Kunsthistorisches Museum (Vienna): This art gallery, across from Hofburg Palace, houses the stellar art collection of the Hapsburg dynasty. It's especially strong in the Flemish, Dutch, and German schools, with works ranging from Rubens and Dürer to Pieter Bruegel the Elder and Van Dyck. Also strong are the Italian, Spanish, and French collections, with works by Veronese, Caravaggio, and Tintoretto.
MuseumsQuartier (Vienna): Vienna launched its new millennium with one of the major cultural centers to open in Middle Europe in some 2 decades. Architecturally stunning, this complex contains a treasure trove of art, being especially strong in modern works. The three major museums to visit here are Kunsthalle Wien, Leopold Museum, and MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation).
Mozart's Geburtshaus (Salzburg): Music pilgrims flock to see the typical old burgher's house where Mozart was born. You can still see many of his childhood belongings, including a lock of his hair, his first viola, and a pair of keyboard instruments. Mozart's first violin is also displayed. Even at the age of 4, he was a musical genius.
Mauthausen (Upper Austria): The most unusual and horrifying museum in Austria lies 29km (18 miles) down the Danube from Linz. Mauthausen was a notorious concentration camp, used in World War II for the slaughter of Austria's Jews. It's estimated that some 200,000 victims were killed here. Visitors today can bear witness to this scene of holocaust.
Tiroler Volkskunst-Museum (Innsbruck): In an abbey with 16th-century origins, this museum of popular art contains Austria's most impressive collection of Tyrolean artifacts. You'll see everything from mangers to monumental stoves. The collections sweep from the Gothic decorative style through the Renaissance to the rich and opulent baroque era. The first floor contains models of Tyrolean houses.
Landeszeughaus (Graz): This armory, built between 1642 and 1645, displays 3 centuries of weaponry, one of Europe's great collections. Here you'll see some 30,000 harnesses, coats of mail, helmets, swords, pikes, and muskets of various kinds, along with pistols and harquebuses. There are richly engraved and embossed jousting suits and a parade of armor.
Österreichisches Freilichtmuseum (Outside Graz): Just 16km (10 miles) from Graz, in a wooded valley, is one of Austria's great open-air museums. This museum of vernacular architecture, spread across 50 hectares (120 acres), features some 80 rural homes with ancillary buildings that have been reassembled. The site presents an excellent overview of the country's rural heritage, from a Carinthian farmstead to alpine houses from the Tyrol.
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