Vienna's Natural History Museum
It was cloudy this past weekend in Vienna... so, a trip to the Natural History Museum was the main excursion with El & Lil. The architecture of the museum was quite impressive. Commissioned by Emperor Franz Josef, the museum officially opened its doors in 1889. And to be even more impressive, there is a second, identical building directly facing opposite of it - the Museum of Fine Arts. These buildings are representative of the Viennese architecture in the historicism tradition. They are a double whammy!
As we approached the front entrance, a friendly elephant was there to greet us!
Right when we entered the main hall, we looked up and there was a gorgeous dome forty meters high. The busts in profile represent various natural scientists and collectors. It was quite beautiful!
Walking along the halls of the first floor, we passed through room upon room of collections of rocks, minerals, meteors, bones, fossils... anything of archeological or historical relevence was here. These rooms were filled wall to wall with the finest specimens. The museum contains nearly 30,000 objects!
Not to be missed - the dinosaurs!!! How many toes do you see, Ella?
The hall of dinosaurs. Incredible the size of these extinct creatures! There was even a robotic dinosaur who moved and roared. The girls weren't so thrilled about the last part!
And, here - the largest skeleton of the archelon turtle... scientists believe it lived to be a century old!
Early fashion designers...
Ahh, the lovely Venus de Willendorf. She is so awesome - she goes by one name! 29,500 years old, small in stature, big in presence. I was so delighted to finally see her after having studied her history years ago.
In the very same room, there was a second figurine. This one is older at 36,000 years and is known as the Venus of Galgenberg. I incorrectly assumed this was a male warrior figure... but lo and behold, I was mistaken. This figure was found not far from where the Venus de Willendorf was found... in the area of Stratzing, Austria. Wow. Just wow.
Next, we saw a replica of the skeletal remains of Lucy, the upright walking hominid. Scientists have dated her age to 3.18 million years old! Her original remains are safely housed in the Paleoanthropology Laboratories of the National Museum of Ethiopia in Addis Abada, Ethiopia.
Phew! And, that was just the first floor! On to the animal specimens...
And, similar to how jam-packed the main floor was with specimens, the second floor did not disappoint! Room upon rooms of gorgeous animals... standing tall like proud markers of natural history. Many, sadly, are now extinct.
A beautiful polar bear!
Lions and tigers, oh my!
I can never get over how large moose are!
A few interesting, fine-feathered friends of long ago...
Not extinct yet - the kiwis!
Crocs and gators!
A few funny fishies...
And, calling all Octonauts! It's the spider crab!!! The girls were so excited to see this guy! They knew all about him from the cartoon!
What a great day at the museum... we could have gone on and on... but sensory overload was upon us and ice cream was requested - PRONTO! C'est la vie! Vienna is such a lovely city... quite impressive... I have to go back again one day to go see an opera... and see some serious art exhibits. Til next time!
Naturhistorisches Museum Wien
1010 Vienna, Austria
Tel.: + 43 (1) 521 77 - 0
Fax: + 43 (1) 523 52 54