The Burggarten in Vienna is the castle garden of The Hofburg, created in 1819 atop the ruins of a fortification known as the Augustinerschanze. Designed by Ludwig Gabriel von Remy, it served as the private garden of Emperor Franz I.
Now a scenic park, the Burggarten is home to several statues – including ones of Mozart and Emperor Franz Joseph – as well as a butterfly house.
History of Burggarten
After Napoleon’s troops withdrew from Vienna in 1809, the fortified structures they left behind were no longer needed, and were subsequently redesigned, altered, or demolished and replaced with other structures.
One of these sites is the Burggarten, which was built as a garden to accompany the Hofburg (court palace), which was the seat of Habsburg power. Indeed, Kaiser Franz II occasionally worked in the garden himself.
Following the change from a monarchy to republic system in 1919, many streets and sites were renamed to remove the imperial connection. This meant that the Kaisergarten (Emperor’s Garden) became what we now know as the Burggarten.
The garden today is a hotspot for visitors to relax during their lunchbreak in the middle of busy Vienna, providing nice views of its palatial surroundings. Its famous Mozart statue moved to the Burggarten in 1953, and is one of Vienna’s most popular photo motifs.
There are three more statues that decorate the gardens. Hercules and the Nemean lion was created at the turn of the 19th century and was incorporated into a small fountain feature in the Burggarten pond in 1948.
There is also a statue of Franz I – husband of Empress Maria Theresa – on his horse (created in 1781, and moved to the garden in 1819). His wife has a larger monument on the other side of the road.
Finally, the statue of Emperor Franz Joseph (created in 1903, and moved to the site in 1957) is a pensive nod to the city’s history.
The gardens are also a popular filming site, with the series Vienna Blood featuring it in a scene at the end of episode 1. The park is also surrounded by the long Ringsstrassen boulevard, the Neue Burg palace wing, the butterfly house and palm house, and Goethegasse, a street named after the famous German writer.
Getting to Burggarten
The nearest Subway is Station Herrengasse (U3) or Museumsquartier (U2), and from there, the gardens are a short walk. Trams and buses also run regularly, with tram lines 1, 2, D or 71 to Burgring (which runs along the edge of the park) or bus 2A to Albertinaplatz taking you to right outside the park.