If you ever get a little weary from all the sightseeing, pop into the Burggarten park alongside the tourist hotspots for a bit of a rest. Then thank Napoleon for the opportunity.
- City centre park most famous for its Mozart statue
- Borders the Hofburg and Albertina attractions
- Nice place to sit and relax while sightseeing
- You might spot a Lipizzaner stallion there, too
- See also:
(View of the Burggarten across from the Hofburg)
When Napoleon’s troops withdrew from Vienna in 1809, clutching the Treaty of Schönbrunn and their souvenir fridge magnets, the mess they left behind demanded a redesign of the area around the Hofburg palace complex.
Part of this redesign was the creation of the Kaisergarten or Emperor’s garden, a private area for the Imperial family to (I assume) take off their shoes and enjoy a picnic.
The authorities extended the area in 1863, then reduced it again a few decades later to create space for the Neue Burg palace extension that now borders one side of the park.
Following the demise of the monarchy and the change to a republic in 1919, the Kaisergarten passed to the state. Many streets and similar were renamed to remove the Imperial connection. And so the Emperor’s Garden simply became the Burggarten.
Inside the Burggarten
The Burggarten – now managed by the federal garden services (the Bundesgärten) – does not offer the botanical beauty associated with the Volksgarten on the other side of Heldenplatz square.
The park does, however, provide nice views of its palatial surrounds. Consider it a place to enjoy some greenery in the middle of a city and a little respite from sightseeing crowds.
The location does have one particular ace up its sleeve. The famous Mozart monument moved to the Burggarten in 1953 to become one of Vienna’s most popular photo motifs:
Another three statues complete the collection of manmade highlights.
1. Hercules and the Nemean lion (created around the turn of the 19th century and incorporated into a small fountain feature in the Burggarten pond in 1948).
2. Franz I – husband of Empress Maria Theresa – on his horse (from 1781 and moved here in 1819). His wife has a larger monument on the other side of the road.
3. Emperor Franz Joseph. He has a rather pensive look about him, almost as if he knew time was slowly running out for his dynasty.
In mid-2021, a small part of the park converted to outdoor paddocks. These provide the Lipizzaner stallions of the Spanish Riding School with some outdoor recreational space. So you might be lucky and get a glimpse of these magnificent animals (I’ve been lucky once).
How to get to the Burggarten
If visiting the Hofburg area, then you’re more or less already there.
Subway: Station Herrengasse (U3) or Museumsquartier (U2), then a short walk
Tram/bus: Tram lines 1, 2, D or 71 to Burgring (which runs along the edge of the park) or bus: 2A to Albertinaplatz
The small park is surrounded by the long Ringstrassen boulevard, the Neue Burg palace wing, the butterfly house and palm house, and Goethegasse (a street named after the famous German
footballer writer) with its Goethe monument.
Address: Burggarten, 1010 Vienna