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A city for all seasons

Home of the Habsburgs, the capital of classical music, and the multicultural melting pot of Mitteleuropa, Vienna is one of Europe’s most fascinating cities. Its slow-paced life, architectural variety, and intensely seasonal cultural and gastronomic pleasures make Vienna an ideal destination for visitors. Get ready for balmy summer evenings at wine taverns, mugs of mulled wine at Christmas markets, and strolls through historic streets.

Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Museum)CC BY-SA 3.0
Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Museum)CC BY-SA 3.0
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Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Museum)

Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Museum)

Famous History even before Vienna

Profile Image of Klaus Pichler

Klaus Pichler

Photographer

Since this is the location of my ‘Skeletons in the Closet’ photo series, the Natural History Museum Vienna is a very special place for me. This museum, one of the world’s largest natural history museums, encorporates a charming collection of every specimen you can think of, exhibited in huge historical rooms. There are also tours to the roof of the museum, where you have a great view of the Ringstrasse, Vienna most important historical boulevard.

Traveler reviews
  • Profile Image of Alice Botéus

History even before Vienna

Stay.com Editors' Note

One of the largest and most celebrated natural history museums in the world, this is the scientific counterpart to the Kunsthistorisches Museum across the square. It was opened in 1889 and not much has changed since. Everything about the museum is pretty much a relic of the past.

Even some of the display cases are magnificent century-old affairs here, the labelling is in German and, probably because little has been done to embrace modern museum interactivity, there is still a wonderfully studious air about the place. The basis of the collection is the work of Emperor Franz Stefan, Maria Theresia’s husband, an amateur scientist who collected skulls, fossils, precious stones, meteorites and rare stuffed animals.

It also includes items acquired by Rudolph II and Prince Eugène of Savoy. Displayed in a dark cubicle, the most valuable piece is the Venus of Willendorf (found in the Wachau), a curvaceous 11cm- (4in-) high limestone fertility symbol believed to be over 25,000 years old. The museum has minerals, zoological exhibits and a valuable selection of meteors. It also contains the world’s largest collection of human skulls (some 43,000 – from 40,000 BC to the present).

Here too is the largest single topaz known (110kg/243lb), and an ostrich given by Maria Theresia to her husband Franz Stephan studded with 761 precious stones and over 2,000 diamonds. In addition, the museum stores the oldest human sculpture, Fanny from Stratzing (dated 32,000 BC), in a vault – only photos of it are on display.

Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Museum)
Burgring 7, 1010 Vienna
Phone
+43 1 521770
Website
www.nhm-wien.ac.at
Hours
9am-6.30pm Mon, Thur-Sun; 9am-9pmWed.