Whilst in Vienna I had a number of recommendations as to things that I should try and see during the conference. My mother, the art historian, suggested The Belvedere to see the Klimt paintings. My father, the hospitality expert, suggested visiting a Viennese coffee house. My supervisor, the experienced EGU delegate, suggested the Hundertwasserhaus (knowing that I appreciate interesting architecture). But the sad reality of going to a conference in a new city is that as much as you may want to explore the city itself, there is so much happening at the conference that you can hardly tear yourself away from that one building. That is what happened with me and EGU – with one exception, the Natural History Museum (or Naturhistorisches Museum Wien -NHMW).
Now as a former employee of the NHM in London I have a strong appreciation for a good museum and the NHMW Vienna had been recommended to me by a few different people. To be honest, if I could only visit one thing in any city – a museum would probably win. So one afternoon, when I had a two hour gap, I hopped on the train to the Museums Quarter. The first thing I noticed was that the building itself was beautiful – but in the process of being cleaned. Half of it, therefore, was obscured by scaffolding. Luckily the museum opposite, the Museum of Art History (or Kunsthistorisches Museum) was uncovered and in a mirror image represented what the NHMW would normally look like.
It cost €5 to get in (with a student discount) but that included entry to a special exhibition on Extinction. The Museum is divided between two levels, which can roughly divided into Life Sciences upstairs and Earth Sciences downstairs. One of the sections was closed for refurbishment; the human evolution and anthropology galleries, but to be honest, with only two hours, I couldn’t have done them justice anyway.
IT WAS FANTASTIC!!!!!
Below are a few photos to show just some of the brilliant things about this Museum, but there are so many more!
NHMW – I will definitely be back!!!