The Hofburg and The Natural History Museum

Vienna Travel Blog

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The Hofburg

The first day we were 'adventuring' on our own. First we went to the Hofburg, and the Sissi Museum. We saw the outside the day before, but we...or actually I...wanted to see the museum as well. I simply love those movies.
The nice thing was we could buy one ticket for 5 attractions, the so-called Sissi ticket, which gave access to the Silver collection, Sissi-museum, the Imperial Apartments, Furniture museum (but we haven't been there) and Schloss Schönbrunn. They also had an audio tour included, which was nice. But personally, especially with the silver collection, it could get a bit too much.

As said, we started with the Silver Collection, the glass- and silverware used during the Hapsburg Dynasty. You can see how the taste for silverware changed during that time, and how the dining tables looked like, not only for family, but also for banquets.

silverware
Then there are several huge centerpieces to be seen.

From the Silver Collection we moved on to the Sissi-Museum. It depicts the life of Sissi from when she was a little girl to her assassination in 1898 in Geneva. You can see items from her childhood, the dress she wore the evening before her wedding, the one she wore at the coronation in Hungary and a few other dresses, portraits, jewels, and even some of her poems are on display. It tells her story about how she felt about the life as a princess/empress, her rebellion against the courts ceremonial business, the obsession with her beauty, and her death wish.

From the sad story that Sissi's life had become we entered the Imperial apartments. Emperor Franz Joseph and Sissi lived here with their children and the entire royal household.

An Amethyst in the Natural History Museum
You can see the private quarters, the emperors workroom, the children's room, but also the huge halls and the conference room and a bathroom. The furniture is in the style of Louis XV. The paintings on the walls are also worth seeing. There are a lot of portraits, but also huge paintings that depict the wedding ceremony and other important events. We spend the entire morning in the Hofburg. When we finished the tour and had lunch at the Museum Quartier.

The Natural History Museum was about a 5 to 10 minute walk from the Museam Quartier. It is really immense. No other museum i've been to was that big, and that was only from the outside. It first started with a huge mineral collection, as in 4 big rooms entirely filled with everything from tiny pieces in showcases to large chunks of minerals.
Triceratops
After that there are objects from the stone, iron and bronze age, dinosaur skeletons, ancient fossils, all the stuffed animals you can imagine from mammoths to bears, tigers, sharks and every single bird, snakes, there are butterflies, a REAL beehive, really there is so incredibly much to see it's hard to put it all in words. It is big enough to spend 3 or 4 hours there, maybe more, if you're really interested in those kind of things. You also get information about space, the big bang, the history of the earth, how volcanoes work, evolution....really anything you can imagine. Yes, i loved it there.
There also was a Vivarum, unfortunately part of it was under construction, so we could only see it partially. There were all kinds of bugs, and a whole bunch of exotic fish, It was also nice to actually see something alive in there after all the stuffed animals. Actually it is pretty sad if you realize that a big part of what is displayed there....is extinct, and never to be seen again.

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The Hofburg
The Hofburg
silverware
silverware
An Amethyst in the Natural History…
An Amethyst in the Natural Histor…
Triceratops
Triceratops
The ceiling inside
The ceiling inside
A complete Allosaurus
A complete Allosaurus
Iron-age knives
Iron-age knives
A bit of the Sea Star Collection
A bit of the Sea Star Collection
Butterflies!!
Butterflies!!
Scary Snakes
Scary Snakes
A Blue Fin Whale
A Blue Fin Whale
A piece of the major hall in the m…
A piece of the major hall in the …
Vienna
photo by: EmyG