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|Special Museums of Central Europe|
Vienna: The MuseumsQuartier is an exciting new center of modern art sites, housed in the former imperial stables; it is home to the world’s largest collection of Egon Schiele paintings in the Leopold Museum, the Museum of Modern Art, and the special exhibitions space in the Kunsthalle.
Vienna: The newly opened (March 2004) Liechtenstein Museum is tucked into the 18th century Liechtenstein Palace; on display are more than 250 masterworks by such artists as Raphael, Rubens and Van Dyck. The collections of the Prince of Liechtenstein also include weapons and porcelain.
Linz: Located right on the banks of the Danube, the new (March, 2003) Lentos Museum of Modern Art displays outstanding works by Klimt, Schiele, Kokoschka, Corinth and Pechstein, as well as paintings and sculpture from artists working after 1945. Locator: 115 mi. from Vienna
Innsbruck: Folk arts of the Tyrol region are on display in the Tiroler Volkskunstmuseum, one of the finest regional museums in Europe. Exhibits include nativity scenes from their origins to the present; models of Tyrolean farmhouses; decorative and religious folk art; costumes from carnival season and other festivities. Locator: 115 mi. from Salzburg
Salzburg: Mozart’s Birthplace, in a third floor flat at Getreidegasse 9, is now a museum, filled with portraits, musical scores, historic keyboard instruments and violins; the visit ends with two videos: one of Mozart’s travels, the other about his family life. Locator: 115 mi. from Innsbruck
Vienna: A visit to the House of Music is a journey into sound, a chance to see and feel sound and music. It also houses the museum of the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra.
The Czech Republic
The National Gallery in Prague boasts several different venues featuring a variety of periods and styles. The Sternberg Palace displays a fine range Old Masters’ works dating from the 14th to 18th centuries; particularly well-represented are Flemish and Dutch artists, including Rubens, Rembrandt and Frans Hals. The St. Agnes Cloister features Czech and Central European art from the Middle Ages, while the Center of Modern and Contemporary Art (at the Veletrzni Palace) offers a wonderful collection of Czech and European 20th and 21st century art and design.
The Mucha Museum in Prague is dedicated to the life and work of Alfons Mucha, affirming that the artist was indeed the master of European Art Nouveau. On display are not only the well-known decorative prints and posters, but also some surprisingly “modern”-looking sketches and fascinating photographs the artist took of his models.
The Kampa Museum in Prague focuses on Central European modern art, including collections of work by pioneering abstract painter Frantisek (Franz) Kupka and the Czech Cubist sculptor Otto Gutfreund. The works’ effect is enhanced by the spare, modern venue housed in a former mill overlooking the river Vltava.
Cesky Krumlov: The Egon Schiele Art Center, named after the Austrian artist whose frequent visits to the town inspired some of his artwork, is one of the most ambitious art centers in the country. Focusing on predominantly 20th-century and contemporary art, it offers exciting, internationally attended exhibits in the historical building of a former brewery.
Nelahozeves Castle: The Renaissance castle houses one of the finest private collections of Old Master paintings, including masterpieces by Pieter Breughel the Elder, Rubens, Velazquez, and Lucas Cranach the Elder and Younger. The paintings are well complemented by rare antique interiors, a massive collection of Delft porcelai, and a valuable collection of musical memorabilia featuring manuscripts by Beethoven and Gluck. Locator: 15 mi. north of Prague
The Pergamon in Berlin is famous in general for its enormous collection of antiquities and particular the Pergamon Altar, a temple that occupies an entire city block and which was transported stone by stone from the ancient Turkish city of Pergamum.
The Alte Pinakothek in Munich,One of the most significant art museums in the world, houses nearly 900 paintings of European artists of the 14th through 18th centuries. There are more Rubens here than in any other museum; they keep company with works of other master painters from Dürer to Rembrandt, Van Dyck and da Vinci.
The famous Bauhaus Museum in Dessau, a spacious construction of glass, steel and concrete, was reconstructed from the plans of the Bauhaus school of design founder Walter Gropius. The museum reflects that golden era of Modernism in arts and crafts, graphics, paintings, and works of some of the outstanding painters - Klee, Kandinsky, Feininger - of the era. Locator: 180 mi. southwest of Berlin
The Ludwig Museum in Budapest houses the collection of benefactors Peter and Irene Ludwig, whose works include modern Hungarian, Russian classicists and avant-garde artists, Andy Warhol, Claes Oldenburg, Roy Lichtenstein and Jasper Johns. The Museum recently moved to the new cultural complex, Palace of Art, in Pest.
Native Hungarian son and father of Op-Art, Victor Vasarely is a two-museum artist. The Vasarely Museum-Budapest occupies a two-story wing of an old aristocratic house (in Obuda), which now displays 400 of his colorful and geometric work. The Vasarely Museum-Pecs, also in an historic mansion, is full of the artist’s works and those of his disciples.
The Hungarian National Historical Memorial Park in Opusztaszer is built on the site of the first parliamentary congregation of nomadic Magyar tribes, held in AD 895. Fascinating exhibits scattered around the landscape include the Monastery of Szer, yurts that resemble tents-shaped houses, and an astounding 5,249-foot oil painting (the Feszty Cyclorama) depicting the arrival of the tribes in the 12th century. During holidays, equestrian shows and folkloric activities are held here. Locator: 18 miles from Szeged
For many decades, the tiny town of Szentendre has been a sanctuary for Hungarian arts, whose work is displayed in galleries and souvenir shops, hidden among the narrow streets. Scattered about Hungary are skanzens, open-air museums that authentically reproduce village and farm life; one is the Szentendre Open Air Museum, which, with hand-built rural houses with crafts furnishing, barns, and public spaces, gives us a glimpse of how people lived and worked in the 18th and 19th centuries. Locator: one-hour by commuter train north of Budapest, a two-hour boat ride along the Danube
Oswiecim: Auschwitz, the largest German concentration camp was here, only partly destroyed at the end of World War II. Many of the original facilities remain on this somber site where more than a million people - mostly Jews - perished. Locator: 30 mi. west of Krakow
One of the eight local branches of the National Museum, the Czartoryski Museum in Krakow displays ancient and Asian art, Polish arms and war booty, and masterpieces such as Leonardo da Vinci’s “Lady with an Ermine.”
The Przypkowski Family National Museum in Jedrzejow exhibits a collection of 600 sundials, plus measuring instruments and rare books. At the core of the holdings is the world’s largest collection of sundials from the 15th century to contemporary times. Visitors are welcome to the restored interiors of the Przypkowski house. Locator: 50 mi. north of Krakow
Otrebusy, outside Warsaw, the Motorization Museum houses a collection of some 300 antique vehicles, from cars (one used by Elvis Presley, another by Marilyn Monroe) to motorcycles to tanks. Locator: 10 mi. from Warsaw
Just outside Bratislava, the Danubiana Bratislava occupies an impressive position on a spit of landing jutting out into the Danube. The red, blue and silver building houses some of the country’s most cutting-edge collection of modern art.
In Kremnica, the Museum of Coins and Medals, was originally (1328) a manufacturing company and still operates as a mint; as a museum, it showcases the long history of coin production. Locator: 100 mi. from Bratislava
The Andy Warhol Modern Art Museum in Medzilaborce, with 23 original works of this famous pop artist, whose parents came from the neighboring village. Locator: 60 mi. from Kosice
Opened in 1991, the Museum of Liptov Village in Pribylina is the youngest of the open-air museums in Slovakia; its structures were relocated to this location following construction of the Lipovsky Mara Dam. Each structure within the village - from school to church to peasant homes to manor house - depicts a different social-economic level, from the poorest way of life to the richest. Locator: 10 mi. east of Liptovsky Mikulas
In Betliar, surrounded by parklands and housed in the former hunting palace of the Andrassy family, the Betliar Museum occupies a designated National Cultural Monument, and its focus is on documenting the history of the gentry and their hunting passions, as reflected in its design and interiors. Locator: 2 mi. from Roznava
Vincent Vacations - Authorized Special Museums of Central Europe Travel Tips - Vacation Planner
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