The plan for the construction of the Upper Belvedere in its current form replaced the primary idea of the construction of a gloriette ‘‘with a beautiful view of the city’’. The construction work took place between 1717 and 1723. The Upper Belvedere primarily had a representative function at the time of the Prince and served as an imperial painting gallery from the second half of 1770’s. For this purpose, the paintings were brought from the Stallberg to the Upper Belvedere after 1776, where they were accessible to the public.
The Sala terrena (ground floor hall) is occupied by 4 powerful atlases, which support the richly stuccoed vault of the ceiling in the hall. According to the original concept, the Sala terrena was meant to be a unified hall area but after the construction damage caused during the winter of 1732/33, the construction of the four pillars became essential. The hall has an opening towards the garden side of the Upper Belvedere, which leads to the ceremonial staircase and is hence considered as a garden hall and vestibule both at the same time
Originally, the main entrance was located at the southern side of the Upper Belvedere and is even recognizable today through the access ramps. From there on, guests could advance to the main floor of the palace passing through the ceremonial staircase. On the right wall, a stucco relief with a depiction of the triumph of Alexander the Great over Darius can be seen whereas on the left wall, the wives of Darius have been shown in front of Alexander. On the ceiling, the scene of Alexander breaking the Gordian knot was also once to be seen but could not outlast for long due to problems with roof construction, and hence had to be replaced by the Rosette which exists today.
The Carlone Hall or painted hall received this name after its designer Carlo Innocenzo Carlone (1686-1775), who was a north Italian fresco specialist and itinerant artist. The impressive ceiling fresco with depiction of the ‘‘triumph of Aurora’’ (1722/23) was his work, whereas the mock architectural works were carried out by Marcantonio Chiarini and Gaetano Fanti. The furnishing of this hall, which originally served as a residential place for visitors on hot summer days, has been preserved till date, whereas the frescos of his pendant in the east wing were lost at a later time.
The Marble Hall with two floors is the most magnificent hall in the Upper Belvedere and is at the same time the first hall accessible from the staircase. The presented figures suggest that the hall characterised by red-brownish marble colour and the gildings once used to serve as the first antichambre. Through both the chimneys, the animal paintings of Ignaz Heinitz von Heinzenthal can be seen which are present here in situ again since 1963. Carlo Innocenco Carlone, Marcantonio Chiarini and Gaetano Fanti were also responsible for the jewellery with frescoes in this hall.
The ceiling fresco of the Marble Hall of Carlo Innocenzo Carlone (1686-1775), which came into being in 1721, shows the eternal fame of Prince Eugen amidst virtues of a prince, while Historia holds on to his deeds and Fama praises the same. The mock architectural works were most probably carried out by Gaetano Fanti after sketching down his father-in-law.