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Los Angeles, California
May 10, 2002
Very interesting museum with lots of military history. The assasination of Archduke Franz Ferdinand provoked an international crisis that started off World War I. The car in which he was assasinated is here, as well as the couch he died on and his blood-stained uniform with a bullet hole.
Lots of paintings and memorabilia regarding the Turkish Siege of Vienna in the 1600s. The hero of the siege was Prinz Eugen (Prince Eugene of Savoy), who later built Belvedere Palace for himself.
Another part of the museum has displays and information on the Austro-Hungarian Navy--yes, landlocked Austria had a navy.
The museum is very large and has several other buildings to visit. We were there for five hours and finally gave up because our feet were tired. We saw perhaps a bit more than half of all there was to see. I recommend you get a nifty hand-held tape recorder, which looks more like a telephone receiver. When you get to something you want to hear more about, you punch in the number that is listed on the display and it tells you all about it. You can end the tape if it's uninteresting and move on. I believe the cost of this was 3 Euros or something like that. It helped in our enjoyment of the museum.
There is a little cafe in the main building. Don't get the coffee, it tastes instant. Instead, if it's a nice day, get a beer and sit outside in the Tank Garden and enjoy the sunshine.
When you get back to Südbahnhof, there is a little grocery store at the far end in the front for you to get liquor, mixers, chips, snacks, milk or whatever you might want.
From journal Catching a cold in Vienna
February 7, 2001
The museum is divided into 5 main sections from the 16th century to the end of World War II. The first room is the Thirty Years War during the reign of Maria Theresa and Prince Eugene of Savoy who was a great military leader of the time. There is a set of his armour, which shows what a very small man he was in stature even though he was a great military man. There is an Ottoman tent that was capture during the war with the Turks, loads of amazing guns, early rifles, pikes etc.
For me the most amazing exhibits were the ones leading up to World War I. The car that Franz Ferdinand was riding in when he was assasinated is in the museum, also the uniform that he was wearing and couch that he died on. There is a whole room on Austrian naval history including a replica of the ship that carried home the body of the executed emperor of Mexico, Maximillian, who was Franz Josef's brother.
We had a headphone set to carry around and give us additional information on some of the exhibits. There are also sheets in every room in English that give more information. We spent over 2 hours here and the men especially were facinated. There is a lot to see and much to enjoy.
To get to this museum we took the UI to Sudtirolerplatz station and then took the 13A bus for 2 stops. It is a little off the beaten track but worth the effort. The cost is 70As and includes the headphone tour.
From journal Vienna in January