Vienna, Austria

01 Feb, 2009

Vienna, Austria

Vienna is one of the most beautiful cities in the world. If you are planning to go on a holiday, you definitely should put this city on your list. There are a lot of things that you can do here that will be worth your while. From sightseeing to historical and architectural interests you can find a lot of things to enjoy in Vienna, Austria.

If you are interested in history, you can visit the many museums that the city has to offer. All of these museums house items and artifact of every interest, from art to natural history, as well as technology.

Hofburg Imperial Palace

Vienna, Austria - Hofburg Imperial Palace

Vienna is an important city to the Hapsburg Dynasty. As such, one of the museums in the city showcasing that history is the Hofburg Imperial Palace. It is over 800 years old, built during the 13th century. It has been important since 1438 until the early 19th century in 1806. Even now, the castle houses the most powerful man in Vienna: the Austrian Federal President.

Because of its history, the palace/museum treats every visitor to a tour showcasing the mementos of the once powerful Hapsburg family. These mementos include the book collections of Prince Eugene of Savoy. These books can be viewed in the Imperial Library which is being watched under the auspices of the Austrian National Library. The structure housing the library is an art overload: Paul Strudel’s statues of many Austrian emperors can be found here as well Daniel Gran’s ceiling fresco. Lorenzo Mattielli’s statues of Pallas Athena, Atlas, and Gaia adorn the roofs of the library, which called the Prunksaal.

A huge structure, the palace is made up of many wings. One of these wings, the New Castle wing, is home to a number of museums. In a sense, the Hofburg Imperial Dynasty is one museum made up of many. These museums include the Ephesus Museum, the Collection of Arms and Armor, the Collection of Ancient Musical Instruments and the Museum of Ethnology. You can also find the reading rooms of the Austrian national Library in the Hofburg Palace. Although it has been built later in Austrian history—the New Castle wing was completed in 1912—the New Castle is not less important. It was here that Adolf Hitler delivered his speech during the annexation of Austria into Germany.

Another wing, the Leopold Wing, is notable. The Leopold wing is politically important as it is where the Austrian Federal President holds office. You can also find the huge wine cellar serving the entire palace in the lower sections of the Leopold Wing.

Museum of Art History

Vienna, Austria - Museum of Art History

Right across the Hofburg Palace is the Museum of Art History. This is another look at the life of the once powerful Hapsburg Dynasty members in Austria. Like its name suggests, the museum was built in 1891 in order to shelter the growing collection of art pieces owned by the Hapsburgs. The museum was also commissioned with the intention of letting the common people have a look at the art that their rulers owned.

Most of the paintings housed within the museum is owned by Ferdinand of Tirol, who also owned armors that are in display in the museum as well, and Emperor Rudolf II. Arcduke Leopold Wilhelm’s collection is also housed in the Museum of Art History.

The paintings in the gallery are made up of art done by renowned artists such as:

• Jan Van Eyck
• Albrecht Durer
• Giuseppe Arcimboldo
• The short-lived Italian painter Caravaggio.

Raphael also has an entry in the collection, particularly “Madonna in Green.” An extensive coin collection housed in a cabinet can be found in the Museum of Art History as well. Collections comprising of Egyptian, Greek and Roman antiquities, as well as sculptures and other decorative arts, are in display at the Museum of Art History as well.

Museum of Natural History

If the Museum of Art History shows the precious pieces of art commissioned by the Hapsburgs during their time of prominence, the Museum of Natural History showcases many cultural-historical artifacts. Opened at the same time as its Art counterpart, the Museum of Art History houses several irreplaceable artifacts. These artifacts include:

• Venus of Willendorf, a statuette believed to be over 25,000 years old.
• A Diplodocus skeleton
• Fossils of other extinct flora and fauna that are over 200 million years old.
• Empress Maria Theresia’s jewel collection
• A 117-kilogram topaz

Vienna Technical Museum

Vienna, Austria - Vienna Technical Museum

If the Museum of Art History was dedicated and the Museum of Natural History was made to house historical-cultural exhibits, the Vienna Technical Museum is designed to showcase several technological achievements throughout the years. Encompassing over 22,000 square meters of land area, there is much to satisfy the curious and the technologically savvy visitor to the lovely city of Vienna.

The exhibits housed in the Vienna Technical Museum are varied, from exhibits revisiting the fundamentals of science to the sciences behind music and musical instruments. There is also exhibit showcasing information and communication; two very close bed fellows. The Museum also offers a virtual exhibit: it has collections that cannot be displayed in the museum. Instead, they offer it to visitors via a multimedia presentation in its website. These virtual exhibits include:

• A pressed glass collection of imperial origin
• An apothecary jar and box collection. There are over 1,450 apothecary boxes in the museum, dating from about 1675 until 1825. The collection was previously owned by Arthur Krupp of Bendorf.

The museum also has an exhibit that is designed especially for visitors’ children. Science is introduced here in terms that children can surely understand, in the hopes of arousing their curiosity and interest in the field of science.

These three are just some of the many museums that Vienna can offer you on your holiday trip. As you could see, there is much to enjoy and visit in each individual museum. It is strongly suggested that you include these museums in the itinerary for your holiday; you can learn a lot of things from them.

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4 Responses to “Vienna, Austria”

  1. Old coins are the closest thing to a time machine that we will ever see.

  2. Great post! Just wanted to let you know you have a new subscriber- me!

  3. to GoogleReader!
    Thank you

  4. Nice guide! We loved our last trip to Vienna so much that we’ve written a free City Guide with our own advice on what to see…

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