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Austria’s Top Art CollectionsMarch 7, 2016 By: Austrian Tourist Office
Ambras Castle Innsbruck
There is an incredible amount of great art and architecture in Austria that range from works that are centuries-old to contemporary pieces. Visitors can spend days upon days visiting the country’s countless museums and collections; here are a select few as starting points for an art-focused vacation.
Austria’s magnificent castles are architectural pieces of art by themselves both inside and out. The 16th century Ambras Castle Innsbruck sits high above a hill overlooking the city. It is actually two castles in one and is part of the remains of a medieval fortress. The lower castle houses original collections that include arms and armor, art and books. The Habsburg’s Portrait Gallery is located in the upper castle and features works by such greats as Lukas Cranach, Anton Mor, Tizian, Van Dyck and Diego Velásquez.
The Imperial Treasury Collection
The wondrous treasures of the Habsburg Empire can be found within the Imperial Palace in Vienna. The Imperial Treasury Collection includes such beauties as the Austrian imperial crown, the golden cradle of Napoleon’s son and the embroidered robes of the Order of the Golden Fleece.
A favorite among visitors to Tirol, Swarovski Crystal Worlds in Wattens is an underground sparkling multi-sensory world just 20 minutes from Innsbruck. Its 14 Chambers of Wonder were created by world-renowned artists and designers that include Alexander McQueen, Tord Boontje and Brian Eno. A 2015 addition, marking the 120th anniversary of Swarovski Crystal, includes a poetic garden and enlarged the site to more than 18 acres.
The Kunstkammer Collection at the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna
The number of museums and Galleries in Vienna is truly astounding, with the Kunsthistorisches Museum Vienna as one of its many must-sees. It was built in 1891 to house the imperial family’s own extensive collections and today boasts the world’s largest collection of Bruegel paintings. The museum’s Kunstkammer Collection, one of the most important in the world, has more than 2,100 objects collected by the Emperors and Archdukes of Habsburg over several centuries. Carvings, timepieces, paintings, sculptures, wall-hangings, coins and weapons are among the works that encompass a 1,000 year history.
A Modern Focus
Those visitors to Austria seeking a more modern approach to art can spend time at Graz’s Kunsthaus (House of Modern Art). It has a fascinating design and unusual shape with more than 1,000 acrylic glass elements and is set next to the River Mur. Inside are contemporary art exhibitions, a café and media lounge.
The Museum der Moderne Salzburg is made up of two locations with a total of more than 32,000 square feet of exhibition space. The Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Mönchsberg is set above Old Town in a contemporary building for large exhibitions, including the museum’s own collection and temporary ones featuring international contemporary art. The Museum der Moderne Salzburg, Rupertinum, is in Old Town in a Baroque town palace that has been adapted to present modern art.
Within the MuseumsQuarter Vienna, one of the largest culture and art complexes in the world, is the Museum of Modern Art Foundation Ludwig, known as the mumok. It has an impressive collection of approximately 9,000 modern and contemporary pieces, including works by such artists as Andy Warhol, Roy Lichtenstein, and Pablo Picasso.
This article is brought to you by the Austrian Tourism Board, and was produced in partnership with Travel Agent Central’s sales team. Travel Agent Central’s editorial team played no part in developing the article.