Technical Museum Vienna

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Technical Museum Vienna
centered logo TMW Vienna - Technical Museum (2) .JPG
place Vienna coordinates: 48 ° 11 ′ 27 ″  N , 16 ° 19 ′ 3.4 ″  EWorld icon
architect Emil von Förster (preliminary draft), Hans Schneider
opening May 6, 1918
Number of visitors (annually) 295,734 (2011)
Technical Museum Vienna
with Austrian media library
(FN 195576m)
Peter Aufreiter
(since January 1, 2020)

The Vienna Technical Museum ( TMW for short ) is located at Mariahilfer Straße 212 in Vienna's 14th district, Penzing . It shows exhibits and models from the history of technology , paying particular attention to the Austrian contribution to technological development. It has numerous historical demonstration models, some of them quite large, from the fields of railways , shipbuilding , aviation and industry . The functional steam engines are outstanding . The TMW also houses one of the largest collections of historical musical instruments in Austria. The Austrian Media Library is attached to the museum .

The main building was built from 1909 according to plans by the building councilor Hans Schneider and opened on May 6, 1918 as the "Technical Museum for Industry and Commerce". The Gustav-Jäger-Park is located in the city center adjacent to the listed museum building . Across the street, on the other side of the street and belonging to the 15th district of Rudolfsheim-Fünfhaus since 1992 , is the Auer-Welsbach-Park . The bright inner courtyards covered with glass domes are a special feature of the building.

The operating company Technisches Museum Wien with Österreichischer Mediathek is a scientific institution under public law of the federal government registered in the commercial register on August 15, 2000 with its own legal personality, established by the Federal Museum Act and the Museum Regulations of the Technisches Museum Wien.


The museum building in the opening year 1918


On the occasion of the 60th anniversary of the accession of Emperor Franz Joseph I in 1908, it was decided to build a technical museum for industry and trade in Vienna . The initiative for this came essentially from Wilhelm Exner , who had been pursuing the idea of ​​such a museum since the Vienna World Exhibition in 1873 . The founding committee also included the industrialists Arthur Krupp and Johann Kremenezky , who supported the project financially; other sponsors included Bernhard Wetzler and the Rothschild banking house . In the same year, the National Technical Museum in Prague was opened.

After the location question had been clarified, the museum was to be built in the 14th district of Vienna not far from the imperial residence in Schönbrunn on the "Spitzacker grounds" provided free of charge by the City of Vienna, Emil von Förster prepared the first preliminary studies . After his unexpected death in 1909, an “ideas competition” was advertised among architects working in Vienna, in which Otto Wagner , Adolf Loos , Rudolf Tropsch and Max Ferstel , among others , took part. The participants only had two months to create their designs, but 24 projects were submitted. The plans of Max Hegele , Rudolf Krausz and Hans Schneider made it into the final selection , whose design came close to Förster's studies and who was finally accepted on the intervention of the heir to the throne Franz Ferdinand . The rejection of Otto Wagner's project met with criticism from the Viennese artists' associations.

Founding years

The emperor laid the foundation stone on June 20, 1909. The building was completed in 1913, but the opening planned for 1914 was delayed by the First World War until May 6, 1918. In March 1919, the 100,000th visitor was welcomed. The museum was run by an association until 1922 , then nationalized for economic reasons , as many previous sponsors no longer existed with the end of the monarchy and the turmoil of the post-war period.

Nazi era and restitution

From 1930 to 1949 Viktor Schützenhofer was director of the museum.

During the Nazi era , the Technical Museum also came into possession of objects and materials that had been stolen from Jews. On the basis of the Art Restitution Act from 1998, provenance research was finally started and so far 17 dossiers have been handed over to the state commission for provenance research . Restitution has already been carried out in four (8 of 16, as of November 2015) cases, including the estate of the technology historian Hugo Theodor Horwitz , who was murdered in 1942 and handed over to his son.

From 1945

In 1992 the museum was closed for the purpose of renovation, conversion and expansion and reopened on June 17, 1999.

On January 1, 2000, the museum was given full legal capacity in accordance with the Federal Museum Act of 1998; from then on Gabriele Zuna-Kratky was director of the museum. In June 2019, Minister of Culture Alexander Schallenberg appointed Peter Aufreiter as her successor on January 1, 2020.


Entrance hall
Central hall of the TMW
Side wing with aircraft

The museum was one of the first representative reinforced concrete buildings in Austria (Otto Wagner had already used this material in 1904 for the construction of the Wiener Postsparkasse ). In line with contemporary tastes, the facade was designed in a historicizing way. The structure of the building, the bright exhibition halls and the electrification, which was very modern for that time, with a total of 46.4 kilometers of laid electrical lines, not least for the demonstration apparatus and machines, met the requirements of a functional museum building. Schneider's original plan envisaged a later expansion with two side wings.

From 1992 to 1999 the building was completely renovated. The glass domes of the covered inner courtyards were raised by one floor and all-round galleries were drawn in, increasing the usable area of ​​the museum by 3,200 m². After the renovation and redesign, the museum has had a total of around 28,500 m² available since 1999. Half-recessed in front of the main entrance, a glass porch was added as an entrance area. There are now cloakrooms for visitor groups, school classes, etc., the cash registers and a museum shop.


The focus of the exhibitions is on conveying technical concepts. That is why there is a large number of functional models that give visitors the opportunity to understand technical processes and are constantly being updated in line with technical progress.

Another part with collection items from the first half of the 19th century comes from the Imperial and Royal Factory Products Cabinet , which was founded in 1807 and whose aim was to collect industrial products from the early industrialization of the monarchy.

The museum shows around 5% of its collection objects in the following exhibition areas:

  • Heavy industry
  • energy
  • Locomotive experience
  • Everyday life - an instruction manual
  • In progress
  • Musical instruments
  • media.worlds
  • mobility
  • Moving
  • Nature and knowledge.

In addition, an online catalog shows the objects in the depots.

Collection of road vehicles

The road vehicle department is located in the museum. It shows milestones in the Austrian motor vehicle history of the brands Austro-Daimler , Gräf & Stift , Steyr , Puch u. a. The oldest showpieces include Eugen Zardetti's Benz (1893), the first gasoline car operated in Austria, and one of the oldest vehicles ever preserved in its original condition, the second Marcus car (1888/89). In the period after the Second World War, the curator at the time, Hans Seper, did a particularly good job of building up this collection . A replica of the second Marcus car was made under the supervision of the museum and presented to the public on May 17, 2006 in the presence of Federal President Heinz Fischer . This is intended to carry out test drives and trips in front of an audience without having to strain the valuable original.

Collection of rail vehicles

12.10 in August 1980

In the course of the renovation of the building and the associated restructuring of the collection, most of the historic rail vehicles were transferred to the Strasshof Railway Museum in Lower Austria , where they were looked after by the 1st Austrian Tram and Railway Club. Other rail vehicles were given to other associations, collections or commercial borrowers, including the Schwechat Railway Museum of the Association of Railway Friends. At the end of 2008, some of the most valuable railway vehicles were exhibited again in the main hall of the museum after some extensive restoration, while other exhibits were loaned to regional railway museums in the federal states. In October 2019, the ÖBB 12.10 was finally transferred permanently to the Vienna Technical Museum, where it can be viewed from March 2020.

The locomotive hall in Marchegg station, which is no longer needed , was rented long-term from the museum in 2012, renovated and equipped with tracks of different gauge. The building is used as an additional depot hall for railroad locomotives and wagons. This brings together a number of the objects in the museum's railway collection, some of which have been stored outdoors, in one hall, and for the first time in the history of the museum's railway collection, all rail vehicles have a place in an exhibition hall or at least in a depot hall have found.


See also


Web links

Commons : Technisches Museum Wien  - Album with pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. a b FB New entry of the company Technisches Museum Wien with Austrian Media Library, FN 195576m, date of publication: August 15, 2000. Source: Entry in:, unimedia (ed.). Retrieved December 1, 2015.
  2. Peter Aufreiter. In: Accessed January 2, 2020 .
  3. From the commercial register for FN 195576m on the other provisions: “The purpose of the establishment is the expansion, the scientific development, the presentation and administration of the evidence of the past and present of the arts entrusted to the establishment as well as of the researching sciences - collection items), in addition to enrichment of cultural life at home and abroad, especially with regard to the great historical background and its importance in terms of art, cultural history and cultural policy in the present. According to §§ 6 and 7 of Federal Law Gazette I / 115/1998, the body registered as the 'Supervisory Board' is called the 'Board of Trustees'; the persons registered as members of the Supervisory Board are members of the Board of Trustees. "
  4. Federal Museum Law , Federal Law Gazette I No. 115/1998
  5. ^ Museum regulations of the Technisches Museum Wien from December 28, 1999, Federal Law Gazette II No. 507/1999 , in force since January 1, 2000.
  6. The forgotten looted property of the Nazis. From the "wild Aryanization" to the VUGESTA. In:, November 4, 2015. Retrieved November 11, 2015.
  7. Peter Aufreiter heads the Technical Museum. Retrieved June 24, 2019 .
  8. Thomas Winkler: A roof over your head. Space problem for the museum's rail vehicles solved. In: forum. magazine technical museumwien. No. 4/2013. ZDB -ID 2056697-9 pp. 18-19.