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The Museum of Natural History is one of the largest museums not only in Austria, but throughout the world. Its opening took place in 1889 at the same time as the Museum of Art History, located opposite. The building where the museum is located today was built by architects Gottfried Semper and Karl Hasenauer. Its construction lasted from 1871 to 1889.
The history of the museum dates back to about 1750, when Emperor Franz I Stephen (husband of Maria Theresa) acquired the largest collection at that time, which consisted of 30 thousands of natural specimens. For example, this collection included rare species of corals, snails, shells, minerals and precious stones. Over time, the collection grew, and in the Hofburg castle there was not enough space to accommodate exhibits. In this regard, the idea arose of constructing a new building, where it would be possible to place the entire collection.
Currently, the museum's collections include about 20 million exhibits that have historical and scientific value. All exhibits are housed in 39 halls on an area of 8700 square meters.
On the first floor of the museum, exhibits telling about the richness of the animal world (from protozoa to mammals) are displayed. Here are specimens of extinct and endangered animals that make the collection invaluable. The most unique specimens are the skeleton of a diplodocus, a Steller's cow.
The top floor houses collections of minerals and precious stones, prehistoric art and rare fossils. The most famous examples are Venus of Willendorf and a large topaz, which weighs 117 kilograms.
The Natural History Museum has a large library that has about 200 thousand copies of books, 50 thousand of which were created before 1900. The entire library fund is available to the public.
The main goal of the museum is to bring the results of scientific research to the public. The museum also hosts conferences, meetings and more.
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Topic: Natural History Museum in Austria, Vienna Spa.