Do you know where one of the richest European collections of sculptures and paintings is? Well, it’s actually in the Vienna’s History of Art Museum. Within many centuries it had been owned by the Hubsburgs, while today everyone who wants to see it, can do it.
The museum is located at the south side of Maria-Teresa square. The building is designed by two architects – Gottfried Semper and Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer. This building has a twin mirror building – the Natural-historical museum, which is placed right at front of Vienna’s History of Art Museum. The building of Vienna’s History of Art Museum takes 20 years – from 1871st to 1891st year.
In this museum you get the chance to see paintings made by genius artists, as well as lots of exotic exponents and other masterpieces from all around the world. Check out my own useful tips for a visit of Vienna’s History of Art Museum.
What to see?
Collection Egypt and Middle East
This is one of the most significant world collections that incorporate Egyptian antiques. It includes more than 17 000 objects from 3500 BC till the epoch of the early Christianity days. The collection gathers not only exponents from Egypt, but also from Nubia, The Mediterranean, Mesopotamia and the entire Arabian Peninsula. This collection offers you the possibility to meet the funeral rituals, the culture, the history and the literacy typical for the Egyptians. Here are some of the most valuable exponents: sarcophaguses and coffins, clothes, sculptures and many more.
Collection of Greek and Roman antiques
The objects in this collection are of older than 3000 years old. Among them you will be able to see ceramics from the Bronze Age up to remains from the early medieval years. Here, lots of golden treasures, ornaments, sarcophaguses, statues, tables and mosaics are also preserved. The exponents in this collection are more than 2500 in total.
It had been a part of the collections owned by Hapsburgs, too, but today, it’s also one of the largest and the most significant collections of its kind in the whole world. In this gallery you will be able to see Venetian paintings from XVI century, Fleming paintings from XVII century – made by Peter Paul Rubens, Sir Anthony Van Dyke, the early Dutch paintings and the German Renaissance masterpieces represented by the works of Albrecht Durer and Lucas Cranah. There are also genius pieces of art made by Vermeer, Rembrandt, Rafael, Caravaggio, Velasquez and most of the top popular Italian Baroque painters.
The monetary collection in Vienna’s Art History Museum is one of the top five biggest and top significant monetary collections in the whole world as it offers to the visitors more than 600 000 exponents to see. Some of them are older than 3000 years old. In the three exhibition premises you can see nearly 2000 objects that represent only a small piece of the entire collection.
Collection of historical musical instruments
This is a unique collection formed of Renaissance and Baroque musical instruments from the whole world. In addition to this, the museum preserves, maintain and present lots of instruments that were used by famous musicians and composers.
Collection of the Empire armaments
It’s among the richest and most intriguing collections of its kind on the whole planet. In addition to this, it’s also well-documented collection formed of court weapons and armors from Europe as the exponents have been in most cases made and provided in the sake of significant political occasions: wars, coronation, engagements, marriages and baptisms. No other family, but the Habsburgs, has been ever related with so many European countries through a marriage. Due to this reason in the collection you can see almost any kind of a weapon or armor typical for nobles lived between XV and XX century.
Shops and restaurants:
- KHM Museum Boutique – here you will find a wide range of jewelries, paintings, silk scarves, replicas of unique pieces of art, books, postcards and souvenirs.
- KHM museum shop – books, catalogues, paintings, jewelries, calendars, magnets, games, replicas of unique pieces of art that are parts of the museum collections, represent everything you can see here.
- Empire shop Vienna – if you look for refined Vienna’s souvenirs and culinary masterpieces this is the right place for you. Here is where the information center, which might be also quite useful for you, is located.
- Café-restaurant – it’s placed in a beautiful dome premise in the museum and it’s an ideal environment for some short relaxation. Here, the combo of the elegant interior and the exquisite menu is just wonderful!
What should I know before a visit in the Vienna’s History of Art Museum?
- The easiest and fastest way to reach the museum is by using the subway line U3. Get off on the Volkstheater station
- In comparison to many other museums, here the queues at the entrance are not that big
- The busiest day in the museum is on Sunday
- The museum, itself, is actually a real piece of art, too, so don’t hesitate to spend some time in enjoying its architecture
- You can use the app KHM Stories for thematic tours in English in the museum. The application is free and compatible with iPhone and Android devices.
- Get a brochure at the museum entrance as in it the top interesting exponents from each collection are marked
- If you can, spend a whole day in the museum in order to be able to see all the impressive collections without hurrying
- The museum is not very interesting for small kids, excluding the collection devoted to Egypt
- The prices in the café-restaurant are quite high, but note that they do worth it to be paid or at least get the chance to have a cup of coffee to enjoy the atmosphere
- Annual ticket – valid for 7 museums based in Vienna
- Group ticket
- A ticket for a special collection in the museum
- Kids up to 19-years old, journalists and people with disabilities can enter the museum 100% for free
They are available for groups that are formed of at least 10 people and are valid for one year starting from the purchase date.
- The Hapsburg’s treasure – includes an entrance for the museum and the Empire treasures
- Vienna’s History of Art Museum + Leopold Museum
- The Empire treasures – the empire’s treasures and a visit during the morning tour of the Spanish riding school
There are also tours with guides in English language. They are wonderful and quite suitable for you in case you want to learn a bit more about any of the collections or about some specific exponents. You can also opt for an audio guide:
- Special tours – they are focused on a specific collection, an epoch or an author. Each special tour lasts 60 minutes.
- Evening tours – they are very intriguing, because they include all your senses for the overall thrilling experience. Such tours last 60 minutes, too
- A tour during the lunch break – you can learn the basic information about the museum within 30 minutes
- Art tour – learn more about the different painters and their pieces of art. You will need 60 minutes to do so
- A tour of a certain exhibition – it’s very often, when in the museum different exhibitions are placed as guests, so if you come upon such a chance, you can take a look at a specific guest exhibition with a guide. The tour lasts 60 minutes.
Vienna – the city
Saint Stephen Cathedral
Natural History Museum
Imperial Butterfly House
Danube Cruise from Vienna