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Austria, Wien – Fabulous Museum Walkthrough

Published: 13.4.2016
The capital of Austria is full of attractions interesting for tourists. The Natural History Museum is one of them. Former residence of the Habsburgs is where the museum resides today – Hofburg palace complex.

We think it is pointless to explain how to get to Wien. Therefore, we start at the museum right away. It is one of the largest museums in Austria and also one of the largest natural history museums in the world. Just go to Maria Theresa square.
 Natural History Museum
Before we enter the museum to explore its secrets we should note that the complex itself is also home to the Kunsthistorisches Museum which stands right opposite to the Natural History Museum. Also, there is Austrian National Library (Prunksaal), the main residence of the Austrian president, royal treasury (Schatzkammer), National Theater (Burgtheater) and also there are several other palaces, stables, or a horse riding school.

 Natural History Museum

 Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum

Museum’s monumental building and its sort of a architectonic twin – the Kunsthistorisches Museum were both constructed between the years 1872 and 1891. Franz Joseph I ordered their construction. The main feature is an impressive 60-meter high domes with Renaissance revival decorations and the same goes for the facades. A statue of the Greek god Helios stands on the top of the Natural History Museum. In front of it, there is a well-maintained park. There is one of Austria’s most beautiful statues – the statue of Maria Theresa.
 Natural History Museum
The museum was opened in 1889. Upon entering it we bought tickets. Then the gates for us to explore the history opened. The core of the collections originates in 1750. Back then a large collection of items, altogether 30 000 items, was bought. The collection would expand. During the WWII it grew significantly of items lawlessly seized to Jewish families. Since the early 1990s items have been returning to their previous owners.

 Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum

 Natural History Museum  Natural History Museum
The Natural History Museum (Naturhistorisches Museum) has several sections. Often, temporary exhibitions are held there. Be sure to not to miss the section of mineralogy and petrography. Its 1100 items make it the largest and the oldest meteorite collection in the world. There is also a collection of 150 000 of unique rocks and minerals or even man-made items made from gems. Only 15% of all items the museum holds are on display.
 Natural History Museum
The geological-paleontological section is amazing for its dinosaur hall and their models. The botanical section showcases flora, millions of plants literally. Similar number of items is to be found in the zoological section. The section of archeology, anthropology, science and ecology hold such unique items such as the Venus of Willendrof originating in 29 500 BC, or the largest collection skulls in the world (ca. 43 000 pcs). Also, there is a digital planetarium. Altogether, the museum holds more than 20 million items.
 Natural History Museum
These fascinating items present live “representation” of the history of the Earth. Once you walk through the galleries notice beautiful ceilings. You can easily spend hours in the museum. Therefore, we recommend you to split your visit to several days throughout the year. Every time you visit focus on different sections of the museum. In case you love time travelling there is no better place to be than the Natural History Museum in Wien.
GPS: 48°12'16.2"N 16°21'37.3"E

Text and photos: Oskár Mažgút

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