The Museum of Weird Musical Instruments

Here’s something I love about Vienna. On a day after a day in which I watched way too much TV in my yoga pants, there is always something to get out and do. I’ve spent many years at posts without these options, so I am really and truly thankful to be able to just pick a museum and go. On foot. Without getting harassed, mugged, or begged at. Or having an asthma attack.

Not that there is anything wrong with a yoga pants and Netflix day now and then. But when you are semi-employed in an apartment with no yard in a city with iffy weather and a husband who travels a lot and a teenage son who never leaves his room, well, you have to be careful that it doesn’t get to be a habit!

Today, I walked over to the Kunsthistorischesmuseum for one last visit. I saw a Fabergé exhibit and strolled through the Greek, Roman and Egyptian collections one last time. Enjoyed an excellent strudel in the museum café. Done.

Then, headed across the street to the Neue Burg, a much less-visited annex that is covered by the same ticket. I hadn’t been to it before because it’s mostly about armor and musical instruments, two items that are not high on my list. But, it was actually pretty interesting. I skipped taking photos of the ginormous armor collection, but it was the biggest and most varied that I have ever seen—and I have seen a few. If you are into scary metal faceplates and even scarier codpieces, give it a look. A smaller collection of antiquities from Ephesos in Turkey is also mildly interesting.

The museums are in a gorgeous Hapsburg palace (of course) that is shared by the Austrian National Library. I am a musical illiterate, but I do appreciate the ingenuity and craftsmanship of these instruments that were made in the pre-manufacturing era. And there were only about six other people in the entire place, so it was a welcome relief from the tourist hordes in the main building. At this time of year, it’s best to do things that are off-the-beaten-track in Vienna.





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