Eugen of Savoy was born in Paris on 18th of October 1663. He studied mathematics and natural sciences, but he dreamed to become a soldier. His attempt to be admitted to the French army was unsuccessful. With delicate physique, ugly, hunched and of short stature, he did not fit in with notions of the ideal beauty of the French King Louis XIV, therefore for the Eugen Junior, there was no place in the French army. So, the little prince, offended and humiliated, abandoned his homeland, France, and recommended himself to the Austrian Emperor Leopold. And there followed a lightning military career. At the age of thirty, Eugene of Savoy became a Field Marshal and in his forties, the president of the Imperial War Council and the one of the wealthiest men in the monarchy. Thanks to his intelligence, abilities and skills, he had become a great military leader, a statesman and politician, who had made a major impact on conducting business activities in Austria in the first half of the 18th century. He was a participant and he commanded the army in the Austrian-Turkish war (1683 – 1699), Rhineland-war (1688 – 1697), during the War of Spanish Succession (1701 – 1714) and the Austrian-Turkish war (1716-1718).


During the Grand Turkish War (1683-1699) nearby the town of Senta, on 11th September 1697, the major battle between the Austrian and Turkish armies took place. Despite suggestions of the Court War Council to avoid offensives against Turks, due to the numerical inferiority, Eugen, who from 1696 already had the rank of the Field Marshal and the command of an independent army, decided to attack them in 1697.

The Austrian army, under his leadership, had inflicted a severe defeat on Turkish army, commanded by Sultan Mustapha II. In this battle, 27 Pashas were killed. Beside them, the Janissaries Aga and Grand Vizier were killed, while the Sultan managed to escape with 2.000 horsemen in Timisoara. The victory near the town of Senta had decisive impact on the outcome of that war campaign and the war in general. With this victory, Austria had created favourable conditions for the Treaty of Carlowitz (Sremski Karlovci) in 1699.


The Treaty of Peace, signed at Carlowitz (Sremski Karlovci) in 1699, established the boundary between the Habsburg Monarchy and the Ottoman Empire. However, the Ottomans broke off the protocol of twenty- five- year peace and launched an army with whom they crossed the river Sava, in early August in 1716. On the one side it was Ottoman’s army with approximately 200.000 soldiers, led by the Grand Vizier Damad Ali Pasha, and on the other side, the unified Christian army of 70.000 soldiers and 8.000 members of Petrovaradin’s garrison, under the command of the Prince Eugene of Savoy. Knowing that he must not wait for surrounding of Petrovaradin, Savoy took advantage of the stormy night between the 4th and 5th of August, and he attacked the Turkish positions. He was so determined and confident in his strategy, that on that morning of the 5th, the battle lasted only from 7 until 11 o’clock in the morning. Everything was over so quickly that Prince Eugen sent his rapport to Vienna directly from the Vizier’s tent, while the Vizier, himself was fatally wounded. Legend of Eugene of Savoy over much numbered Turkish army says that the night before the battle, Eugen of Savoy dreamed of God Mother who foretold him that he would win over the enemy. Later on, at the place of the great battle, as a sign of gratitude, the church, dedicated to the Blessed Virgin Mary, was built (today’s church at Tekije), with her icon, which had been donated personally by Eugene of Savoy. The other legend says that on the day of the battle, on the day of Our Lady of Snows, the terrible storm arose, which caused the fall of temperature, in the early morning, the snow fell and the Turkish army was frozen. This significantly affected the outcome of the battle: the Prince Eugene of Savoy took advantage of the bad weather conditions and during the darkest night approached Turks from behind.


“Power without splendour is ridiculous.”
It was a statement by which the former members of high society justified constructions of magnificent buildings, which also include the Belvedere Palace as something “splendidly superfluous”. Although the palace is of the royal proportions, his owner is the Prince Eugen of Savoy, “the bigger Viennese than the Vienneses ” who had never used the German language nor in writing or speaking. According to the rules of the time, he had to be faithful to the spirit of his time and build a monument to himself. That was in “the function of protection of power.” Thus, it has been created a “unique and with nothing similar comparable example in the history of the European architecture.” It was synonymous with Olympus, as the seat of the selected minds, who are also, in this world, specially protected. In some parts of the palace, Eugen of Savoy created the valuable art collection. The halls for receptions and balls were rarely used, and he socialized with artists and educated people of his time. Eugene of Savoy died on April 24th in 1736, in Vienna, at the age of 73. He was a bachelor and had no direct heirs. The honours and recognitions he received during his lifetime were truly great. How much he was appreciated is stated by the fact that he was buried in his own personal tomb in St Stephen’s Cathedral.