"A golden kiss" Belvedere Palace & Gardens Tip by TheWanderingCamel
Belvedere Palace & Gardens, Vienna: 182 reviews and 355 photos
As a poster it has adorned walls of student rooms for decades, and chocolate boxes and greeting cards have reproduced it by the millions, but it isn't until you see the real thing that you realize just how exquisite, and how erotic, Gustav Klimt's The Kiss is. What is also surprising is how few of these golden paintings Klimt actually painted. The collection of his work in the Austria's National Art Gallery is the largest in the world, and even with the loss of four works that were returned in February 2006 to the family that owned them before they were looted during WWII (and who subsequently sold one, Portrait of Adele Bloch-Bauer - one of Klimt's many mistresses - for a world record price of $153million,a few months later) it is an impressive and beautiful body of work .... and one of Vienna's major tourist attractions.
You'll find it at the Upper Belvedere, one of the complex of two palaces divided by extensive formal gardens that were built as the summer palace of Prince Eugene of Savoy in the late 17th century.
The Upper Belvedere was used for State occasions and is suitably grand with its great ceremonial staircase, Baroque chapel and a splendid Marble Hall. It houses the 19th and 20th century collection. The Lower Belvedere houses the Baroque Collection in the Prince's private rooms - though you'd be hard-pressed to call these rooms and salons any less splendid. This treasure store of art is completed by the collection of Mediaeval art in the Orangery, next to the Lower Belvedere. You do need to allow yourself plenty of time if you want to see all the Bevedere has to offer - art, architecture and interiors, and the terraced gardens.
Directions: U - Sud-Bahnhof.
Galleries open 10-6 - Tues-Sun
Garden - 6.30 - sunset all year round
Phone: +43 1 79557134
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