Over the coming years, the Wien Museum on Karlsplatz will be renovated and expanded. The building, designed by Oswald Haerdtl and opened in 1959, will be upgraded into a cutting-edge city museum – with additional room for exhibits, generous spaces for educational activities, a first-class event center, and a new restaurant and café.
Starting on February 14 and for the duration of the construction project, our temporary exhibits are held at the Wien Museum MUSA (1st District, Felderstraße 6-8), right next to City Hall.
The Wien Museum has an exceptional position in the rich landscape of the Viennese museums: Its collections are a blend of art and history that leads the visitor down Vienna's path through the centuries. What you see are inestimable art treasures. What you feel is a city and its myth
The main building on Karlsplatz is part of a great complex of outside branches, first and foremost the Hermesvilla in Lainzer Tiergarten and the memorial houses of the composers. Special exhibitions regularly present news from Vienna's past and the past of other great cities. Get on the discovery trail of a city. Welcome to Vienna and its museum!
Only to be experienced at the Wien Museum: a fascinating mixture of art and history on three floors, from the Neolithic Age to the mid-twentieth century. Early historical highlights of the collection are the sensational archaeological finds from the Roman legionary camp of Vindobona, original stained-glass windows and outstanding sculptures from St. Stephen's Cathedral, among them the famous ”Fürstenfiguren”, the figures of royalty. Weapons and armour from Vienna’s Bürgerliches Zeughaus (Civilian Arsenal) and the so-called "Turkish Plunder" tell of many warlike encounters in the city's history. The earliest Viennese city maps and many urban views illustrate the structural development from a medieval town to a capital city and royal residence. Among the works of art to admire are outstanding examples of baroque painting in Vienna – including works by Franz Anton Maulbertsch, Johann Michael Rottmayr and Paul Troger.
Another of the Wien Museum's strong points is its collection from the nineteenth century. Selected furniture, clothing and splendid works of applied arts, the reconstructed apartment of the notable Austrian poet Franz Grillparzer with original furnishings, and above all major paintings by Waldmüller, Amerling, Danhauser and Fendi all combine to present a compact and multifaceted impression of Viennese Biedermeier.
Two large-scale models of the city are among the main attractions of the Wien Museum, illustrating a scarcely imaginable caesura in urban development: Vienna before and after dismantlement of the glacis and construction of the monumental Ringstrasse buildings.
The permanent exhibition "Vienna around 1900" shows paintings by Klimt, Schiele, Gerstl and Arnold Schönberg, and also works by the famous Wiener Werkstätte. A sensation for those interested in architecture is the living room with adjoining inglenook from the apartment of the legendary architect Adolf Loos. Selected paintings created in Vienna from the time between the wars to the second half of the twentieth century then bring us to the present day.
The Karlsplatz building
The Wien Museum – from 1887 to 2003 called the "Historical Museum of the City of Vienna" – was once housed in the Vienna town hall. There were already plans for a new building on Karlsplatz before 1914, in fact by Otto Wagner. The museum's first new building opened in 1959, the work of Oswald Haerdtl, a former associate of Josef Hoffmann and architect of the Austrian pavilion at world exhibitions of the 1930s. Since the interior courtyard was roofed over in 2000, the museum has gained a multi-functional event facility and a café. Alongside the permanent collection, special exhibitions are held at regular intervals in the Haerdtl building.