Naturhistorisches Museum

Entertainment & Arts

Europe, Austria, Vienna

The Naturhistorisches Museum Wien (en: Museum of Natural History of Vienna) or NHMW is a large museum located in Vienna, Austria. The collections displayed cover 8,700 square metres (94,000 sq ft), and the museum has a website providing an overview as a video virtual tour. The Museum of Natural History in Vienna is one of the important museums of the world, and the earliest collections of artifacts were begun over 250 years ago. As of 2006, 20 million objects are scientifically maintained. The main building of the Museum is an elaborate palace that has accommodated these constantly growing collections, since opening to the public in 1889 as the Imperial Natural History Museum. However, some of the collections had been moved from even older buildings, such as the Hofbibliothek which contained the Zoology Cabinet (German: Tierkabinett) collections. The interaction of the building, the ornate decoration, the furniture, and precious exhibits makes the museum also a "museum of the museum" for the cultural-historical preservation. Famous and irreplaceable exhibits, for instance the 25,000-year-old Venus of Willendorf, and a skeleton of a Diplodocus dinosaur, plus extinct animal or plant specimens from 200 million years ago such as the Steller sea-cow, are displayed along 39 halls. Contemporary presentation by means of modern exhibition technology has been possible without destruction of the historical structures in the building.