The Museum of Natural History, which has been constructed by King Franz I as a “Cabinet of Natural Sciences” for the Vienna Imperial Court, is a place where tourists can get insight into the history of the earth and the diversity of nature.
The museum occupies the third position among the top largest museum in the world, being surpassed only by the New York and London Museums. The architects behind the project were Gottfried Semper and Carl Hasenauer who have designed the museum in 1748 as an annex to the Museum of Art History. The official inauguration occurred back in 1889.
The construction is the epicenter of Vienna and attracts millions of tourists every year. The edifice has a surface of almost 8.700 square meters and has more than 22 million pieces on exhibition. The array ranges from insects to precious stones and minerals, from extinct animals to animals threatened by extinction.
The museum is definitely worth your time as you will have the opportunity to visit the Gem Hall where precious stones are on display, among which you can also admire a gigantic topaz which weights 117 kg, and the exquisite statue “Venus of Willendorf,” an ancient sculpture which has almost 25.000 “years of age.”
It is this small statue, but highly renowned that stands as a reminder of a forgone time – of the incipient stages of civilization. Another item reminiscent of the planet’s evolution is the skeleton of a Diplodocus (a large vegetarian dinosaur with an extremely long neck).
If you are interested in evolution, then this is definitely the place to visit. The Dinosaur Hall is a specially arranged section of the museum where all sorts of skeletons of primitive animals are found. The hall also holds an accurate replica of an Allosaurus (a therapod dinosaur that lived in the late Jurassic Period).
The reproduction is actually developed based on scientific discoveries so there is no doubt that it presents the original to the core. In order to make the model as realistic as possible, the developers have made it move and roar so as to capture the essence of the dinosaur.
Tours are organized only accompanied by a guide but this is actually to your advantage as you will get valuable information about the objects on display. A highly appreciated moment in the tour is the visit to the museum’s roof which offers a beautiful image of Vienna.
So if you are ever in Vienna, you should make it one of your priorities to visit the Museum of Natural History as it is one of the most valuable museums in the world. It is impressive through the multitude of objects (located in 39 exhibition halls) which offer clear evidence of the evolution of the planet: of humanity, of the plant and animal life.
The museum was meant as the “the land of nature and its exploration” – this being the scope for which it had been developed by Franz I. Today, the people who conduct scientific research in behalf of the museum have the same objective in mind: they want to continue the legacy of the monarch.