- Mika Vepsalainen
Jüdisches Museum Wien - Over a Thousand Years of History in Vienna
Join us for a visit to the two branches of the Jewish Museum in Vienna and see how the Jewish community has lived, loved and worked in Vienna across the ages!
The Jewish Museum in Vienna has two branches. The main one on Dortheergasse houses the permanent collection and the Our City! exhibition while the Judenplatz branch takes you underground to the remains of the synagogue that was burned down in the destruction of the Jewish community in Vienna during the first expulsion and murder of Jewish people in the city in 1421.
The Dprptjeergasse building was originally Palais Eskeles, an aristocratic townhouse that traces its roots beyond the early 15th century. The permanent exhibition is arranged in three areas: the Display Depot presents collections and the collectors behind them.
The first half tackles the rebuilding of this community after WWII. The second addresses the time before WWII, with a focus on Jews in Viennese life and the three great periods of often violent and deadly expulsion (1421, 1670, and under the Nazis). The permanent exhibition "Our City!" was opened in 2013 to provide a comprehensive insight into the life and history of Jewish Vienna. The journey begins on the ground floor with the years spanning 1945 to today. On the second floor, you will see Jewish history from its beginnings to the years 1938/1945.
The Judenplatz goes back to the time of Mozart who actually lived in the square. The museum building, the Misrachihaus dates back to the middle ages, when Vienna was the centre of a newly-founded duchy. The permanent exhibition at the Judenplatz introduces you to medieval Jewish life, and shares the history of the project to erect the Holocaust memorial in front of the museum. You will also see the place where the podium for reading the Torah was in the first synagogue. Its remnants are rightt below the memorial!
Immediately after the Anschluss by Nazi Germany in 1938 the predecessor of the current museum was closed, and its contents were distributed among the e.g. Museum of Ethnology and the Natural History Museum and the new acquisitions were even used for an anti-Semitic exhibition!
Since its reopening and after moving into the current premises, the museum has attracted a record number of visitors and is currently in the top 30 of Viennese attractions with well over 130,000 visitors annually.
Buy your ticket at either museum and you can use it for four days to check the other one, too. When you come to either place, you will see the somewhat frightening albeit usual security arrangements in front of Jewish places with guards with guns outside the building. Don’t be afraid, they will let you in! At Dorotheergasse there is a nice cloakroom for your bag and overcoat and at Judenplatz, really good large lockers.
Both museum locations are wheelchair accessible with entryway with ramp and elevators to the basement in Judenplatz and the upper floors in Dorotheergasse. There are handicapped accessible loos in both locations, too.
You will find Café Eskeles and the museum shop Gottfried & Söhne on the ground floor at Dorotheergasse. Check the books, Jewish music and design products from Israel there as the Judenplatz shop is limited. There is also no café in the Judenplatz museum but there are many great cafés around for you to close your visit.
Photo gallery of the museum at Dorotheergasse:
Photo gallery of the museum at the Judenplatz:
Jewish Museum Vienna (Jüdisches Museum Wien)
Palais Eskeles Dorotheergasse 11, 1010 Vienna
Judenplatz, 1010 Vienna