Few cities in the world are as charming as Vienna. The capital of Austria is dotted with magnificent buildings displaying a diverse range of architectural style, from the gothic to the modern. But Vienna has another aspect that draws a lot of artists and art connoisseurs to it. It is the great museums and art galleries that are there in the city.
It’s not surprising that a place which has been the center of great political and social activity over the last couple of centuries has also developed a great heritage of arts and culture. The museums and the art galleries allow artists a great forum for presenting their creative works and for aficionados.
The only problem for tourists is, with so many places to choose from, which one should they go to if they don’t have the time to visit everyone. So, to help them out, here we present you a list of the top-rated museums and art galleries in Vienna, that you must make a point to see when you are visiting this glorious place.
The name of this museum, in English, means The Museum of Art History. Even before you enter this museum, your eyes would be met with some spectacular sights. The dome of this museum has a magnificent statue of Pallas Athene in bronze.
Once you enter the museum, you will be met with a treasure trove of valuable artifacts from a variety of sources and from a wide span of time. This museum has been in this building since 1891 and houses items from places such as Egypt, Rome, Greece and other centers of ancient civilization around the globe.
You will find something as ancient as a large sarcophagus of stone from Egypt dating from anywhere between 600-100 BC and wooden coffins which may be of even older vintage. Then there is the large collection of artworks from the ancient Greece and Rome.
Coming closer to the present age, it contains works from great artists of the medieval period like Michelangelo, Rembrandt, Durer, Raphael, Titian, etc. What’s more, there is great local flavor in the collection also with rich items associated with the Habsburg Empire also present here.
Hofburg And The Sisi Museum
The Hofburg and the Sisi Museum is located in the imperial palace that once housed the Habsburg court. Here you would find a rich collection of artworks including paintings and exquisitely crafted art pieces made from element such as porcelain, crystal, silver and other metals. You will also see great decorative items made from textiles in this exciting place for both art connoisseurs and the laymen.
The museum is divided into many sections with each presenting a particular variety of art collections. So, you have the Imperial Apartments with collections of artifacts associated with the Habsburg Dynasty, Silver Collection showcasing some of the best works with this precious metal and, in the middle of the Hofburg Palace, is the Sisi Museum.
The Sisi museum is dedicated to the memory of Empress Elisabeth, nicknamed Sisi, and contains more than 300 items that belonged to her. This includes her clothes, a replica of the carriageway she used and even the death mask made for her final rites. There’s more. The Grand Salon of the Empress includes royal furniture along with porcelain vases from Sevres.
The Vienna Museum
If you want to get acquainted with the rich and colorful history of the city, visit The Vienna Museum, was opened in 1888. Apart from artifacts, it also houses important historical documents.
There are three main parts of the museum: Vienna Museum Karlsplatz, Vienna Museum Hermesvilla and Otto Wagner Pavilion on Karlsplatz. The Karlsplatz presents artifacts from the prehistoric times. Hermesvilla is the palace where Emperor Franz Joseph and Empress Elisabeth spent few days every year and which has been restored to regain the magnificent look of old.
The Otto Wagner Pavilion has permanent displays of art pieces related to the life and work of Otto Wagner, the famous Austrian architect.
The Museum Quarter
Like the ones described above, this collection of museums too is located within a grand building which used to be the place where imperial stables used to be stationed. The development of this complex has taken place in recent times and has brought together many wonderful museums in one location.
The Leopold Museum is the place where you would find Austrian art dating from 1880s World War I and has a large collection of different types of paintings. It also contains African items, Japanese woodcarvings and sculptures from medieval period.
The Museum of Modern Art in this complex also contains thousands of art works including works from legends like Picasso and Warhol.
Österreichische Galerie Belvedere
This is a premier art gallery in Vienna which houses some of the most famous and splendid paintings to be found in the entire Europe. The masterpieces here belong to various great painters and diverse styles such as baroque, renaissance and even modern.
Austrian Painters, especially, Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele get a place of prominence here as do others who were part of the Art Nouveau and Fin de Siecle movements.
This place is an absolute delight for those who are interested in paintings and its various genres. Founded in 1786, it contains 45,000 drawings and 1 million printed sheets of paper. Such a vast collection is hard to find anywhere in the world.
You will find works from the German school of 15th century to the Austrian style of the 18th and more modern works of masters like Picasso as well.
The encounter with unique art at this place starts with the first sight of the building itself. There is a sphere made from golden leaves on top of the structure that houses this art center. It is meant to showcase modern experimental art and is also the place where Klimt created the famous Beethoven Frieze in 1902.