Vienna is blessed, among other things by its imperial past, by having a qide variety of museums. The Viennese court attracted artists from all over Europe, many Austrian artists such as Klimt and Schiele are internationally known.
Emperor Franz Josef I built the buildings of the Natural History Museum and the Museum of Fine Arts as part of the ring road project. The two buildings are identical and face each other in the middle of the Maria Theresa Square. In the winter there is a very romantic Christmas Market held in this square.
Many exhibits come from Franz Stephan of Lorraine, the husband of Empress Maria Theresa. The most important exhibits are (BCE salt mining 1550th) from the early Iron Age Hallstatt. Minerals, meteorites, fossils, dinosaur skeletons are found also in the exhibition.
The Venus of Willendorf was found in 1908 in the Wachau. It originats to about 25,000 BC. The figure is 11 cm high and one of the earliest figural representations in human history.
The Museum of Fine Arts (Kunsthistorisches Museum) is the world's fourth-largest art museum. Most of the exhibitions originate from the collection of the Habsburgs.
The museum offers the following collections:
The Egyptian and Near Eastern Collection is one of the most important collections of Egyptian antiquities in the world. It consists of nearly 12,000 objects spanning over 4,500 years.
The Picture Gallery contains the works of the Venetian, Flemish, Dutch and German painting. Exhibitions include works of Titian, Tintoretto, Rubens and Dürer.
There is also a collection of Collection of Greek and Roman Antiquities, Collection of Sculpture and Decorative Arts , Coin Cabinet and a secular as well as spiritual treasury.
NEW: The "Kunstkammer" (chamber of art and natural wonders) opend for the first time on March 1st, 2013.
The Albertina houses a collection of Picasso works, a collection of graphic works (eg, Dürer), a collection of architecture and a collection of photographs. There are changing exhibitions on view.
The Belvedere was built as a summer residence for Prince Eugene of Savoy, who was responsible for the victory of the Austrians over the Turks in 1683. It consists of two palaces that are connected by an outdoor garden. It houses the most famous collection of Art Nouveau and the Vienna Secession, including the works of Gustav Klimt (such as The Kiss).