Vienna's lesser-known weird and wonderful museums

    Vienna's lesser-known weird and wonderful museums photo copyright by www.hofmobiliendebot.at
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    Vienna's weird and wonderful museums

     / September 25, 2016
            Vienna Würstelstand's  says:
            Sure Vienna's Naturhistorisches Museum (Natural History Museum) has awesome dinosaur bones and a mammoth and yes, the Kunsthistorische Museum has some impressive old art in fancy frames, but there's a whole world of weird and wonderful to be discovered in the many small niche museums Vienna has to offer.

            Visit one of Vienna's lesser known weird and wonderful museums, and discover these hidden treasures that will make your mind go pop:

            The weird

            Bestattungsmuseum

            Where
            : Simmeringer Hauptstraße 234, 1110
            Regular opening times: MON–FRI: 9am–4:30pm | SAT (only between March 1 to November 2): 10am–5:30pm
            Regular entry fee: 6€


            Photos copyright ©B&F 

            Sure, let's kick this list off with one of the institutions deeply rooted in Vienna's soul and psych. The cemetery (and death itself) hasn't only been sung about in numerous Austrian folk songs, it's also a place similar to the iconic Würstelstand: It doesn't matter where you're from and what your background is, we all end up here one way or another. If you want to check out the place you'll likely be buried at before the big day actually comes, a visit to Bestattungsmuseum (engl.: burial museum) is a great reason to go there. Currently there's an exhibition on display named "Accessoire Funéraire" – burial accessories. Artists designed urns and coffins to soften the blow and grief of death. And if you come here on the annual Lange Nacht der Museen, you can even test which coffin would be to your liking. Do dress you best for the occasion, will you?



            Brennpunkt – Museum for Heating Culture

            Where
            : Malfattigasse 4, 1120
            Regular opening times: open only from October to May. MON–WED: 9am–12pm, 1pm–4pm | SUN: 10am–4pm
            Regular entry fee: 5€


            Photos copyright MA 34

            At first we found the idea of a museum dedicated to ovens and heaters part dead-donkey boring, and part hilarious. But finding solutions to heat vast cities like Vienna is actually pretty daring and interesting. At Brennpunkt, you'll get to see machines and inventions that came about during a time when it wasn't guaranteed that your apartment would have that wow-it-is-so-hot-in-here-i'll-take-off-all-my-pantaloons temperature when you got home in winter.



            Circus and Clown Museum Vienna

            Where
            : Ilgplatz 7/1, 1020
            Regular opening times: SUN: 10am–1pm | every 1st and 3rd THU of the month: 7pm–9pm
            Free entry!


            Photos copyright http://www.circus-clownmuseum.at/

            If you rank among the people who relive their childhood near a circus ring, let out a pleasurable shout of joy when tigers do a handstand, and when clowns pretend to be clumsier than five drunk David Hasselhoffs, the Circus and Clown Museum is for you. If you're like us, and Stephen King's Pennywise has pretty much f**ked up all clown encounters for you, you better stay away from this place.



            Condomi Museum

            Where
            : Esterhazygasse 26, 1060
            Regular opening times: MON–FRI: 12pm–6pm | SAT: 12pm–5pm
            Entry: 3 €


            Photos copyright www.condomi-plus-herz.at

            Hidden in a great medieval cellar below the shop, Liebenswert, the Condomi Museum welcomes everybody who wants to dive into the rich history of rubber contraceptives. And that's pretty interesting. After all, our ancestors didn't know the luxury of natural rubber or latex – sheep's intestines or little linen sacks had to do the trick. Cum by and check it out (excuse the pun).



            Torture Museum

            Where
            : Fritz-Grünbaum-Platz 1, 1060
            Regular opening times: daily 10am–6pm
            Regular entry fee: 6€


            Photos copyright www.foltermuseum.at

            Torture ... what is it good for? Absolutely nothing. And if you need more than a poor pop song reference to be convinced, the Torture Museum has got you covered. Here, various torture instruments are on display, plus a lot of backstory – for example, there's plenty of info about the inglorious days of empress Maria Theresia when people still found themselves in the unfortunate situation of facing torture as the fastest interrogation method.



            Narrenturm

            Where
            : Spitalgasse 2, 1090
            Regular opening times: WED: 10am–6pm | THU & SAT: 10am–1pm
            Regular entry fee: 4€

            Museum Viennawurstelstand Narrenturm

            The Narrenturm (engl.: Fool's Tower) is continental Europe's oldest building to house mentally ill patients. Under Emperor Joseph II., it was built in 1784 – and by the end of the 1790's, it was already  obsolete because other ways of treatment had been discovered. Today, it is home to the Federal Pathologic-Anatomical Museum that is especially famous for its preserved human and animal bits and pieces in jar exhibits. This place is something that might haunt your dreams for quite a while.



            Emperor Franz Joseph Hat Museum

            Where
            : K.u.k Piaristenkeller, Piaristengasse 45, 1080
            Regular opening times: MON–SAT: 6pm–12am
            Free entry!

            museum viennawurstelstand hutmuseum
            Photos copyright www.piaristenkeller.com

            Fabulous hats from the olden days of Emperor Franz Joseph I. (so from around 1850 to 1895) are awaiting your visit in this museum. While some of the hats here are so rare and valuable they have to be kept behind glass, the team wants you to relive the traditions – and therefore will actively invite you to wear one of their fantastic hat creations. Then, you will be led into the wine cellar where you'll not only eat and drink, but you'll also learn a lot about Viennese customs that are almost forgotten nowadays. The Handkuss (kiss on the hand), for example.



            Kapuzinergruft

            Where
            : Tegetthoffstrasse 2, 1010
            Regular opening times: MON–WED: 10am–6pm | THU: 9am–6pm | FRI–SUN: 10am–6pm 
            Regular entry fee: 5.50€



            Kapuzinergruft is where all Empresses and Emperors of the house Habsburg lie buried. In a way, the place spans across 400 years of Europe's history. And it's probably the closest you'll ever be to a real Emperor. Unless that's what you call your partner's magic wand. 



            Museum für Verhütung und Schwangerschaftsabbruch 


            Where
            : Mariahilfergürtel 37, 1150
            Regular opening times: WED–SUN, 2pm–6pm
            Regular entry fee: 8€


            Photos copyright www.en.muvs.org/

            No matter where you stand when it comes to the topic, the Museum for Contraception and Abortion is a valuable source dedicated to the history of limiting and controlling the amounts of pregnancies a woman experiences in her life. From laughable ideas – at least from today's POV – to crude or simply crazy tools and applications, you'll get an up close look into what methods did and didn't work. And did you know that with all the thousands of years of us being around, the cycle of a woman's fertility was discovered in 1930? We've come a long way.



            The wonderful

            Hofmobiliendepot

            Where
            : Andreasgasse 7, 1070
            Regular opening times: times change throughout the year. Click here to see the latest opening times.
            Regular entry fee: 9.50€


            Photos copyright http://www.hofmobiliendepot.at/

            Hofmobiliendepot (Imperial Furniture Collection) does exactly what it says on the tin: In 1908, Emperor Franz Joseph commissionend a central storage facility for the state holdings of furniture. 16 years later, the first rooms of Hofmobiliendepot were furnished and opened to the public. And today, the place houses one of this planet's most important collections of furniture. If you wanted to feel even worse about your soulless IKEA kitchen, this is the place to visit.



            Schmetterlinghaus

            Where
            : Josefsplatz, 1010
            Regular opening times: open daily, click here for current opening hours
            Regular entry fee: 6.50€


            photos by http://www.schmetterlinghaus.at/

            Housed in one of Vienna's most beautiful Art Nouveau buildings, right behind the Albertina museum, the Schmetterlinghaus is a haven of peace and colour: Here, you can spend hours watching over 400 butterflies crowding the sky, gently flying past the waterfalls and exotic plants that where placed here especially for them. If you're nice to them, they might even land on your arm, then whisper in your ear how much they like what you did with your hair.



            Phantastenmuseum

            Where: Josefsplatz 6, 2nd floor, 1010
            Regular opening hours: daily from 10am–6pm
            Free entry!

            Museum Viennawurstelstand phantastenmuseum1
            Photos copyright www.palais-palffy.at

            They're depicting lucid dreams, surreal landscapes, scenes from the old testament and generally very interesting subjects from a psychologist's point of view. With the Phantastenmuseum, the beautiful Palais Palffy is home to a full-blown museum dedicated to the Vienna School of Fantastic Realism. Around 150 exhibits are on display, made by both Austrian and international artists.



            Kuffner Sternwarte

            Where: Johann-Staud-Straße 10, 1160
            Regular opening times: SUN–MON: from 8pm | WED–THU: from 8pm (only when there's no precipitation)
            Regular entry fee: free, but donations are very welcome


            Photos copyright VKS

            Next to philately, there's probably no calmer hobby than spending your time in an observatory. Kuffner Sternwarte has been around since 1884 and has been the temporary home to such big shots as Oppenheim, Eberhard, and Herz. (It's absolutely natural to have sweaty palms right now, fanboy.) Here, you can indeed shoot for the sky – you'll land among the stars either way.



            Kaffeemuseum


            Where
            : Vogelsanggasse 36, 1050
            Regular opening hours: MON–THU: 9am–6pm | FRI: 9am–2pm
            Free entry!

            Museum Viennawurstelstand kaffeemuseum
            Photos copyright Igor Baranov

            If you're in Vienna or planning to come, there's a good chance you like coffee. After all, our beautiful city is where the brown bean beverage has evolved into many variations. At Kaffeemuseum, you can find 50 years worth of collector's love surrounding coffee culture – from (then) novelty machines, accessories and a lot of knowledge that might even tweak your own cup of coffee back home into something even tastier.
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            Vienna's weird and wonderful museums

             / September 25, 2016