Belvedere Castle is a building in Central Park in New York, New York, that contains exhibit rooms and an observation deck.

City: New York City
Neighborhood: Upper Manhattan - Central Park
Address: N/A
Built/Founded: 1869

Description of Belvedere CastleEdit

The Belevedere Castle sits in the middle of Central Park next to a large pond. The castle is built with both Roman and Gothic architectural styles. Visitors can peruse through exhibit rooms, or look out over the park from the deck. It was closed for many years after vandalism and deterioration, but was reopened in the 1980s.

History of Belvedere CastleEdit

(Source: Wikipedia) Built as a Victorian folly in 1869, the castle caps Vista Rock, the park's second-highest natural elevation. Constructed of Manhattan schist quarried in the park and dressed with gray granite, it tops the natural-looking woodlands of The Ramble, as seen from the formal Bethesda Terrace. As the plantings matured, the castle has disappeared from its original intended viewpoint. Its turret is the highest point in the park.

Belvedere means 'beautiful view' or 'panoramic view' in Italian and the castle provides impressive views across Central Park and New York City. It was designed as an additional feature of the Central Park "Greensward" plan by the architects Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould after they, along with Frederick Law Olmsted, were reappointed to oversee the park's construction in 1865.

The site, which overlooks the Lower Reservoir, already held a fire tower under the control of the Croton Aqueduct board. In 1867, the board transferred the site to the Park, and the fire tower was demolished.


(Source: Wikipedia) The castle overlooks the Great Lawn, an oval of turf with eight baseball diamonds, loosely defined by plantings of trees in clumps in the manner of the English landscape garden, and, at the foot of Vista Rock, the Turtle Pond, redesigned in 1997 as a naturalistic planting, in which no single vantage-point reveals the water's full extent. Sunken concrete shelving at varying depths provide ideal water depths for shoreline plants such as lizard's tail, bullrush, turtlehead, and blueflag iris. The success of habitat for birds, insects, amphibians, and reptiles is embodied in sightings of species of dragonfly not previously sighted in Central Park.

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