garden designer Dominique Girard.
Kammergarten (Privy Garden)
A particularly secluded ambiance can be found in Prince Eugene of Savoys private garden, known as the Kammergarten (Privy Garden), tucked away to the west of the Lower Belvedere. This two-terraced garden was once bounded by an orangery to the north originally with a removable roof and a façade of sculptures and an aviary to the south. In between there were fountains, elaborately embellished pavilions with pergolas and magnificent parterres ablaze with flowers, all reserved exclusively for Prince Eugene and his closest companions.
Alpengarten (Alpine Garden)
The Alpine Garden in the Belvederes park is the oldest of its kind in Europe and houses the Federal Gardens valuable historical collection of Alpine plants. Archdukes Johann, Rainer and Anton established this collection in 1803 at Schönbrunn Palace park and it was transferred to the Belvedere gardens in 1865. It is open to the public during the peak flowering seasons. Special attractions are the rhododendrons that start blooming in April and the collection of Sempervivum with roughly 300 varieties. You can also appreciate more than 100 Japanese Bonsai.