Maria Theresa acquires the Belvedere estates.
The unique, overall complex, with its two palaces, the Upper and Lower Belvedere, and their extensive gardens, is one of the most stunning Baroque architectural ensembles in the world. In the 18th century, the Austrian general Prince Eugene of Savoy commissioned the renowned Baroque architect Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt to build a summer residence. After the death of Prince Eugene, Empress Maria Theresa acquired the entire complex and transformed the Upper Belvedere into an exhibition venue for the imperial collections – making it one of the first public museums in the world. The Marble Hall was the venue for important historical events and now offers an unparalleled view of Vienna. The Lower Belvedere, formerly the residence of Prince Eugene, is home to illustrious exhibitions. The modern pavilion of the Belvedere 21, by architect Karl Schwanzer, sets the stage for contemporary art.