Josephinum

Museum in Alsergrund & the University District

Architecture fans sometimes visit this Enlightenment-era complex for its superb 1785 neo-classical structures alone, although Joseph II's purpose-built medical academy for army surgeons does, in fact, house the city's most unusual museum. The highlight is its large collection of 200-year-old anatomical and obstetric models made of wax: while designed as visual aids for teaching, they were also intended for public viewing and to this day are exhibited in their original display cases, made of rosewood and Venetian glass.

Three rooms of this earnest gore can occasionally make you feel like you’ve wandered onto the set of a horror movie or some hitherto unexplored part of your psyche. If you are confident you can hold down your breakfast, don't forget to save enough time to also see the large collection of medical instruments – 'everything from tourniquets to cystoscopes', the website promises – death masks and an oddly compelling collection of oil paintings, watercolours and photographs depicting operations and medical conditions.


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