Also known as, Long Night of the Museum 2016! Another one of our favorite activities, and one that thankfully did not disappoint like the Wiener Weinwandertag.
We learned after our first “Long Night” to strategize in order to avoid queuing, and queuing, to visit the major museums; that is, we avoid them. Our first stop Saturday evening was the small and charming Schneekugel Museen (Snow Globe Museum). Anna Grace and I participated in a tour of the factory during our first year in Vienna, and were impressed with this family owned and operated business, all based on a failed invention! Since the museum is not far from our home, and because Tony wanted to visit, our personal Long Night began there.
The company takes personal orders from around the globe (pun intended).
In honor of Long Night, the Snow Globe factory prepared a limited edition globe highlighting the Albertina Museum’s famous painting, Albrecht Dürer’s Feldhase, which was on display Saturday evening for Long Night. I happen to love this watercolor, but had zero interest in queuing for hours to sneak a peek. However, I could not resist purchasing one of the snow globes. Now I can look at The Hare whenever I’d like.
How the company collects the “snow” for the globes. Each medium-sized globe (like above) contains 1.000 snowflakes.
The largest snow globe made requires 22 liters of alpine water to fill; the smaller, in the hand of the snowman, can be filled with 0,6ml.
From the Snow Globe Museum we took in an exhibit on the Yugoslavian Guest Worker, circa 1966 at Palais Schonborn, which houses the Austrian Folk Life and Folk Art Museum. The temporary exhibits at this museum are extremely well curated; I have been both impressed and informed with each visit. Plus, I like the staircase cherubs.
The Yugoslav Guest Worker Program opened in 1966 to compensate for labor shortages in Austria. The guest worker efforts contributed to (at least) Vienna’s highways, the U-Bahn, and UNO-City; and the exhibit focused on several (former) Yugoslavians and their lives in Vienna since 1966.
For some, like Zorica and Niko, the guest worker program worked quite well. ❤️
Not too far from the Folk Museum was the Österreichiche NationalBank and its Money Museum, a splendid building glowing in the evening light.
Why, yes, more than 10 years after joining the EU, Austrians are still able to exchange their Schillings for Euros. We have an envelope of leftover Schilling from our first visit to Vienna in 1999, but I think I’ll just keep it as a souvenir.
We both enjoyed this museum, and not just because we could handle a real gold brick (12,5kg/27.5lbs).
The museum showcased Austrian currency from the Empire through its pre-war, inter-war, post-war and current iterations. Hallo Euro!
Bertha von Suttner, an Austrian and the second woman to win a Nobel Prize (Peace), behind Marie Curie (Physics), was featured on the 1.000 Schilling bank note.
Ever wonder what one million Euros looks like?
Heading toward our next destination, we passed Opera. Simply gorgeous at night.
If I were to make any recommendations to the talented organizers of this event, it would be to add food trucks at thoughtful junctions throughout the city. With more than 100 museums in Vienna to visit in seven short hours, more portable food options would be appreciated. We ended up queueing outside the Albertina at one of Vienna’s better-known Wurstelstands for, what else, Käsekrainer.
Making our way toward the Jewish Museum, we discovered that the Spanish Riding School stables were open, just for a couple of hours (the horses do need their sleep, after all).
Passing through Hofburg, it too glowing against the night sky.
The Jewish Museum is currently exhibiting, “Viennese Synagogues: A Memory.” The main gallery displayed scale models of the buildings, most of which were destroyed during Kristallnacht, along with models and plans from the museum’s archives and a pictorial of synagogues across Austria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Hungary, a few of which we have seen in our travels. No photography permitted.
Though we had two additional museums on our itinerary for the evening, we found ourselves rather depressed after touring this exhibit, and headed home. There is always next year.