Kunsthistorisches Museum

Vienna, Austria

The Kunsthistorisches Museum is an art museum in Vienna. Housed in its festive palatial building on Ringstraße, it is crowned with an octagonal dome. It is the largest art museum in the country.

It was opened around 1891 at the same time as the Naturhistorisches Museum, by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. The two museums have similar exteriors and face each other across Maria-Theresien-Platz. Both buildings were built between 1871 and 1891 according to plans drawn up by Gottfried Semper and Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer.

The two Ringstraße museums were commissioned by the Emperor in order to find a suitable shelter for the Habsburgs' formidable art collection and to make it accessible to the general public. The façade was built of sandstone. The building is rectangular in shape, and topped with a dome that is 60 meters high. The inside of the building is lavishly decorated with marble, stucco ornamentations, gold-leaf, and paintings.

The museum's primary collections are those of the Habsburgs, particularly from the portrait and armour collections of Ferdinand of Tirol, the collections of Emperor Rudolph II and the collection of paintings of Archduke Leopold Wilhelm, of which his Italian paintings were first documented in the Theatrum Pictorium.

Notable works in the picture gallery include masterpieces from Jan van Eyck, Albrecht Dürer, Tintoretto, Rembrandt, Pieter Brueghel the Elder and Peter Paul Rupens.



Your name


Burgring 5, Vienna, Austria
See all sites in Vienna


Founded: 1891
Category: Museums in Austria


4.8/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

abraham gabriel (11 months ago)
A cultural and educational experience for all ages with ambience and setting of grand palace. The museum has audio recorded guided tours in various languages [English, French, Spanish and Korean] in a player device for rental. A restaurant is also on premises serving traditional and seasonal cuisine
Carmen G (12 months ago)
One of the best art history museums in Europe with exhibition from the ancient Egypt until Renaissance and more. Sculptures, paintings, decorative artwork, famous authors, everything perfectly exposed and presented. You may easily spend an entire enjoyable day and don't miss the gorgeous museum Cafe before leaving.
Shai Ghelberg (12 months ago)
Amazing building full of amazing historical artifacts and art pieces. Many areas to sit down and relax while watching the art. Very accommodating atmosphere, and a great escape from the cold weather. A visit can easily take a couple of hours and it's very close to many other museums so definitely a great way to spend a day in Vienna.
Aljoscha (14 months ago)
I actually really enjoyed my visit. The museum in has a nice mix of paintings and other exhibits, making it fun to go through and take it all in. Definitely not cheap...so probably worth spending half a day here. The building alone is quite impressive so make sure to have a look around inside before looking through the exhibits.
Dimitri Rupp (15 months ago)
The museum of art history is one of the most beautiful and fascinating museums I have ever seen. Each room itself is already a piece of art. I recommend to take at least 3 hours of time. You will enjoy each second. Visit also the cafeteria in the first floor!
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Krivoklát Castle

Křivoklát Castle was founded in the 12th century, belonging to the kings of Bohemia. During the reign of Přemysl Otakar II a large, monumental royal castle was built, later rebuilt by king Václav IV and later enlarged by king Vladislav of Jagellon.

The castle was damaged by fire several times. It was turned into a harsh prison and the building slowly deteriorated. During the 19th century, the family of Fürstenberg became the owners of the castle and had it reconstructed after a fire in 1826.

Today the castle serves as a museum, tourist destination and place for theatrical exhibitions. Collections of hunting weapons, Gothic paintings and books are stored there.