Schloss Belvedere and its garden were built between 1700 and 1721, based on designs by both the architect Lukas von Hildebrandt, one of the most notable Baroque architects in Central Europe at the time, and the garden artist and fontainier Dominique Girard, from Munich. In 1726 a menagerie and kitchen garden were added to what was already a very already extensive garden, while the French formal garden was also recorded on the “Stuttgart Plan” at around the same time. After the death of Prince Eugene, his heirs sold the whole complex to Empress Maria Theresia, who gave the palace and its garden the name Belvedere, meaning “beautiful view”.
During the following 200 years the park and its clear Baroque composition saw various alterations. At the end of the 18th century Emperor Franz I commissioned the botanist Nikolaus Thomas Host with the establishment of the “Flora austriaca” in the former kitchen garden, a collection of all plants of the Austrian crown-lands. In 1865 the “Alpinum” from the Schlosspark Schönbrunn was transferred to the Belvedere Garden.
More changes were made around 1900, when the Upper Belvedere became the residence of the heir to the throne, Franz Ferdinand.
Since 1918 the Belvedere Garden has been the property of the Republic of Austria. Except for the Flora austriaca collection, which is in the care of the Botanical Garden of the University of Vienna, it is now managed by the Federal Gardens firstname.lastname@example.org
The Alpine Garden
The alpinarium of the Belvedere garden is one of the oldest alpine gardens in Europe. On an area of about 2,500 square metres, more than 4,000 plant species from alpine areas all over the world can be seen. The collection itself dates back to the time of Archduke Johann, the brother of Austrian Emperor Franz I, who at the beginning of the 19th century, often went to collect alpine plants, including rare species of gentian and saxifrage, with his brothers, in the Austrian mountains. These were then planted in the park of Schloss Schönbrunn. The Alpine Garden was closed during both World Wars, however was reopened to the public in 1949.
One of the functions of the Alpine Garden is the preservation of endangered plants of the Alpine area. As a result, the Federal Gardens take part in an international seed exchange programme with over 400 botanical gardens and institutions, in order to ensure that there will always be a seed reserve of endangered plants- thereby aiding in their preservation.
The Alpine Garden offers tourists, experts and the people of Vienna an opportunity to get familiar with Austrian and international alpine plants and to enjoy their beauty and diversity. It is a green oasis in the centre of Vienna.
Access: Landstraßer Gürtel 3, Prinz Eugen-Straße 27 and Rennweg 6, 1030 Vienna
The Alpine Garden is open from end March to early August. If the weather is bad, the garden is closed.
In the early nineteen-eighties Prince Eugene had the Kammergarten constructed as his private garden. Due to its magnificent design, it is a key component of the Belvedere complex.
For detailed information on opening hours and entrance fees for the Belvedere complex, please see https://www.belvedere.at/de/schloss-und-museum/oeffnungszeiten-und-eintrittspreise