It is not often that you find a capital city in Europe that has a magnitude of wonderful gardens and parks that are freely accessible to the public. Vienna, however, is different as it has so many lush gardens dotted all over the place including the Rathauspark, City Park, Alpine gardens, Kurpark Oberlaa, Pötzleinsdorfer Schlosspark, and etc.
Of all the beautiful parks in this city, my favourite has to be the Burggarten and I would definitely recommend that you put it on your list to visit. It is located at Josefsplatz 1, 1010, Vienna and is easily accessible as it is by the Museumsquartier Metro Station. It is such a peaceful oasis that it is hard to believe that it is located in such a central spot in the city as it is positioned directly by the Ringstrasse behind the Hofburg Palace and the Albertina Museum and in close proximity to the Opera House. The Burggarten was laid out in 1818 as a private garden for Emperor Franz I and the Habsburg family and was designed by Ludwig Gabriel von Remy and Franz Antoine and was made public in 1919. Before 1919, the Viennese could only peek into the garden through the monumental gold gate and the beautiful styled fence.
Monuments in the Burggarten include Mozart
There are four monuments within the Burggarten, with the most famous being the Mozart monument which was completed in 1896 by Austrian sculptor Viktor Tilgner. This monument was originally erected at Augustinerplatz but was then moved to the Burggarten in 1953. It is located in the southwest part of the garden and has a bed of bright red flowers that form the shape of a musical treble clef in the front, as you can see from the photograph.
It is no surprise that the monument is the most photographed item within the garden, in light of the love that Austria has for the musical genius that was Mozart. He was only 3 years old when he learned to play a clavier and by the age of 5, he was playing the harpsichord and violin as a professional. He performed in front of royalty when he was only 6 years old and brought great pleasure to Empress Maria Theresa with his music and his personality. It is noted that as a child, he once asked Empress Maria Theresa if he could marry her younger daughter, Marie Antoinette. Mozart died at the age of 35 in Vienna in 1791, but his legacy has carried on, and the Austrians commemorate him in every way possible, including creating chocolates in his honour.
Hercules and the Nemean lion statue with water feature
Whilst the Mozart monument is the most famous statue within the Burggarten, that does not mean that the other statues are not a sight to see. I particularly recommend that you check out the Hercules and the Nemean lion statue that was created around the beginning of the 19th century and was installed in the Burggarten with a small water feature in the pond in 1948. As you can see from the photograph, it really is quite beautiful with the plush green landscape in the background. The other statues within the Burggarten are the Franz I statue, which was created in 1781 and brought here in 1819, and the Emperor Franz Joseph statue, which was made in 1904 and erected in the Burggarten in 1957.
This garden is a truly uplifting and beautiful environment in which to take a stroll and enjoy the absolute tranquillity that is uniquely in the centre of the city. Get away from the hustle and bustle and enjoy the lovely lawns and flowers with the birds chirping away and the ambiance allowing you to connect with nature in one of its most gorgeous forms.
Culinary delight amid greenery
On a sunny day, you will find young Viennese groups and couples meeting their friends to stretch out on the enormous lawns and enjoying a drink and a bite to eat. The Burggarten is a super relaxing spot and offers a somewhat alternative atmosphere to the hype that is around, creating a quiet refuge in Austria’s popular capital. If you want a break from sightseeing, then I recommend that you pick up some food or perhaps drop into the local supermarket, Billa, and pull together items so that you can have a picnic break in this delightful and clean garden. There are a lot of large shady mature trees to sit under as well as benches that line the garden.
For those not on a budget, I would suggest you check out the splendid Café-Restaurant Palmenhaus, which is north-east of the garden. It was designed by Friedrich Ohmann and is an elegant café that was built in 1901 and 1907 and the interior is as magnificent as its exterior. Inside, it has a greenhouse feel with huge palm trees and was once part of the Imperial Palace and was used by the royal family as a place for relaxation and entertainment. Within it, there is a butterfly house which is segregated by a glass window, meaning you can see these tropical beauties fluttering around whilst you sit back and relax from your seat. It makes a magical environment, reminiscent of a botanical garden albeit with fine dining and relaxing music.
A breath of fresh air in the centre of the city
The Burggarten is a breath of fresh air that one needs when on a high from a sightseeing parade, and I am sure that it will make you feel as refreshed as it did me. I certainly would recommend that you take the opportunity to stroll through this free garden where you can have a leisurely break and also get a feeling for Viennese history too. The garden is usually open from April to October from 6.00 am to 10.00 pm and in November to March from 7.00 am to 5.30 pm. If you are visiting it and are a fan of music, I would also suggest that you consider visiting the interactive House of Music, which is a spectacular and fun museum that is only 10 minutes away by foot from the Burggarten.
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