The Belvedere complex is famous for the gardens connecting the upper and lower palaces: sculpted hedges and cascading waters that scream “Baroque prince with money”.
- Closed until sometime in 2021 (or later?) due to renovation work
- Small Baroque garden where you can hide from the crowds
- Great for an 18th-century feeling and views of the Orangerie
- Normally hosts open-air cinema in August
- See also: Belvedere tickets & visitor tips
The privy garden
(The Privy Garden in October)
The Kammergarten consists of a long, private garden hidden away behind high walls, hedges and decorative gates.
The aviaries, pavilions and pergolas that provided private amusement for Prince Eugene and honored guests are largely gone. But you might still pop in for three particular reasons.
First, few people find their way to the Kammergarten, so you can gain a little respite from the crowds in the main gardens and exhibition galleries if it’s a busy time of year. I found myself there on my own on a July Saturday morning.
Second, the Bundesgärten (Federal Gardens) and visiting artists do a grand job of maintaining the garden, often in the form of an outdoor exhibition.
Out-of-season, things can appear a little spartan, but spring and summer usually see the gardens turn into a flower and shrub-filled delight with the odd fountain or two gurgling along for good measure.
Finally, your third reason for visiting…
Find your way right to the very back and the former location of a Baroque aviary. You should come across a secluded area hemmed in by tall hedges. All you can see around you are:
- To the west, the tops of the trees in the grounds of the neighboring Palais Schwarzenberg (the plans for these gardens date back to 1697)
- To the east, the large dome of the Salesian church and convent (completed in 1719)
You’re back in the 18th century.
All you require to become a member of the Baroque nobility is a decent wig, some uncomfortable clothes, and a few servants to oppress.
(View from the Kammergarten across to the Salesian church)
A fourth reason for visiting the gardens exists, too, but usually only in August. That’s when Kino im Kammergarten typically takes place: daily open-air cinema in the late evening.
Outdoor cinema has its own fascination, of course, but more so when that “open air” is flowing past historical gardens and early 18th-century palaces.
Ticket and visitor tips
A ticket for Lower Belvedere includes entry to the Kammergarten (enter from the west wing of the palace or the Orangerie). Note that the garden and lower complex as a whole is closed until sometime in late 2021 (?) due to renovation works.
Finding the Kammergarten
See the directions for the lower palace.
Address: Rennweg 6, 1030 Vienna
P.S. The city once intended leasing the Kammergarten to the composer Richard Strauss, but he chose instead to build a villa on the other side of the botanic gardens.