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Last edited 07 May 2021
|The Belvedere is a grand building complex in Vienna, Austria. It consists of two Baroque palaces (the Upper and Lower Belvedere) and several other structures.|
Belvederes are typically structures that are positioned in such a way to provide outstanding views. This can be a substantial building (similar to a country home, mansion or palace). It can also be an architectural structure on top of a building (similar to a cupola, turret or widow’s walk) or a separate, open viewing point located in a garden (similar to a gazebo, pavilion or folly).
The term belvedere was initially used to describe the elevated villa or pavilion, the Villa Belvedere, with excellent views and freely flowing air, designed by Antonio Pollaiuolo for Pope Innocent VIII in 1484.
It was then enhanced by Donato Bramante, who created the long Belvedere Courtyard (Cortile del Belvedere) for Pope Julius II in 1505. Designed in the style of the high renaissance, the courtyard connected the Villa Belvedere with the Vatican Palace. Its elegant plan included gardens, piazzas, terraces and staircases. It also served as the backdrop for the Apollo Belvedere, thought by some historians to be one of most beautiful examples of classical sculpture.
These associations with beauty - both natural and constructed - established the term belvedere from the 16th century onward. It has been used in English since the 1570s.
Gazebos are a type of belvedere that has been set as a stand alone structure in the landscape. What defines a gazebo as a belvedere is its function as a viewing platform for taking in the surrounding scenic vista.
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