Another Vienna adventure!

Hi everyone, if you follow me on Twitter and/or Instagram, you have probably already seen my pictures from Vienna this last weekend. However, I would like to share a bit more, and write about it too!

At Saturday at 3.30 in the morning, my sister & me boarded the bus in Varaždin, and started our one-day adventure. Our destination? Vienna, capital of Austria! With the trip we booked through Galileo Travel came scenic sightseeing of the city, and a visit to Schönnbrun castle, but we skipped that and with U4 headed directly to city centre, Schwedenplatz more correctly. After short breakfast in McDonald’s (I know, I know), we headed to Natural History Museum. On the way there, we took some typical tourist pictures, in front of Stephan’s Cathedral, at Hofburg… And then we finally reached NHM.


I’ve visited the museum two times before, but my enthusiasm was still through the roof. Firstly, the museum is huge. Permanent exhibition spans two floors and numerous specimens. Roughly divided, first floor is mineralogy and second floor is dedicated to zoology. I took some pictures, which I will share with you, but I didn’t take my camera; everything is taken with my Huawei mobile phone.

Student’s entrance fee is only 7€ (~8$), and taking photographs is allowed. The whole museum is, honestly, overwhelming. I have never before seen so many specimens at once place. My sister, who visited it for the first time, often commented that a building itself could be a museum, due to it’s rich, ornate walls. First floor is, like I already mentioned, full of minerals. I don’t have much interest for them, but I made me think about how old our planet is, and what makes it. Also, one of the rooms is completely dedicated to jewellery, both modern and historic.

The floor dedicated to zoology was full of models and real specimens of animals around us, as well as evolutionary artifacts. As is common, first rooms were dedicated to invertebrates, building it’s way up to vertebrate groups. I was particulary amazed by the size of dinosaur bones – no matter how many times I see it on the TV, or visit this museum, I stand in awe in front of them.


Unfortunately, due to morning sun, I wasn’t able to capture nice photographs of invertebrate collections, but trust me when I say those are so beautiful. Everything is o neat and organized that, since then, I’ve been toying with idea of collecting my own specimens. There are also rooms dedicated to fish, amphibians, reptiles, birds… Those are usually held in special containers or stuffed. There are also many skeletons on display on the walls. With dinosaurs, there were also animatronic models, which both excited and frightened children in the museum.

Latimeria
Latimeria chalumnae, a living fossil!

There is also a separate room dedicated to evolution of human. I already posted that interesting picture where an app transformed me into an early human, but in this part of the museum, you can see many different skulls belonging to Homo sapiens, Homo neanderthalensis, Homo habilis… I consider this part of the exhibition very important, especially in today’s time, when so much misinformation is present on the Internet.
Another important historic specimen is Venus of Willendorf figurine, which is dated to 30 000 years BC.

Venus
Venus of Willendorf

 

What would you like to see, if you could go to Natural History Museum in Vienna? Would you like me to write about something in more details?
Please let me know in the comments 🙂

My time in Vienna…

Not many of you know this, but I’m seriously in love with the city of Vienna. I’ve visited countless times (okay, like, more than 10), for both longer (a month) or shorter stays (a day or two). I pride myself with knowing my way around quite well, and mostly think of it as my second hometown. Today, I would like to write a bit about various museums I visited! In general, my experience has always been very positive, and museum roaming was my favourite past-time, or even the only reason for my one-day visits. Also, if you are a student, I really recommend getting an ISIC (International Student Identity Card), because you have a discount for entrance fees at every museum, and even at some shops.

Usually when I explain my way around Vienna, I start with two very famous museums – Museum of Natural History (Naturhistorisches Museum) and Museum of Art History (Kunsthistorisches Museum). They are easily recognizable and placed on the opposite side of the Maria Theresa square. I personally find it too overwhelming to visit both in the same day, because I like to look at every piece of art or item exhibited (however, I admit I didn’t look at every rock and mineral sample at NHM). Permanent exhibition at Natural History Museum is just gorgeous – it’s placed over two floors and it shows evolution, with part completely dedicated to anthropology. Here I learned more about various Homo species than during my high-school and college education. There are also many preserved specimens of various extinct and living species, taxonomically grouped; it took me more than four hours to walk through it all the first time I visited.

Picture 1. Some birds and some rocks (Natural History Museum)


When it comes to art exhibitions, things are a bit different for me – I often get lightheaded and even dizzy when viewing some paintings and sculptures, so even when I try to recall it, I often feel as I was in a dream-like state. Usually, the hazier it gets, the more emotional I feel inside of a museum, but I also don’t remember much, which is a case with the Art History Museum. I do remember being in constant awe and surprise – I learned about many featured artists, but it’s so different when their art is right in front of you. Almost the same can be applied to my visit to Leopold Museum, which happens to be in the Museumsquartier, very close to two museums I already mentioned. The key differences are, however, that Leopold Museum is a bit smaller, and hosts modern art. I clearly remember works of Egon Schiele and Gustav Klimt. Then there is also Albertina, the museum I’ve visited the most, and yes, we are still at the art department. I’m not sure why I’m drawn to this place this much, but no matter how often I come, I always go through the permanent exhibition called “Monet to Picasso”, as well as any current exhibition they might host at the moment. If you are interested in history, I also recommend visiting Hofburg, as well as Schönbrunn Palace which is located further (you have to take the U4 railway). And when you are there, Schönbrunn Zoo is well worth visiting.

Picture 2. Art History Museum and the sculpture of Archangel Michael


I have only visited the Zoo once, but I loved every second of it. It was the middle of August, and it was incredibly hot and sunny, and for a moment I contemplated jumping to water along with the polar bear but changed my mind, so I could go watch koalas. I am being a bit over-dramatic, but it was really too hot – many animals were nervous, apart from lions. I was still in awe, because seeing a panda in real life is sometimes completely different than seeing many pictures and videos on the Internet. Also, I grew up watching Tom Turbo, so that was unexpected time-machine to my childhood as well! I would also like to mention The Butterfly House (which is actually placed close to Hofburg and Albertina). It’s actually a greenhouse, with many butterfly species in it. Just, when I visited, I saw like, three. I have to admit, I was quite disappointed, but I think I will visit again, just to make sure.

Picture 3. A monkey, some penguins, and a lioness


What did I forget? Oh yes, the gift shops! Every museum mentioned here has its own gift shop, full of many cute things! I tend to spend way too much time in these, and usually end up buying bunch of post cards and pencils (that I never use, of course!). With time, I evolved to buying fridge magnets and even some bracelets… But always at least one post-card 🙂

albertina.JPGPicture 4. Me with much longer hair at Albertina


P.s. Federal Pathologic-Anatomical Museum, or Narrenturm, is another museum I believe it worth visiting, but only if you are really interested in these kinds of things and not squeamish at all!

What are yours favourite museums? Would you like to visit one in Vienna? 🙂