The writer and her mother traveled through Eastern Europe together. // © 2015 Melissa Karlin
Feature image (above): The Belvedere is home to a large collection of Gustav Klimt paintings. // © 2015 Thinkstock
Though my mother and I travel together often and love to experience new cultures, every trip requires compromise. I’ll follow her to grand old palaces and sites related to royal families — she’s particularly passionate about British royalty — and she’ll accompany me to modern-art museums. We don’t always have the same level of appreciation for the artwork, but we can at least appreciate the opportunity to experience it together.
But in Vienna, we landed at a magical place that captivated both of us: the Belvedere, a Baroque palace complex built in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. It was as though this historic venue had been tailor-made for our tastes, rather than for Austria’s then-prince, Eugene of Savoy.
My mom adored the stateliness of the houses, the perfectly manicured gardens and the views of the vast grounds and fountains. I loved the Austrian art on display, which ranges from medieval paintings to contemporary works. Particularly noteworthy was Gustav Klimt’s famous piece “The Kiss,” as well as artwork by modernists Egon Schiele and Oskar Kokoschka. It was a fabulous place to explore Austria’s history through visual media and the grand architecture that characterizes a large part of Vienna. While my mother and I surely have more compromises in our future travels together, the Belvedere showed us that we can happily meet in the middle.