It had a removable roof and façade, which meant it could house, for example, citrus trees all year round. That’s quite a feat in a country than can have 35° in summer and -15° in winter.
So if house guests weren’t impressed by the baroque majesty of Belvedere’s palaces, they could be suitably blown away by the botanical majesty of the host’s plants. (And if that failed, there was also a private zoo).
© Belvedere, Wien
Inside the Orangery is a modern museum gallery showing a temporary art exhibition. Entrance is included in any ticket giving access to Lower Belvedere: the official site will tell you what’s on and planned.
This means you won’t actually find orange trees inside anymore – there is little left to see of the original interior and the Orangery was rebuilt after the death of Prince Eugene, Belvedere’s original owner, anyway.
But…there’s a windowed corridor running down the south side of the building. Standing at the main entrance end of this corridor gives you views across the privy gardens and out to Upper Belvedere palace.
If you don’t look too carefully left or right, that view pretty much takes you back to the 18th century: it’s just gardens and façades – no cars, satellite dishes or pylons to tear you back into the 21st century.
Which is also why you need to stand at the main entrance end – go a little further down the corridor and the A1 telecommunication tower pops into view on the skyline (“intolerable” as Prince Eugene might have said, before dispatching a unit of cannon to bring down the eyesore).
For a nice view of the Orangery itself, simply go into the adjoining gardens, walk up to the first terrace and look back down.