The Natural History Museum in the heart of Vienna is one of the largest museums in Austria and, with an incredible 30 million objects, is one of the most important natural history museums in the world.
The Natural History Museum in Vienna not only impresses with its imposing architecture, but also brings its visitors closer to the breathtaking diversity of nature - from the past to the present. With its collection and research activities, the impressive museum is one of the best museums in the world.
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PICTURES: Natural History Museum in Vienna
What is the best way to get to the Natural History Museum?
The Natural History Museum is located on Maria-Theresien-Platz in prominent company with the equally impressive Kunsthistorisches Museum opposite and the imposing Vienna Hofburg on the other side of the Ringstrasse. The Museumsquartier with other exhibitions worth seeing is also only a stone's throw away.
The Natural History Museum on Burgring can be reached by public transport via the U2/U3 Volkstheater station or via the U2 Museumsquartier station.
Tip: The roof of the Natural History Museum can be climbed and offers a magnificent panoramic view of Vienna's city centre in addition to the architecture on the museum roof, which is well worth seeing.
Exhibitions in the Natural History Museum
Prepared specimens of highly endangered and already extinct species make the Natural History Museum a special place of magic and the museum's collection so priceless.
In the dinosaur hall, which was redesigned in 2011, skeletons and deceptively real figures bring the dinos back to life. Particularly impressive is the moving allosaur including its primeval roar and the first live model of the fascinating terror bird.
In addition to the animals whose time on this earth is already over, the Natural History Museum's Zoological and Botanical Collection is also dedicated to everything that still crawls and flies on our planet today.
The Anthropological and Prehistoric Collection is dedicated to the history of mankind. In addition to finds from the millennia-old burial ground of Hallstatt, the famous Venus of Willendorf is exhibited here, the figure of a fertility goddess that testifies to the beginnings of mankind 25,000 years ago and was found in the Wachau.
Apart from the world of the living, there is also space for precious stones and minerals in the exhibition rooms and, since November 2012, the world's largest collection of meteorites can be marvelled at in a separate room with 1,100 extraterrestrial stone chunks.
Origins of the Natural History Museum
The beginnings of the impressive collection of the Natural History Museum go back to the Florentine Johann Ritter von Baillou. In the middle of the 18th century, he assembled the largest collection of naturalia at the time with 30,000 objects.
Emperor Franz Stephan, husband of Empress Maria Theresa, was so enthusiastic about it that he bought the entire collection. In 1748 he had it transferred to the Hofburg and in 1766 it was opened to the public.
The exhibits were continually added to, so that soon the call was made for a separate museum for the Imperial and Royal Court Natural History Cabinets. Court Natural History Cabinets was soon called for. This was realised in the course of the general expansion of the city under Emperor Franz Joseph in the Natural History Museum. The inscription from 1881 at the museum entrance still reads "Dem Reiche der Natur und seiner Erforschung - Kaiser Franz Josef I. - MDCCCLXXXI.
The two architects Carl von Hasenauer and Gottfried Semper, who also built the Semper Opera in Dresden, were officially entrusted with the construction of the two museums in 1870. On 27 November 1871, the foundation stone was laid for the two magnificent buildings, which, however, did not always proceed harmoniously between the two master builders.
This led to Hasenauer taking over the construction management alone in 1877. The Natural History Museum opened on 10 August 1889, still two years before the twin building of the Art History Museum.