The Hapsburgs created two great gardens in the center of Vienna next to the Imperial Palace; the Volksgarten (people's garden) and the Burggarten (the palace gardens). The Volksgarten was designed by Ludweg Remy in 1821 built on the ruins of old city fortifications (legend has it that in 1809 Napoleon destroyed the fortifications -which had been there since 1597- because he had become incensed at how easy it had been for his army to breach them. At the heart of this park is the Theseus Temple, a small replica of the Temple of Hephaestus in Athens. This replica was designed by court architect Peter Von Nobile and built between 1811-1823 in order to hold Antonio Canova's "Theseus Slaying the Centaur". The statue remained in the Volksgarten temple for 70 years, until 1890, when it was moved to the National Museum. At the north end of the park is a monument to Empress Elizabeth.
The Burggarten derived it's name from "dieburg", meaning castle or court; thus this is the Imperial Gardens. Built off the backside of Imperial Palace, these gardens were for the pleasure of the Hapsburgs and their guests. The Burggarten was opened to the general public in 1918. We loved both gardens because they were beautiful and relaxing.