Österreichische Galerie Belvedere

Vienna, Austria

Photo Credit: Lu and Aaron


The Österreichische Galerie Belvedere is a museum housed in the Belvedere Palace of Vienna, Austria. Built in the early 18th century by renowned Baroque architect Johann Lucas von Hildebrant, the Belvedere was the summer residence of the Austrian Prince Eugene of Savoy, and one of the first public museums in the world.

An avid art patron and collector, Prince Eugene housed artwork in the Belvedere during his reign. After his death, the Habsburgs acquired the palace and his collections, and began publicly displaying artwork in 1781. Over the centuries, the exhibitions evolved and The Österreichische Galerie was officially named in 1921.

The palace layout consists of the Upper Belvedere castle, the Lower Belvedere castle, the Orangery, Palace Stables, and extensive gardens. The Upper and Lower Belvederes house the museum which contains the greatest collection of Austrian art dating from the Middle Ages to the present day, including works from international artists.

The museum’s vast collection gives an insight into the country’s long art history. Housing the world’s largest collection of Gustav Klimt’s paintings, it includes such prominent works as The Kiss (1908/9) and Judith (1901). Key works of French impressionism and Viennese Biedermeier art are also exhibited.

Following extensive renovations and rebuilding, the Upper Belvedere was reopened to the public in 1955. Today, the palace is considered a Baroque landmark and is listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site. In 2012, the museum surpassed one million visitors for the first time.

Written By: Accidentally Wes Anderson

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