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“Interesting look at history”

Wien Museum Karlsplatz
Ranked #97 of 564 things to do in Vienna
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Owner description: The Wien Museum has an exceptional position in the rich landscape of the Viennese museums: Its collections are a blend of art and history that leads the visitor down Vienna's path through the centuries. What you see are inestimable art treasures. What you feel is a city and its mythThe main building on Karlsplatz is part of a great complex of outside branches, first and foremost the Hermesvilla in Lainzer Tiergarten and the memorial houses of the composers. Special exhibitions regularly present news from Vienna's past and the past of other great cities. Get on the discovery trail of a city. Welcome to Vienna and its museum!Only to be experienced at the Wien Museum: a fascinating mixture of art and history on three floors, from the Neolithic Age to the mid-twentieth century. Early historical highlights of the collection are the sensational archaeological finds from the Roman legionary camp of Vindobona, original stained-glass windows and outstanding sculptures from St. Stephen's Cathedral, among them the famous ”Fürstenfiguren”, the figures of royalty. Weapons and armour from Vienna’s Bürgerliches Zeughaus (Civilian Arsenal) and the so-called "Turkish Plunder" tell of many warlike encounters in the city's history. The earliest Viennese city maps and many urban views illustrate the structural development from a medieval town to a capital city and royal residence. Among the works of art to admire are outstanding examples of baroque painting in Vienna – including works by Franz Anton Maulbertsch, Johann Michael Rottmayr and Paul Troger.Another of the Wien Museum's strong points is its collection from the nineteenth century. Selected furniture, clothing and splendid works of applied arts, the reconstructed apartment of the notable Austrian poet Franz Grillparzer with original furnishings, and above all major paintings by Waldmüller, Amerling, Danhauser and Fendi all combine to present a compact and multifaceted impression of Viennese Biedermeier.Two large-scale models of the city are among the main attractions of the Wien Museum, illustrating a scarcely imaginable caesura in urban development: Vienna before and after dismantlement of the glacis and construction of the monumental Ringstrasse buildings. The permanent exhibition "Vienna around 1900" shows paintings by Klimt, Schiele, Gerstl and Arnold Schönberg, and also works by the famous Wiener Werkstätte. A sensation for those interested in architecture is the living room with adjoining inglenook from the apartment of the legendary architect Adolf Loos. Selected paintings created in Vienna from the time between the wars to the second half of the twentieth century then bring us to the present day.The Karlsplatz buildingThe Wien Museum – from 1887 to 2003 called the "Historical Museum of the City of Vienna" – was once housed in the Vienna town hall. There were already plans for a new building on Karlsplatz before 1914, in fact by Otto Wagner. The museum's first new building opened in 1959, the work of Oswald Haerdtl, a former associate of Josef Hoffmann and architect of the Austrian pavilion at world exhibitions of the 1930s. Since the interior courtyard was roofed over in 2000, the museum has gained a multi-functional event facility and a café. Alongside the permanent collection, special exhibitions are held at regular intervals in the Haerdtl building.
Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Level Contributor
260 reviews
186 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 163 helpful votes
“Interesting look at history”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed December 13, 2011

This museum actually has a number of locations throughout the city. We have only visited the main one, near the Karlskirche. Admission is listed on the website as 2 Euros, but as I recall we paid more like 5 Euros on a recent visit. It is free for visitors under 19 and free to everyone the first Sunday of the month. If I were traveling with kids, I would definitely bring them here for a quick breezy look at Vienna history, told through various artifacts like suits of armor, weapons, archeological items, models of the city and of buildings, portraits, fashions and items from everyday life at various periods of history. There are two interesting reconstructions: one of a typical Viennese apartment from the mid 1800s and one of the living room of the architect Adolf Loos. There is a very nice collection of paintings from the Biedermeier era. There are temporary exhibits as well. Recently we saw photos and objects from the 1950s. We have visited 3 times total, and it seems the exhibits have rotated each time--the sign of a dynamic museum. I would give it a 5 if there were explanations in English.

Visited November 2011
2 Thank tallpinesCO
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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210 reviews from our community

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Hendersonville, North Carolina
Level Contributor
241 reviews
90 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 117 helpful votes
“A little on the dry side . . .”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed September 20, 2011

This museum is heavy on scale models and maps, going back to the Vindobana Roman era. It seemed to lack focus, theme, depth. It would have benefitted from more informational panels or brochures; something to put more of a human face on the history.

Visited September 2011
Thank RamblingRoses
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Sydney, Australia
Level Contributor
1,238 reviews
481 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 586 helpful votes
“We wanted to understand the history of Vienna and this museum was perfect”
4 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 15, 2011

There is such a wide choice of museums in Vienna and it was confusing to know which one would give us the best on history of Vienna. This one hit the spot perfectly and was well worth €6 entry. Until 21 Aug 11 is excellent special exhibition on St Stephens church with original architect plans on show and great photos and story's of construction in local language and English. Main auditorium on ground, 1st and 2nd floors covers Vienna from BC to 20th century with great displays and photos of the cities develoment. Plenty of displays, art and artefacts to assist the story and many original statues and stained glass from 15th century on display. Allow 2 hours, easy walk from downtown or Karlsplatz ubahn or tram stop. Make sure also visit Karlskirche next door, u will not miss it!

Thank Emanpee
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Atlanta, Georgia
Level Contributor
32 reviews
23 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 41 helpful votes
“Interesting models of City of Vienna”
3 of 5 bubbles Reviewed August 11, 2011

Went to this museum last while we were in Vienna, and as such, it didn't have as much wow factor for us. Too many museums in too few days probably left us a bit glazed over.

There were some highlights that I wanted to share. What was really interesting in this museum was seeing suits of armor, the scale models showing the growth of the city of Vienna, and a reconstruction of an apartment - really enjoyed walking through a Vienna apartment and getting a feel for it. I know it was a famous poet, and for the life of me I can't remember the name!

This is an easy museum to visit and not overcrowded by any means. It does have a smattering of a little bit of everything, so worth taking some time to visit it.

Visited May 2011
Thank ATL_Travel_Guy
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Grand Bend, Canada
Level Contributor
317 reviews
277 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 224 helpful votes
“The history of Vienna in artifacts”
5 of 5 bubbles Reviewed July 23, 2011

This gem of a museum takes you the history of Vienna (back to Roman times) using a variety of artifacts, photos, statues, paintings and maps. There wasn't a soul in the place when I was there, which was a pity given the quality of the artifacts and the excellent presentation. Do not miss this apparently little known and underappreciated gem.

Visited July 2011
1 Thank John L
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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