Tag Archive: Belvedere


My parents arrived early in the morning, so we had the entire day to tour the city and I acted as their personal tour guide. Once we checked into our hotel, they helped me carry all my bags from my host mother’s house to the apartment. It was a little sad leaving the room that I had stayed in for about four months, but at the same time I was ready to leave and have some change in my routine.

Afterwards we headed down to the first district and I showed them the Rathaus with its amazing Christmas Market, it was extremely cold and snowing, so we didn’t want to hang out too long. Just a few days before my family arrived the temperature dropped to freezing and it has been that way ever since, sometimes even getting below freezing, which is pretty with the snow in the streets, but makes for a cold tour of the city.

I also showed them Parliament, Hofburg, and the National Library. We took a tour of the famous Spanish Riding School, which is host to the Lipizzan stallions. They are all white, because the emperor wanted them all to look the same, so they are bred that way. However, the school likes to have one Bay horse, because it is considered good luck.

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The next day was museum day. To get to the first museum we headed out towards the south train station. The Belvedere is on the way, so we stopped to see the palace grounds covered in snow. There is also a Christmas Market outside the Belvedere.

*as an early Christmas present my parents bought me a fisheye lens, which is why the following photos are used with that lens =)

The ponds and fountains surrounding the Belvedere were frozen and the gardens were covered in snow.

Belvedere

Just a few blocks from Belvedere is the HGM (Heeresgeschichtliches Museum), which is a museum about the major wars fought in and around Austria. This includes the Turkish Sieges of Vienna, WW I, and WW II. It is probably one of my favorite museums here in Vienna. The amount of historic artifacts they have is impressive. Inside are a number of different weapons, armor, and other items of significance from influential people in history.

The stairway leading up to the second floor of the museum. The museum itself is a work of art.

The Staircase of the HGM

Weapons of WW II

Hot Air Balloon

The car below belonged to Franz Ferdinand, who was a Habsburg, the next in line under Franz Josef. However, he was assassinated in Sarajevo and because of this Franz Josef declared war. It was to be the beginning of the Great War. On the car are the bullet holes that missed Franz Ferdinand. In the room is also the couch where he died and the suit he died in. His suit had a small hole where the bullet hit.

Franz Ferdinand's Car

Next we headed to the Natural History Museum, which is right across from the Art History Museum. It hosts a number of different animals, minerals, meteors, and dinosaur bones.

The entrance.

Natural History Entrance

The ceiling of the museum.

Natural History Ceiling

Vulture

Giant Bird

Pre-Historic Dinosaur

Pre-Historic Dino

The Christmas market on Maria-Theresien-Platz, between the Art History and Natural History.

MQ

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Day 29: Belvedere

It was a very nice Friday, so we decided to go and visit the Belvedere gardens. The gardens consist of two palaces, which were Prince Eugene of Savoy’s summer residence, the Orangery, and the stables. Inside the Belvedere there is also a museum hosting work from Gustav Klimt.

We were able to walk around the gardens and see both the palaces, one which is on top of the hill overlooking Vienna and the other at the bottom of the garden.

While we were walking around we couldn’t help but compare the castle to Schönbrunn, and we all decided that we had become palace snobs. So far nothing I’ve seen has come very close to Schönbrunn in terms of the expansive garden and giant palace.

Don’t get me wrong though, Belvedere was huge too and I wouldn’t complain if that was my summer residence.

The gates to the upper Belvedere palace.

This was only the very front garden, behind the building is a much larger garden.

Front of the palace

As soon as we rounded the corner of the upper palace we encountered two sentries. The garden itself provided a spectacular view of the city.

Whenever I see a sphinx I think of The Neverending Story. 

Mermaid fountain with the Lower Belvedere in the background.

The upper palace from further into the garden.

I did think that the flowers were more impressive than the ones at Schönbrunn. Belvedere had some really beautiful flowers that grew a little more wild and colorful, which I think is a good thing when it comes to flowers.