AUG 14,2011 - AUG 14,2011 (1 DAYS)
Upper and Lower Belvedere, Augustinerkirche and the Prunksaal.
Main attractions: The Belvedere palaces and gardens, The Austrian National Gallery, Kärntner Str., Lobkowitzplatz, The Austrian Theatre Museum, Josefsplatz, Augustinerkirche, Prunksaal.
Tip 1: The Belvedere palaces and gardens, The Austrian National Gallery, Josefsplatz.
Tip 2: Augustinerkirche.
Tip 3: The Prunksaal.
Duration: 1/2 - 1 day.
Distance: 4-5 km.
Transportation: Upper Belvedere, Prinz Eugen-Straße 27, 1030 Vienna:
Underground: U1 (Stop "Südtirolerplatz"), Train: Station "Quartier Belvedere", S-Bahn: Station "Quartier Belvedere", Tram: D (Stop "Schloss Belvedere"), 18 and O (Stop "Quartier Belvedere"), Bus: 69A (Stop "Quartier Belvedere").
Lower Belvedere | Orangery | Palace Stables, Rennweg 6, 1030 Vienna: Tram: D, 71 (Stop "Unteres Belvedere").
21er Haus, Schweizergarten, Arsenalstraße 1, 1030 Vienna: Underground: U1 (Stop "Südtirolerplatz"), Train: Stop "Quartier Belvedere", S-Bahn: Stop "Quartier Belvedere", Tram: D (Stop "Quartier Belvedere"), 18 and O (Stop "Quartier Belvedere"), Bus: 69A (Stop "Quartier Belvedere").
Opening Hours: Upper Belvedere - Daily 10.00 to 18.00, Lower Belvedere, Orangery - Daily 10.00 to 18.00, Wednesday 10.00 - 21.00, Palace Stables - Daily 10.00 to 12.00, 21er Haus - Wednesday and Thursday 11.00 to 21.00, Friday to Sunday 11.00 to 18.00, open on public holidays.
Orientation and Tips: The Belvedere is a magnificent palace complex in Vienna. Two Baroque palaces stand in row on a sloping hill. Between the palaces lies a wonderful French garden with fountains, statues and cascades. “Belvedere” translates (in Italian) to “beautiful view” and that’s what you can enjoy - visiting this wonderful site. Get there just after opening. The light is perfect for photography (especially the Upper Belvedere) and the only people there for about two hours are a few joggers. This makes photography without hordes of people effortless. it's forbidden to visit with a backpack (even small one). There are free lockers next to the toilets at level -1.
Entrance to the garden is free of charge and can be accessed either from the south or north side of the Belvedere complex. Downhill is probably the best direction to enjoy the view over the gardens, the palaces, the surrounding buildings. Enter at Upper Belvedere and then find your way down. The panorama of central Vienna with its spires and domes is in front of you. Entrance and access from the top is either from Landstraßer Gürtel past the water basin, or, most convenient for public transport users, from the tram stop "Schloss Belvedere" (line D) in Prinz-Eugen-Straße next to the upper palace. Less recommended is the access to the gardens from the bottom which is from Rennweg through the passage at the left end of the lower palace.
Combi-Ticket prices: Upper Belvedere, Lower Belvedere/Orangery and 21er Haus with one ticket. This ticket is valid for 14 days after the first visit.
Adults € 22.50, Seniors (60 years and above) € 18.50, Students (0-26 years) € 18.50, Groups (of 10 Persons and over) € 18.50, Children & Teenagers (0-18 years) free. Discounted tickets with valid Vienna-Card € 19.
Photography is not allowed inside Oberes and Unteres Belvederes,
General information: The complex was built as the summer palace for Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663-1736), successful general and art connoisseur, who succeeded in defeating the Turkish army in 1683 (many still perceive as the most successful military commander in Austrian history). The Belvedere was designed by court architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt, who created a masterpiece of Baroque architecture - as the general's summer residence - at the time it was still outside the gates of the city. The foundation of the collections of the museums were laid by Prince Eugène of Savoy himself, who was an avid patron of the Arts and amassed a large collection of paintings and sculptures from across Europe. After the death of the childless prince in 1736, his possessions, including works of art and a large library were sold off by his cousin Anna Victoria. In 1752 she also sold the palaces to empress Maria Theresia, who decided to use the Belvedere to house the royal art collection. In 1779 she opened the palace and gardens to the public. In 1897 the Upper Belvedere was modified by the architect Emil von Förster so that the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, the heir of Emperor Franz-Josef, could live here with his wife Sophie. At the end of the nineteenth century, the art collection moved to the purpose-built Kunsthistorisches Museum (see my blog devoted to this museum). This Baroque architectural jewel consists of two palaces (Upper and Lower Belvedere), which today house Austrian art from the Middle Ages to the present day. In 1918, after the war, the palaces were appropriated by the state, after which both palaces became home to state museums. Agnes Husslein-Arco, formerly Director of the Salzburg Rupertinum and the Museum der Moderne on the Mönchsberg, has been Director of the Belvedere since 2007. She has positioned the Belvedere as a museum of Austrian art in an international context, dispensing with using the official name Österreichische Galerie. Following extensive adaptation and remodeling, the highlights of the collections of medieval and Baroque art (previously in the Lower Belvedere) have been placed on display at the Upper Belvedere since spring 2008. For the first time, the entire scope of the permanent collection, from the Middle Ages to the mid-twentieth century, can now be seen under one roof. The adapted rooms in the Lower Belvedere and Orangery now provide space for temporary exhibitions. Moreover, a study collection of the medieval holdings was set up in the former Palace Stables. The permanent collections were redisplayed in 2011.
Upper Belvedere - Oberes Belvedere: world's largest Klimt collection. The Oberes Belvedere or upper Belvedere stands at the southern end of the park, at the top of the slope. The upper palace became the residence of Archduke Franz Ferdinand until he was assassinated in 1914, an event that led to the start of the First World War.
Its exterior is much more impressive than the rather modest Unteres Belvedere. Especially the main façade, facing south, is magnificent. The many sculptures that adorn the facade are a reference to the victory over the Turkish army. The rooftop structures are said to evoke tents at Turkish army camps. The impressive Baroque palace was completed in 1723. Its purpose was mainly a ceremonial one, its sumptuous rooms being used to hold different events for the prince's noble guests.
Nowadays the panorama from the Upper Belvedere is still wonderful. It is partly obscured by newer buildings and by the trees in the adjacent garden of Palais Schwarzenberg. Nevertheless it is still a fine view of Vienna, with the gardens and the lower palace in front, the chain of Wienerwald hills in the far background, and the various spires and domes parading the horizon. The steeple and high roof of Stephansdom make the main focal point. From the right end of the terrace you can also spot the pointed steeple of Michaelerkirche and the neo-Gothic twin spires of Votivkirche, the tower of the town hall and the green copper-plated domes of Hofburg, and further left the dome of Karlskirche. Note: there is a particularly good view of the gardens from third floor of the building of the Upper Belvedere:
Prices of Upper Belvedere Permanent Collection: EUR 14 (adults); EUR 11 (visitors of more than 60 years of age); visitors under 19 go free. Worth paying to visit the inside exhibitions - don't let the cost put you off. Worth the money.
The Upper Belvedere has a couple of surprisingly small but excellent cafes. Good food and wine available at a reasonable price. The cafés can be entered free. Ask to use the toilet and you will be given a pass to get to them inside the gallery, so you can see some of it free.
The majestic wrought iron gates which are the entrance leading to the Belvedere Palaces. At the top-side of the gates are two powerful lions guarding a plague and crown.
The Upper Belvedere - home to the Austrian Gallery:
Sculptures below the the Upper Belvedere:
Two sphinxes sit below the Upper Belvedere:
The interior of the Oberes Belvedere was designed by Claude le Fort du Plessy. Unfortunately little of the original interior has been preserved since the building was actively used until the mid-twentieth century. The most impressive hall is the Sala Terrena, where large statues support the vaulted ceiling. The palace without the art masterpieces alone would be worth the visit:
The Austrian National Gallery at the Upper Belvedere hosts not least than dozen collections of Austrian art. They span an era as vast as from the Middle Ages to the present. There are benches to sit upon in most of the many rooms while admiring the masterpieces. We browse most of the rooms in brief:
Historicism and Impressionism: The collection brings together masterpieces by such artists as Hans Makart, Anton Romako, Arnold Böcklin, Jean-François Millet, Emil Jakob Schindler, Carl Schuch, Auguste Rodin, Gustave Courbet, Edouard Manet, Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, and Pierre-Auguste Renoir. The centerpiece - are Gustav Klimt’s Golden Period masterpieces.
Hans Makart (May 28, 1840 - October 3, 1884) was a 19th century Austrian academic history painter, designer, and decorator; most well known for his influence on Gustav Klimt and other Austrian artists, but in his own era considered an important artist himself and was a celebrity figure in the high culture of Vienna, attended with almost cult-like adulation.
Hans Makart, The Five Senses (Hearing, Smelling, Tasting, Seeing, Touching), 1872-9:
Anton Romako, Admiral Tegetthoff in the Naval Battle of Lissa II, c. 1878/80:
Camille Jacob Pissarro, Street in Pontoise (Rue de Gisors), 1868:
Oscar Claude Monet (14 November 1840 – 5 December 1926) - Path in Monet’s Garden in Giverny,1902:
Pierre Auguste Renoir, After the Bath, 1876 :
A Seating Bather by Pierre-Auguste Renoir:
Vincent van Gogh, The Plain of Auvers, 1890:
Viennese Secession: The ‘secession’ was a split-off from the Vienna Society of Visual Artists (Künstlerhaus) - triggered as rejection of the latter’s conservatism, still rooted in Historicism. The Secession’s first exhibition was in 1898. One of its priorities was to provide connections with modern art out of Austria. In this sense, it was a kind of Austrian Avant-Garde or Decadence art:
Max Klinger The Judgment of Paris, 1885-1887:
In 1905, Gustav Klimt (1862 Vienna – 1918 Vienna) and a group of artists and architects left the Secession - forming the Kunstschau in 1908 and the Internationale Kunstschau in 1909. The Klimt Group offered modern platform and insight and included names like: Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. In those years Klimt created mainly allegorical and symbolist works, the most famous of which is his depiction of two lovers (The Kiss, 1908). The Belvedere houses the world’s largest collection of oil paintings by Klimt (after losing in court 4 famous pictures claimed by American art collector).
Gustav Klimt - "Lovers", more popularly known as "The Kiss":
Gustav Klimt - "The Bride":
Gustav Klimt: Johanna Staude:
Gustav klimt - portrait of Sonja Knips:
Gustav Klimt, Girl Friends or Water Nymphs, 1904-1907:
Expressionism: Expressionism was one of the leading trends in the first 30-40 years of the twentieth century. The works by Egon Schiele, Oskar Kokoschka, Herbert Boeckl, Jean Egger, Helene Funke, and Richard Gerstl, are characterized by an ecstatic show of colours meant to enhance expression. An illusionist rendering of surface textures was stressed and displayed in favor of reflecting the artist’s individual sensations and emotions.
Egon Schiele (1890-1918) - The Family. Egon Schiele (June 12, 1890 – October 31, 1918) was an Austrian figurative painter of the early 20th century. His work is noted for its intensity and its raw sexuality, and the many self-portraits the artist produced, including naked self-portraits. The twisted body shapes and the expressive line that characterize Schiele's paintings and drawings mark the artist as an early exponent of Expressionism:
Egon Schiele, Mother with Two Children III (Mother III), 1915-1917:
Egon Schiele, Death and Maiden, 1915:
Helene Funke, Still Life with Peaches, 1918:
Oskar Kokoschka, Mother and Child, Embracing, 1922:
Oskar Kokoschka, The Tigon, 1926:
Richard Gerstl, The Fey Sisters Karoline and Pauline Fey, 1905:
Between the Wars: This period saw a return to a realistic representation of things as a counter movement to the abstract trends of the Cubism and Expressionism. In Austria this style was known as Neue Sachlichkeit (New Objectivity):
Franz Sedlacek, Storm, 1932:
Art after WW II: The Viennese School of Fantastic Realism, a variant of surrealist painting, is represented in the Upper Belvedere by Albert Paris Gütersloh, the co-founder of the Art Club. Other famous representatives of this movement are Ernst Fuchs and Friedensreich Hundertwasser:
Ernst Fuchs, “Moses and the Angel of the Lord before the Burning Bush”, 1956-57:
Friedensreich Hundertwasser, The Big Way, 1955:
Museum of Medieval Art - Middle Ages at the Upper Belvedere:
The Belvedere’s holdings comprise internationally outstanding works of Late Gothic sculpture and panel painting that give an overview of the most significant artistic developments of the International Gothic style from c. 1400 to the early sixteenth century. The works on view in the Upper Belvedere include exquisite sculptures exemplifying the so-called ‘Beautiful style’, as well as the impressive Znaim Altarpiece and works by Conrad Laib, the Master of the Altarpiece of the Abbey of the Scots in Vienna, Rueland Frueauf the Elder, and Michael Pacher:
Michael Pacher, Flagellation of Christ, 1497/1498:
Marx Reichlich - Visitation:
Andreas Lackner, Enthroned St Blasius with the Sts Rupert and Maximilian, 1518:
Baroque Museum: In the seventeenth century, it was primarily international artists who achieved great renown in the territory of present-day Austria. Only towards the end of the century can one begin to speak of Austrian painting of the High Baroque, which nonetheless was marked by a strong Italian influence. Among its prominent representatives, besides Martino Altomonte, are most notably pupils of the German-Venetian Johann Carl Loth, including Johann Michael Rottmayr, Hans Adam Weissenkircher, Johann Carl von Reslfeld, and not least Peter Strudel, who was a celebrated painter in his day and founded a protoacademy to ensure that young artists received an education. This academy, which engaged specialists from every genre, later became the Vienna Academy of Fine Arts. From the eighteenth century onwards, the art of the Habsburg Empire was marked by the influence of the Vienna Academy, where painters like Jacob van Schuppen, Martin van Meytens, Paul Troger, Friedrich Heinrich Füger, and Johann Baptist Lampi the Elder were active as either professors or rectors. One of its foremost graduates was certainly Franz Anton Maulbertsch, whose expressive style broke with tradition and who later gained great popularity.
Jacob van Schuppen, Prince Eugen von Savoyen in the Battle of Belgrade- year 1717:
Paul Troger - St. Sebastian and the women - 1746:
Classism – Romantic period – Biedermeier:
The collection of Neoclassicism, Romanticism and Viennese Biedermeier comprises paintings and sculptures from all over Europe dating from 1770 to the 1860s and beyond. Comprising 2,600 objects, this is the largest of the Belvedere’s collections.
The collection of art from the Viennese Biedermeier era – Biedermeier Realism to use the correct term – is famous, even internationally, for its scope and the many artists it features. In addition, the Belvedere houses masterpieces by some of the great names of this period, among them Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, Friedrich von Amerling, and Josef Danhauser.
Jacques-Louis David - Napoleon crossing the Alps - 1801:
Friedrich Heinrich Füger, Artist's brother:
François Gérard - Graph von Fries with his wife, 1804:
Caspar David Friedrich - Rocky Ravine - 1822-3:
Joseph Anton Koch - Berner Oberland - 1815:
Johann Scheffer von Leonhardshoff - The Death of Holy Caecilia (1821):
Johann Baptist Reiter - painted Slumbering Woman - 1849:
Rudolph fon Alt, Stephansdon in Vienna, 1832:
Danhauser, Josef 1805-1845. "The rich spendthrift", 1836:
Anton Petter - Wenzel asks Rudolf of Habsburg to the body of his father Przemysl Ottokar - 1826:
Josef Danhauser - Die Romanlektüre - 1841:
Johann Michael Neder - The controversy of the coachmen - 1828:
Friedrich Gauermann, Lake Altaussee with the Dachstein Massif, c. 1827:
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, 1793 − 1865:
Waldmüller is the most important Austrian artist of the nineteenth century. His name is always associated with the so-called Biedermeier era and yet his art reached beyond this period, both in date and in the realism of its images and the power of their pictorial messages. Indeed, the works that account for Waldmüller’s international acclaim – such as Corpus Christi Morning (1857) or Early Spring in the Vienna Woods (1861) – were painted long after the Biedermeier era.
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller - Early Spring in the Vienna Woods - 1861:
Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, On Corpus Christi Morning, 1857:
The “Character Heads” by Franz Xaver Messerschmidt can be seen in the Upper Belvedere and I found them fascinating. Franz Xaver Messerschmidt was born in 1736 as Wiesensteig in Swabia. He studied at the Academy in Vienna. This was the start of an impressive career culminating in the monumental statues of Emperor Franz and Maria Theresia. In spite of his success, he was passed over for the Chair of sculpture at the Academy in 1774. Disappointed, he left Vienna. In his isolation, Messerschmidt began sculpting a series of works known after his death as “character heads.” He has begun them in around 1770-1772. It is likely that one source of inspiration for these was his Krohn illness he suffered from. The heads are like studies of the various expressions and reactions. Although Messerschmidt must have been a bizarre and solitary character, he was always a respected artist and was still sculpting portraits busts when he died in 1783:
Lower Belvedere - Unteres Belvedere - Prince Eugene’s apartments and staterooms: The palace was built from 1714 to 1716 and contains some magnificent rooms (Prunksaale) which are well preserved. Most of the Lower Belvedere rooms are open to visitors. Temporary showings and exhibitions are located in the lower Belevdere. Some of them might be a hit !
The Museum Shop in the Lower Belvedere:
The famous rooms are the: Dining Room, Mirror Hall and the Bedroom. The feudal splendor of the palace’s aristocratic owner is reflected in the Hall of Grotesques, the Marble Gallery, and the Golden Room/Cabinet. Intriguing special exhibitions are staged in the Lower Belvedere and the Orangery. Located at the bottom of the gardens, it's not as big or grandiose as the Upper Belvedere. The main reason being that the prince used it as his private living quarters, not for ceremonial events. It is flanked by the orangery and palace stables, both of which have now been turned into museum space. A visit to the Lower Belvedere includes a tour of the prince's gorgeous former residence, as well as access to special exhibitions (check in advance !). Once you enter, the Gold Cabinet‘s gold plated and mirrored walls, the Grotesque Hall with its rich ornaments, and the marble hall’s delicate white reliefs and display of baroque sculpture will prove otherwise.
The Marble Gallery:
The Gold Cabinet:
The adjoining Orangery, originally built to provide cover for plants during the winter, is now used for temporary expositions. The Orangery is a typically long-shaped hall with stone floors and high large windows that flood the room with light. It is regularly used for temporary exhibitions:
Palace stables – Medieval Study Collection: The stables once housed the prince's 12 finest horses: today you will find the Belvedere's entire medieval art collection here. The stables are home to the Schatzhaus Mittelalter - a museum of medieval art with a large collection of paintings and sculptures from the twelfth through the early sixteenth century.
21er Haus: The new "21er Haus" museum is not only highly interesting from an architectural point of view, but is also intensively engaged in Austrian art of the 20th and 21st centuries.The impressive building was constructed by leading architect Karl Schwanzer as the Austria pavilion for the World Exhibition in 1958 and opened as a museum for the art of the 20th century in Vienna in 1962. Today, the building known as 21er Haus and forming a part of the Belvedere, is used in an international context as a platform for Austrian art from 1945 to the present day. In addition to themed changing exhibitions and individual items, the new museum will also show the estate of the sculptor Fritz Wotruba and house the artotheque of the Austrian Federation. A cinema and a café-restaurant with terrace in the sculpture courtyard (designed by Adolf Krischanitz and Hermann Czech) supplement the offering. Architect Adolf Krischanitz adapted and remodeled Schwanzer's building for the re-opening in 2011. In 1958, Schwanzer received the Grand prix d'Architecture for the trendsetting and technically innovative design. Krischanitz has now excavated the basement and added a six-storey tower to the facility, which acts as a long-range signal:
The Palace Garden: Between the Unteres Belvedere and the Oberes Belvedere lies the Belvedere garden. It was laid out between 1700 and 1725 by Dominique Girard in the formal French style. The garden is decorated with numerous statues as well as fountains and cascades. The view from the top of the sloping garden towards the Unteres Belvedere is magnificent and explains its name - Belvedere - which is Italian for beautiful view. The garden has three levels, separated by two large cascades. The upper cascade consists of six basins flanked by statues. Large statues of sphinxes - symbols of strength and intelligence - decorate the upper levels of the garden. Even more statues adorn the lower cascade with a small waterfall. Classical statues of eight muses adorn the lower level. Statues along the staircase between the lower and middle part of the garden symbolize the twelve months of the year. You'll quickly feel far removed from the city and be impressed by the loveliness of the paths, the greenery, and the geometry of the grounds. The gardens present many great photographic opportunities with their fountains, statues and manicured lawns The gardens are free to walk through. They are open from dawn to dusk. They are not huge and can be easily walked.
In 1803, Europe's first alpine garden was created in the extensive park area of Belvedere castle following a suggestion of Archduke Johann. Today, more than 4000 plants represent the diverse flora of the alpine ecosystem. Spring and early summer are the best times to visit as many plants foliate and start to flower. The Alpengarten is right on the beginning of your downhill direction visit (starting at Gürtel Landstrasse, behind the Upper Belvedere) on the right side of the so nice ornamental pond, surrounded by flower beds, around the Upper Palace. The alpine garden charges an extra 3 euros fee:
View to the Upper Belvedere:
The descent from the Upeer to the Lower Belvederes. Mythological sphinxes, figures and cherubs adorn the fountains and stairways in the middle of the garden. Each cherub represents a month of the year:
Gardekirche, Rennweg - near (east to) the Lower Belvedere:
The middle of the Belvedere Gardens:
The Cascades between the middle of the Gardens and the Lower Belvedere:
View to the Gardens slope from the Lower Belvedere:
From the LOwer Belvedere - it is a 1.2 km, 20 minutes walk to Kärntner Str: Head northwest on Rennweg toward Veithg., 220 m. Slight right to stay on Rennweg, 35 m. Continue onto Schwarzenbergplatz, 450 m.
Turn left onto Schubertring and turn right onto Schwarzenbergstraße
230 m. Turn left onto Krugerstraße, 210 m. Turn right onto Kärntner Str. Right in the heart of the city, Karntnerstrasse runs from Stephansplatz up to the Opera, so it starts where Graben finishes. We entered the Kärntner Street - north to the State Opera House and the Hotel Sacher is on our left. The Kärntner Strasse Vienna (C2) exists since the Roman Age and was at that time known as -Strata Carinthianorum- an important connection from the center to the city wall. The 19th century was characterizing for the present shopping street. Only a few of the noble buildings, from that time, were not destroyed during the Second World War. In the year of 1974 the Kärntner Strasse was redesigned to a pedestrian zone according the plans or architects Windbrechtinger and Holzbauer. This new function of the street should be used by the citizens and tourists for shopping, strolling and lingering and this task was without doubt very well done. Today this pedestrian zone is a perfect place for shopping in the center of Vienna. There is a diversified mix of historical buildings, traditional shops and stylish flagship stores of international companies and two department stores, Steifl and Peek & Cloppenburg. There are even two large Swarovski stores a few metres from each other along the same side of the street. Shop opening hours: Monday - Friday: 09.00 - 19.00, Saturday: 09.00 - 18.00. An important Hotel on the street, is the Hotel Sacher (where Sacher Torte was first created) which is styled like a renaissance palace. The few eateries along Kärntner Straße are best avoided. One of the most notable buildings is the Palace Esterhazy, where a branch of the Casinos Austria is located in its historic rooms:
It can be quite crowded on Kaerntner Strasse during the day and it is better for strolling early or later on, during the evening, as I did.
We don't continue south to the OPera House or North to Stepansplatz. Instead we head north-west to Lobkowitzplatz. Head north on Kärntner Str. toward Führichgasse. Turn left onto Führichgasse, 94 m. Turn right onto Tegetthoffstraße, 50 m. Turn left onto Gluckgasse, 90 m. and you face Lobkowitzplatz: a fashionable square in Vienna. Turn left (south-west) along Lobkowitzplatz (Österreichisches Theatermuseum / Palais Lobkowitz is on your right). The Austrian Theatre Museum is housed in a palace originally built for a 17th-century count. The Lobkowitz Palace was the first important town palace built in Vienna after 1683. The central part with its big main portal was designed by Johann Fischer von Erlach, the great baroque architect. After several changes of possession the Lobkowitzs, a very musical family, took over the palace in 1745. From time to time the family kept their own band and promoted concerts. As Prince Lobkowitz was the dignitary of Beethoven’s Third Symphony, the hall was given the name the 'Eroica-Hall'. During the Congress of Vienna, many magnificent balls and receptions were held at the palace. Continuing this tradition, we offer you the opportunity to stage events in one of Austria’s most beautiful Baroque palaces. The Eroica-Hall on the first floor is the ideal setting for all kinds of festivities and events, such as concerts and musical performances, book presentations or wedding ceremonies. Exhibits reflect the history of theater design from the Baroque era to the mid-20th century. Models show the first Hofburg theatre and Eroica-Saal, an important venue of Beethoven's work, along with important stage sets that made an impact on Viennese theater, including "Anthony and Cleopatra." The museum collection features thousands of sketches, drawings, paintings, etchings, costumes and models:
This is the view Looking towards the Albertina Museum:
Turn right onto Augustinerstraße and continue onto Josefsplatz (already explored in my "Vienna - from the Hofburg to the State Opera House" blog):
We continue our itinerary with the Augustinerkirche, Augustinerstraße 3 (sub-ordinate, No. 2 Tip) (on your left, west) and the Prunksaal (see sub-ordinate, No. 3 Tip). Both of them are around Josefsplatz.
Augustinerkirche (Church of the Augustinian Friars):
We already passed-by this church at the "Vienna - from the Hofburg to the State Opera House" blog. There is so much to see in this church. Erected between 1330 and 1339. In the court church St. Augustin, on the west side of the Imperial Palace, numerous weddings of the imperial family took place: Here, Empress Maria Theresia married Franz Stefan von Lothringen in 1736. Even the French Emperor Napoleon married the Austrian Princess Marie Louise here in 1810. In 1854 was THE wedding of Emperor Franz Joseph and his Sisi. Today, this church is highly considered because of its music. One regularly hears the great masses by Mozart, Haydn and Schubert at the High Mass. If you have one Sunday in Vienna - do not miss and attend the Sundays mass (in German) at 11:00 am. Better come at 10:30 am as many people will come !!! Terrific acoustics and absolutely beautiful music. Free entrance.
Especially noteworthy is the memorial to Archduchess Maria Christina of Austria sculpted in 1805 by Antonio Canova, a masterwork of classicistic architecture built between 1798 and 1805 made from white Carrara marble, which mirrors the great mourning of the widower:
The Gothic St. George’s Chapel (built in 1337; access through the Loreto Chapel) was where the Knights of the Order of George once met. The Loretto Chapel in the Vienna Augustinerkirche was once adorned with silver, but that had to be melted down during the Napoleonic Wars. The beautiful wrought iron railing dates from the 18th C. In the Loreto Chapel, one finds the so-called Herzgruft (heart burial vault), where 54 hearts of Habsburgs are kept in silver urns. The first heart, belonging to King Ferdinand IV, was placed in the Augustinian Church on 10 July 1654, according to his wishes. The last heart, belonging to Archduke Franz Karl of Austria, was placed in the crypt on 8 March 1878. Here rest the hearts of nine emperors, eight empresses, one king, one queen, 14 archdukes, 14 archduchesses and two dukes. The bones are interred in the Imperial Vault of the Kapuzinerkirche, the internal organs in the catacombs of the Stephansdom:
Two organs have added to the prestige of the church in the music world. Not only did Franz Schubert conducted his Mass here, but Anton Bruckner’s Mass in F minor also had its world premiere here:
From this church - you can continue to a very special attraction in Vienna - the Prunksaal. It is situated a few steps from the church in Josefsplatz.
The Prunksaal - “The World's Most Beautiful Library”: From the Augustinerkirche you walk west a few metres to the Prunksaal. It is, actually, a wing of the Hofburg Palace. It is a bit tricky to find in the massive Hofburg complex, if you get lost trying to find it, ask for directions, it is definitely worth the effort. It is a must-see attraction for those who appreciate beautiful things and beautiful buildings. The entry price at Prunksaal is rather pricey (€7 per adult). Photos allowed with no flash. No heating in the hall during the cold season. It was built by the order of Emperor Charles in 1726, and to this day remains beautifully and richly decorated in Baroque fashion. Within the hall, shelves upon shelves of rare and historic books and manuscripts line the walls, punctuated by lovely statues and historic globes, and capped by beautiful ceiling frescoes from the 18th century. There are a few books and manuscripts on display. There's plenty of lovely and memorable images of the Prunksaal to take. Above your head there is an inner dome ceiling fresco that you could stare at for hours. For those considering to visit, we suggest allowing a minimum of 30 minutes to see this attraction, but you can certainly linger there far longer: