The Kunsthistorisches Museum, in Vienna, Austria, is often referred to in English as the Museum of Art History, or the Museum of Fine Arts. The museum is housed in a palatial, sandstone facade building on Ringstraße, that is crowned with an octagonal dome. It is the largest art museum in the country.
The Kunsthistorisches Museum was opened at roughly the same time as the Naturhistorisches Museum. Both were opened by Emperor Franz Joseph I of Austria-Hungary. The two museums have similar exteriors and face each other across Maria-Theresien-Platz. Both buildings were built between 1871 and 1891 according to plans drawn up by Gottfried Semper and Karl Freiherr von Hasenauer.
The two Ringstraße museums were commissioned by the Emperor in order to find a suitable shelter for the Habsburgs’ formidable art collection and to make it accessible to the general public. The building is rectangular in shape, and topped with a dome that is 60 meters high. The inside of the building is lavishly decorated with marble, stucco ornamentation, gold-leaf, and paintings.
1010 Wien, Austria
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