Belvedere Palace, Vienna

On the last day in Vienna, we wandered down to Belvedere Palace to check out how the other half live. The site of the Palace is fairly big, comprising the Upper Palace, Lower Palace, the Stables and the Orangery.

Built as a summer home for Prince Eugene of Savoy, it was designed to show off opulence and style. Statues adorned the rooms and stairways, adding to this sense of grandeur. The central entrance was probably the most memorable, with the structural pillars being held up by statues.

The Palace buildings are now used as a museum, holding various art work – some of it downright strange!!

Despite the artwork and intricate rooms, I have to say, I was fairly underwhelmed by the Palace.

I instead found myself struck by the vast gardens between the two buildings. Although the fountains were covered and barren and the topiary was scarce due to the winter, the framework of the maze-like hedgerows was still evident and it was easy to imagine what the garden would look like in full bloom.

Being a total horror fan, I was reminded of the Stephen King story; The Shining and Jack Torrance’s desperate chase through the maze in the snow.

The two Sphinx statues guarding the Palace were reminiscent of those in The Neverending Story and the rose bushes had me yelling “Off with their heads” Queen of Hearts style.

The hedges stood high and it was pretty much impossible to escape the gaze of statues. This created quite an oppressive atmosphere – much more interesting than the buildings we were there to see.

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