When I bought my ticket for the Vienna Art History Museum (KHM = Kunsthistorisches Museum), I was told that the ticket was also valid for admission to the three departments of the museum that were located across the street in the Neue Burg (“New Castle”).
To find the entrance to the Neue Burg I walked three quarters of the way around the building, because for some reason I thought the entrance would be on the southeast side facing the Burggarten (Castle Garden), whereas it is actually on the northwest side facing the Heldenplatz (Square of Heroes). When you go there, I assume you will be better oriented than I was. Just don’t be misled by the big sign over the entrance reading Österreichische Nationalbibliothek (Austrian National Library). There really is a library in the same building, but this is also the entrance to the three exiled departments of the KHM.
Inside the Neue Burg the stairway and halls are quite lavish, as befitting a building that was originally intended to be the emperor’s residence of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. It was built in the second half of the 19th century, but was still unfinished when the Empire collapsed at the end of the First World War. In the 21st century, members of the Global Financial Elite can rent parts of this building for Exclusive Events designed to impress their wealthy clients and soften them up for a sales pitch.
The Collection of Historical Musical Instruments in the Neue Burg is said to be “the most important collection of renaissance and baroque instruments worldwide.” This may be true, but the presentation of this collection is low-key and does not provide much in the way of background information.
On another floor of the Neue Burg there is an impressive collection of medieval suits of armor and other weaponry.
My appreciation of this collection was enhanced by the fact that I had recently read a series of 36 ‘tips’ about it on the now-defunct website VirtualTourist, written by a Russian member (“Oleg_D.”) who had a keen interest in the military and religious history of the Middle Ages. But now that VirtualTourist has ceased to exist, it would be a good idea to get the audio guide to this collection, since the displays themselves do not provide much orientation on how the armaments were used, who owned them or how and why they changed over the centuries.
The only thing I know about jousting was that in July 1559 the French King Henri II was accidently killed at age 40 during a jousting tournament. This had serious repercussions, since his three sons, who succeeded him one after another, turned out to be too weak to prevent the French Wars of Religion between the Catholics and the Huguenots (Protestants).
Ephesus or Ephesos was an important city in ancient times, located in what is now Turkey. Between 1895 and 1906 Austrian archaeologists excavated the ruins of Ephesus and brought numerous statues and other valuable objects back to Vienna for display here, including this bronze “Athlete of Ephesos”.
Of the three museum departments in the Neue Burg, the Ephesos Museum is the one that provides the most background information for those who as members of the ‘general public’ are curious but arrive with no particular specialist knowledge of the subject. I had previously read at least four VirtualTourist pages on Ephesos, so I at least knew a little about it and was curious to learn more.
Another famous ancient sculpture from Ephesos is this “Child with a Goose”. When I first saw it, I thought the child was playing with a rubber duck in the bathtub, but it turns out that rubber ducks are a much more recent invention (from the 1940s) and did not exist in ancient times.
My photos in this post are from 2016. I revised the text in 2021.