This being the 200th anniversary of The Congress of Vienna, several exhibits are both currently running and being planned for debut later this year. At Schloss Belvedere there is a comprehensive and most enjoyable exhibit, “Europe in Vienna,” showcasing the history of the Congress through paintings and other artifacts, and on a rainy afternoon Tony and I made a date of it. (Yes, we’re just nerdy that way, but lunch afterward was romantic.)
As with much of pre-WWII history in these parts, a little studying up goes a long way to better appreciating an historical exhibit. In our research we learned that Prince Eugene of Savoy, for whom Schloss Belvedere was commissioned, had been rejected by Louis XIV for service in the French Army, so he packed up his loyalties and gave them to the Habsburgs, becoming a great military leader and leaving the Kingdom of France to sigh and say, Que sera, sera. It seems fitting, then, that the redistribution of Europe following Napoleon’s defeat should have its exhibit in Eugene’s digs.
And that is about where photos of the historical event end. Copyright and photo prohibitions be damned, I can only share a few of my favorite Belvedere elements with you. Though, I would be happy to tour the exhibit again should you visit.
(If one asks politely in the exhibition space, photos of the ceilings are permitted.)
To end, the signed and sealed Viennese copy of The Treaty of Vienna, setting the stage for long term peace in Europe.