The Belvedere is a historic building complex in Vienna, consisting of two Baroque palaces – the Upper and the Lower Belvedere –, the orangery, the palace stables and the surrounding Baroque garden. The park is set on a gentle gradient and include decorative tiered fountains and cascades, Baroque sculptures, and majestic wrought iron gates. The Baroque palace complex was built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy and was built during a period of extensive construction in Vienna, which at the time was both the imperial capital and home to the ruling Habsburg dynasty.
Today, Belvedere is set up as art museum, housing some of the celebrated works of art in the world including famous paintings by Gustav Klimt. Belvedere uniquely blends the experience of architecture and art. The whole ensemble belongs to the UNESCO World Heritage site “Historic Centre of Vienna”. The buildings are set in a Baroque park landscape in the third district of the city, on the south-eastern edge of its centre.
In the state rooms of the palace, the visitors can experience more than 800 years of art ranging from the Middle Ages to the present day. For this reason, to visit and work within this palace complex will provide the opportunity to get immersed in the essence of the Imperial City, its history and artistic prowess.
The Training Course
This European Heritage Training Course will be the first project to take place within the framework of the European Heritage Volunteers Programme in Austria. It will be an exciting opportunity for the participants to join as this collaboration takes off with the magnificent palaces of Vienna as a staging ground.
The Training Course will focus on obtaining skills in stone conservation and restoration techniques in partnership with the Burghauptmannschaft Österreich, which is the institution responsible for the property administration and construction management of many historical buildings and properties which are owned by the Republic of Austria and representing the cultural heritage of Austria.
The conservation and restoration works will take place in direct neighborhood of the Upper Belvedere Palace, at the heart of the Baroque palace and gardens complex. There are four exceptional sculptures of human and horse figures with allegoric meanings, which flank the main entrance to the palace. The sculptures have sustained damages by the ravages of time, the inclemency of weather and further reasons. During the European Heritage Training Course the needed conservation and restoration measures will be carried out to preserve these remarkable sculptures for the future.
Under the guidance of professional restorers, the participants will engage in works of cleaning, closing the cracks in the sculpted stone, stick the fissures together, insert reinforcements, adding missing parts, and finally colouring them. The whole process will be accompanied by documentation of the interventions in accordance to heritage conservation standards in which the participants will be involved, too.
The works will provide essential technical knowledge to the participants of the processes involved in this kind of interventions on elements belonging to monuments of exceptional relevance under the protection of UNESCO’s World Heritage convention. On the other hand, the opportunity to learn these practical skills and work in the midst of the splendid capital of the Habsburgs is one unique and remarkable occasion.
The Training Course will take place from August, 2nd, to August 15th, 2020 and is jointly organised by Burghauptmannschaft Österreich and European Heritage Volunteers.