When you’re an Imperial dynasty, chances are a few pieces of art fell into your hands through time. But where to put them all?
One answer is the Kunsthistorisches Museum (KHM), now a group of prestigious public institutions that includes the famous same-named art museum.
- Manages several locations in Vienna plus Schloss Ambras in Innsbruck
- The main museum is a must-see for both the contents and building
- (The other locations are pretty darned good, too)
- See also:
The museum is not just the museum
Get an overview of the different institutions within the KHM group, then dig deeper into the individual locations and collections through the links.
The main site
(The main museum, filled with historic art)
The prime location is the museum building on Maria-Theresien Platz just opposite the Hofburg complex that once provided a home for the Habsburgs.
The Kunsthistorisches Museum (the term applies both to the group and the main location) houses the following themed collections:
- The Kunstkammer (the chamber of wonders with an eclectic mix of astonishing art and artefacts: my favourite part)
- The Picture Gallery (home to all the famous paintings, including numerous Old Masters and the renowned collection of Bruegels and Titians)
- The Egyptian collection (a smorgasbord of classic motifs from ancient Egypt)
- Greek and Roman Antiquities (notable for the gorgeous lighting and presentation)
- Coin collection (which also houses a lovely display of miniature “celebrity” portraits put together in the 16th century)
The building itself also deserves your attention. As do the shop and restaurant.
Other top locations in the KHM group
(The Neue Burg: home to several KHM collections)
The Neue Burg palace wing adjoining Heldenplatz square has:
- The Weltmuseum Wien (a museum of world cultures with a remarkable atrium and intriguing exhibitions)
- The Ephesos Museum (antiquities from the Greek/Roman city that housed the Temple of Artemis)
- The Arms and Armour collection (rather impressive ceremonial and tournament items)
- The Historical Musical Instruments collection (including various instruments once used by famous composers)
(The innocent entrance to the magnificent Schatzkammer)
Elsewhere in Vienna, you can also find:
- The Schatzkammer (the Imperial Treasury in the Hofburg Palace complex, filled with priceless crown jewels and Christian relics)
- The Wagenburg (the carriage museum at Schönbrünn Palace with its notable exhibition about Empress Elisabeth)
- The Theater Museum (close to the Albertina and the State Opera House. Also home to the Eroica Saal made famous by Beethoven)
- The Theseus Temple exhibition (in the Volksgarten park and featuring a work of contemporary art for part of the year)
The KHM group also has a site in Innsbruck in the very west of Austria: Schloss Ambras.
The map below marks the locations of the main Viennese KHM sites: