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    Vienna‘s Ringstraße

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    Kunsthistorisches and Naturhistorisches Museum

    What was left of the Imperial Forum

    Highlight 3 of our walk on Vienna’s Ringstraße comprises the 2 great Viennese museums: the Naturhistorisches Museum and the Kunsthistorisches Museum.

    Both these monumental structures are erected at the end of the 19th century when Vienna’s new Ringstraße is being developed. In 1867 an architectural competition is announced and 34 year old architect Carl von Hasenauer is among the participants. Since the jury members and the master of the works, Emperor Franz Joseph, cannot agree on a project for months, the internationally renowned architect Gottfried Semper is called in.

    He reworks Hasenauer’s design and develops it into the so-called Imperial Forum Kaiserforum. As an extension to both museum buildings Semper suggests symmetrically laid structures. The façade of the Leopoldine Wing of the Wiener Hofburg is to be adapted and a new throne room installed there.

    But the Imperial Forum is never completed. Gottfried Semper dies in 1879 as does the realisation of these ambitious construction plans. However both museums and the Neue Burg - the part of the Hofburg next to the Burggarten – are finished. The Naturhistorisches Museum is opened in 1889 and the Kunsthistorisches Museum two years later.

    Enjoy now the 3 points of interest from Highlight 3 “The museums” before continuing your walk on Vienna’s Ringstraße. To do so simply cross over Burgring and enter Heldenplatz on the opposite side. Vienna’s Heldenplatz and the Neue Burg are Highlight 4 of our walk on Vienna’s Ringstraße.