Sunday, 24 August 2008

Museum of Contraception and Abortion in Vienna, Austria

A short walk from Vienna’s Westbahnhof is a heavy wooden door, almost specifically designed to make people go away. To get through it, you need to press a buzzer, and once finally upstairs you’re ushered into what looks disturbingly like the waiting room of a family planning clinic.
This is the Museum of Contraception and Abortion (though the tourist board literature prefers to leave that last bit out), and it is a bizarre combination of the serious and the frivolous.
Cases are filled with pills and applicators from through the years, while on the walls pie charts and statistics about illegal abortions are opposite cartoons of Victorian types blowing up condoms in some kind of hilarious parlour game.
It covers the whole gamut – diaphragms to sterilisation, via anti-baby lipstick and bidets designed specifically for a post-coital wash. And then there are some implements where it’s probably best to have a limited understanding of German.

Getting to Vienna

Nearest International Airport: Vienna’s airport is well connected to the rest of the world, although budget airline fans can fly into Bratislava just across the border with Slovakia, and take the short train ride in.
Using public transport: The Museum of Abortion and Contraception is just over the busy main road from Vienna Westbahnhof, which is the city’s major train station. It doesn’t really look like a museum, but the address is 37/1 Mariahilfer Gürtel.

More information: Museum website

No comments:

Blog Archive