Vienna Museum (Wien Museum)

Vienna Museum (Wien Museum) (30)

The Wien Museum, formerly the Historical Museum of the City of Vienna, is presented to the visitor as a metropolitan museum that is conceptually both contemporary and multidisciplinary. On the one hand, in addition to its headquarters in Karlsplatz, the museum also administers other spaces such as the Hermesvilla, the Prater Museum and a series of apartments formerly occupied by famous Viennese musicians who established their bases of operations here in the days when the city was one of the epicentres of European culture. 

On the other hand, the museum offers a variety of collections designed to address the city from both a historical and an artistic perspective. The museum's commitment to art goes far beyond the works of art themselves, the objective being to analyse and present to the general public the social and cultural context in which these works were created. It also destines a portion of its funds to the analysis of fashion and modern culture in Vienna.

And if your main interest is music, do not hesitate to take a tour of the former residences of prominent composers that still remain dispersed throughout the city. Thanks to rigorous conservation processes, several houses and apartments that were formerly home to composers the likes of Beethoven, Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Strauss are open to the public. These are designed to pay tribute to the work of the composers and offer visitors some insight into their day to day lives by means of, for example, the original furnishings.

Thanks to the Wien Museum, Sissi mythomaniacs are also guaranteed satisfaction as they have the opportunity of visiting the Hermesvilla, a real-life dream palace which Emperor Franz Joseph built for his wife in one of their hunting grounds and which today houses the Lainzer Tiergarten. This luxury residence was designed by architect Carl von Hasenauer and is an exemplary model of a typical country mansion belonging to the 19th century aristocracy and gentry. It was named after the statue of Hermes found in the garden.

In Hermesvilla, which was decorated by artists such as Franz Matsch, Hugo Charlemont, and Georg and Gustav Klimt, visitors can get a glimpse of what the life of the Emperor and Empress was like away from the corseted court etiquette as, in addition to an exhibition on its history, the mansion also offers visits to parts of the residence such as the bedroom or the gym where Sissi exercised. It also includes part of the Wien Museum's impressive collection of fashion history.

The Karslplatz building offers visitors an insight in to the historical and artistic development of Vienna from the Neolithic Age to the present. Collections of maps and photographs in addition to two gigantic models of the city will guide visitors through the fascinating history of the city's development.

As a result, along with remnants of Roman Vienna, which was known as Vindobona, visitors can contemplate the spectacular original windows of the Stephansdom. The military history of the city is also collected here, of special interest being the exhibition devoted to the conflicts related to the Turkish sieges.

Of particular note in the Wien Museum is the collection focussing on the 19th century, in which visitors can take a trip back in time via the reconstruction of the apartment of the poet Franz Grillparzer and the works of painters such as Waldmüller, Amerling, Danhauser and Fendi.

The permanent exhibition "Vienna circa 1900" is one of the museum's flagships and, along with works from the famous Wiener Werkstätte Jugendstil workshop, visitors can contemplate paintings by Klimt, Schiele and Gerstl.

All in all, as museum officials say, "If you are interested in Vienna, this is your place."

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