Friday, September 13, 2013

Upper Belvedere Castle

 While we spent several hours slowly making our way around the grounds there was still much we didn't see. I think any time illness interrupts a trip you automatically deserve a do-over. Someday we'll return to Vienna just so we can really see the city and, especially, all of the grounds of Belvedere Castle!  (click on the photos to see the larger versions)
 It seems like such a simple thing...walking from the back of a building to the front of the building. But when the building is the size of a football field it's a bit more of a trek to do so. And, well, when you are a photographer it can take forever because you are stopping to check out every little detail of a place that has, literally, millions of details! 
 Details like the gates. I swear I have never ever seen such intricate detail in ironwork before we visited Belvedere.  

 I live in a place where wrought iron work, some really amazing wrought iron work, is a common thing. But they don't hold a candle to what we saw at Belvedere. The fine detail work was just astounding. Yes, that is a face in the center of that gate!
 As beautiful as we thought the back of the Castle was we were unprepared for the front. More statues, of course, dotted the front but the window details...even the ledges...were just so beautiful!
Flanking the sides of the circular drive were the warriors. Even the pedestals were intricate!
 But, wow, they love statues there! People congregating, apparently having wonderful conversations, dot the roof top edges. I have no idea what the corner piece (upper left) is symbolizing but I love the fact that they felt all the statues were not quite enough decoration that they had to add this shield type of ornament as well! This photo also shows the wonderful copper roof! Not just the green patina but the window details also made from copper, are just beautiful!
The effect is very grand. Can you imagine pulling up to this in a carriage for a grand ball or event?
 One of the things we loved best about this place is that, when they ran out of people to make into statues, they decided to make creatures instead! This half sea monster half woman is one of two that flank the main entrance.
The view from the front shows off all of the immense beauty.
Close up of the main crest over the entrance way. Oh, look, I found more lions! I love the attitude they so clearly convey.
Even the "plain" gates were decorated with statuary!
 But the view from the front gates is one never to be forgotten. You can get a small sense of just how big this place actually is! The front reflecting pool is as big as a football field!
And the front gate is the most ornate and impressive of them all! Guarded by more lions holding the golden family crest, the front gates take your breath away as they give you the first peek of Upper Belvedere. Beautiful!
This close up gives you a better idea of just how really intricate this iron work is on these gates. And the Royal Crest is beautiful! But what is amazing to me is the layer up layer of details. From the lion's mane to the attitude on his face to the crest to the pillar decor to the many, many layers of details in the gate itself. Amazing. And this is why we fell in love with Belvedere Castle, both Upper and Lower. There is so much to see in such a wonderfully relaxing place. So much beauty, so much really odd, so much really interesting, things to see there. If you are able to go visit please do allow hours to tour this property. Sit down on the benches in the shade and just take it in. It's that sort of experience. One you want to sink into, sit back, relax and just enjoy.

Next week we head to Neuschwanstein Castle. This was a dream come true for me and I can't wait to share it with you! In the meantime head on over to Instagram and follow Shutterbugtraveler and get daily travel photos of beautiful places and details!


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