There was a time when Vienna was the capital of one of the most powerful empires that could be found on the European continent. As a result, it should come as no surprise to learn that it retains a rich cultural legacy that has been built up over the course of centuries and centuries. Something that should come as welcome news to first-time visitors who are fascinated by such things.
The Hofburg was the main palace of the Habsburgs but has since been turned into the official residence of the President of Austria. As a result, it has been the seat of Austrian government for more than seven centuries, meaning that its existence is a testament to the history of the country as well as the history of those who have ruled it.
2. Schönbrunn Palace
In contrast to the Hofburg, the Schönbrunn Palace was the Habsburgs' summer residence. Nowadays, it is the single most popular tourist attraction that can be found in the whole of Vienna, as shown by the fact that its annual visitor count can be measured in the millions.
3. Tiergarten Schönbrunn
One of the reasons that the Schönbrunn Palace is so popular is because it houses a number of other tourist attractions. For example, consider the Tiergarten Schönbrunn, which might be more familiar to some people as the Vienna Zoo. Primarily, it is meant to help the conservation of species, which includes educating and entertaining the public to serve said purpose.
4. Naturhistorisches Museum
The Naturhistorisches Museum would be the Natural History Museum. Over the course of more than two centuries, the institution has come into the possession of more than 30 million items, which range from precious stones to the legacies of pre-historical cultures. In fact, some people might recognize some of the Naturhistorisches Museum's items, with an excellent example being the Venus of Willendorf.
5. Kunsthistorisches Museum
Facing the Naturhistorisches Museum is the Kunsthistorisches Museum, which would be the Art History Museum that was opened at the same time as its counterpart. The institution was created by Emperor Franz Joseph I for the purpose of making the Habsburgs' extensive collection of artworks available to the public, so it should come as no surprise to learn that its collection ranges from portraits to suits of armor.
6. Leopold Museum
The Leopold Museum is named for Rudolf and Elisabeth Leopold, who were enthusiastic art collectors. Their combined collection became the cornerstone of said institution, which has become popular for people who are interested in art from the first half of the 20th century.
7. Kaiserliche Schatzkammer
For people who are interested in seeing treasures, there are few places that can match the Kaiserliche Schatzkammer, which would be the Imperial Treasury. Of particular interest should be the Austrian Crown Jewels, which make up the single most important part of the institution's secular collection.
8. Spanish Riding School
The Spanish Riding School remains a center of classical dressage, not least because it both holds public performance and lets interested individuals look in on some of its training sessions. Suffice to say that the horses and the horse-riders at the school possess international renown, as shown by the fact that they go on international tours from time to time.
9. Haus der Musik
Opened in 2000, the Haus der Musik is a collaboration between four Austrian universities as well as other both Austrian and international parties to create an interactive sound and music museum for interested individuals. Its multimedia exhibits cover everything from the earliest known examples of human music-making to modern times.
Even now, Mozart remains one of the most famous composers of all time, as shown by the fact that his music is still played on a regular basis. The Mozarthaus was his residence for three years, which has since been turned into a museum for him and his music.
Written by Benjamin Smith
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