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Gartenbaumuseum - Fancy Gardens for the Viennese

Updated: May 21, 2023

Join us for a visit to the lovely gardens of the Austrian Horticultural Museum to admire the different plants and some history of gardening in the country!

The beautiful Art Nouveau building of the Austrian Horticultural Museum was built in 1912 as an orangery. The Vienna municipality was the first in Europe to build something in the interest of its residents and it resulted in a unique building. Previously, such endeavours had been the pleasure of the imperial family and the nobility. Later the orangery served as a vocational school for horticulture and floristry where in the 1950’s, the students put together a collection of gardening and landscaping machines with commonly used equipment in tying natural flowers. They were restored n the workshop of the Vienna City Gardens in Hirschstetten.

The first Austrian Horticultural Museum was founded in 1968 with the museum pieces stored in a depot in the area of the former Rothschild gardens. During the course of the Vienna International Garden Show (WIG) in 1974, an exhibition pavilion for pharmacists was erected and after the exhibition, the pavilion was transformed to a museum. The pavilion opened in 1977 as the "Austrian Horticultural Museum" in today's Kurpark Oberlaa. The museum houses Austria's largest collection of the history of horticulture. In 2001 the exhibition was expanded to include the Sädtler collection from the former Austrian Flower Binding Museum.

After the construction of the new vocational school for horticulture and floristry in 2003, the premises were again available to the Vienna City Gardens. The 500 square meters sport the 40000 exhibits of the museum telling you about the history of gardeners, the art of arranging flowers and public greenery. Many of the exhibits come from the former Rothschild gardens.

Since 2001 a specific focus is the impressive floristic collection of Christian Sädtler. In addition to many vessels, silk flowers and decorative objects, it includes a collection of over 470 wall vases from the period 1900 to 1970 and a curious collection of 540 iron punches from the late 19th century for the production of artificial flowers.

The floristic display is completed by a detailed replica of a florist's shop at Schwarzenbergstraße 1 in the 1st district - supposedly one of the last florists' shops of historicism. Founded by Franz Kieslinger, the last owner was Klaus Ruhnau who left the facility to the Austrian Horticultural Museum. It is thanks to him that the Sädtler Collection can be presented in a wonderful ensemble.

Once a month, together with the Kulturverein Donaustadt the museum arranges matinées with interesting programme. In the spring 2023 these included flamenco dances, evergreens, musical chansons and much more.

The school garden of the vocational school is also used for outdoor exhibitions, where, among other things, the "Rothschildglashaus", a pavilion built for the World Exhibition in 1873, a historic allotment hut from 1918 and a field railway were shown.

The museum is accessible, with a few steps down from the entrance to the main floor that can be taken with a chair lift. There is an accessible loo.

You can buy a few publications of the museum at the reception desk.

There is no café in the museum and nothing much in the immediate vicinity either. Save your thoughts over a cup of coffee for your return back to the centre of go to the food mall of the Donau Centre, a huge shopping centre on the other side of the Kagran U-Bahn stop.

Österreichisches Gartenbaumuseum

Siebeckstraße 14 1220 Vienna


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