Named for the Italian meaning “beautiful view,” Central Park’s Belvedere Castle offers park goers exactly what its name implies. Sitting high on top of Vista Rock, the second highest natural elevation in the park, the castle is located mid-park at 79th Street. And with its two balconies, it supplies wonderful panoramic views that include some of Central Park’s most beautiful and famous landmarks.
An architectural hybrid of Gothic and Romanesque styles, Vaux’s design called for a more weighty Manhattan schist and granite structure with a corner tower with conical cap, with the existing lookout over parapet walls between them.
Originally designed in 1865 by Calvert Vaux and Jacob Wrey Mould, Belvedere Castle was intended to be a Victorian Folly, a fantasy structure that provides a great backdrop and views, but without a real intended purpose. With its strong stone façade, grand turret and flag, the castle was merely a stunning attraction in Central Park.
image by Gina Brake