As the group headed off to a extra excursion we decided to stay closer to the hotel and explore our neighborhood instead due to the fact that my travel companion was still ill but tired of being cooped up in our room for so many hours. Fortunately we were just two blocks away from Belvedere Castle.
From the outside of the buildings you would never guess what waited for you inside that archway!
But you get a wonderful glimpse of Upper Belvedere and you just know you are in for a wonderful walk.
Due to her illness we were forced to take our walking tour very slowly. Not really a hardship since this place is so beautiful that you really want to take it all in slowly and pause often. Lower Belvedere was built in 1716 as a reception hall for the Castle's guests. Our tour was strictly outdoors because we didn't want to get any one else sick but I do hope to return one day so we can tour inside.Our first section was the Statue Garden. Now we have toured lots of statue gardens before but this one takes the cake. One of the fun things about the tours we took here in Vienna was the statues...statues everywhere you look. Apparently, statues were a big thing for them.
We had truly wonderful weather for our tour. And there were iron benches for us to rest and enjoy the sections all along our way. You can just imagine the ladies touring the gardens, pausing at each statue in their ornate gowns, taking it all in, just like we were!
As you make your way up the slightly elevated hillside you come to different levels of art. There are seven water features at Belvedere. A reflecting pool in front of both Upper and Lower Belvedere, a Mermaid fountain, a tiered fountain, twin fountains near the entrance of Upper Belvedere and this one. We arrived right before they turned on the fountains which was great because once they are on you really can't see the figures under this one very well.
The sculptures here begin to give you an idea why we found them all to be so unusual. They were all very odd and, indeed, actually creepy!From far away you would look at them and, well, just see white marble figures...until you got close up and found demons and monsters waiting for you! But from far away it just looks green and white and idyllic.
I did love the Mermaid fountain. The view of downtown Vienna can be seen from here as well reminding you that you are in downtown Vienna while touring this huge estate. (click on the photo to see the larger view)
Despite the odd creatures, which we were beginning to be very fond of and, indeed, began searching them out to see how odd the next one would be, I love this view of Upper Belvedere from this fountain. This is one of two of the twin fountains as you get closer to Upper Belvedere.
See?! Odd...weird, vaguely disturbing but fun in a very twisted way!On one of the walks there were the months of the year in sculpture. This one was October so, being my birthday month, I couldn't pass up a photo of it. It took me a few moments to realize that the fat baby in this photo is sitting on a head. A severed head. Once again, odd, weird, vaguely disturbing! What were these people thinking?
The view of all of Lower Belvedere and Vienna is gorgeous from the steps of Upper Belvedere. The spire you see to the left is St. Stephen's Cathedral. Like most Castles and Palaces that have manicured gardens, the ones here change regularly so you can visit often and get a different view of them each time you go. I wish I lived close enough to go in every season.
This weekend I'll share with you Upper Belvedere, more odd statues and some really beautiful wrought iron work. Until then you can follow me every day on Instagram. Just search for ShutterbugTraveler and "follow" me to see gorgeous views every day! (don't have Instagram on your phone then just to go http://instagram.com/shutterbugtraveler and follow me there! See you then!