As a traditional place of leisure pursuit, the Vienna Prater represents a special collection focus of the Wien Museum. The Prater Museum, an important contribution to the local history of entertainment culture, displays a selection of highlights from this collection.
The Prater Collection is largely made up of the Pemmer Collection, containing several thousand objects. This is the result of decades of research on the Prater undertaken by local historian Hans Pemmer. It consists of original objects, documentary material and memorabilia. In 1935 Hans Pemmer published the book, “Der Wiener Prater einst und jetzt” (“The Vienna Prater Then and Now”), and set up a private Prater Museum in his flat in Vienna’s 3rd district. In 1964 he handed his collection over to the City of Vienna, which then opened the Prater Museum in the Planetarium near to the Giant Wheel. In the mid-1980s, the inventory was added to by the Adanos Collection, which focuses on the so-called “Abnormality Shows” in the Prater. Finally, in 1990 Ernst Hrabalek’s Laterna Magica Collection was acquired as a related special collection.
Together with the older inventories of the museum dealing with the history of the Prater and continuously carried out individual acquisitions, the Wien Museum Prater Collection offers the chance to retrace the roots of today’s leisure culture. The thematic spectrum of the Prater Collection ranges from the development of the Wurstelprater funfair via the diverse uses made of the Prater parkland to the adaptation of the Prater as an exhibition and event site. Time-wise the core of the collection spans from the end of the 19th century to the Second World War. Unique Prater information can be found here in abundance for those interested, whether it concerns the Giant Wheel, Prater architecture, the Rotunde or the 1873 World Exhibition, or individual Prater entrepreneurs, animal and human shows, the circus, variété or theatre in the Prater. Details on the theme park “Venedig in Wien” (“Venice in Vienna”), fireworks, air travel experiments or the Flower Corso can also be researched here.
Besides original objects – including merry-go-round figures, parts of a grotto railway, early gambling machines and Punch and Judy figures from the Praterwurstel funfair – the Prater Collection accommodates plans, models, photos, entrance tickets, programmes and posters. Works of art that take the history of the Prater as their subject are also collected.