Thursday, 2 October 2008

Crime Museum in Vienna, Austria

Those with a squeamish disposition are adised to skip the Crime Museum in Vienna, Austria (known as KriminalMuseum in German). Tucked away in what seems like a relatively small old building, this place is a veritable TARDIS of gore.
All the text is in German, and the stories of Vienna’s ancient crimes are going to get lost in translation for the non-linguists, but much of the utterly sinister collection is visual. And visceral, for that matter.
The Crime Museum is clearly aimed at the sort of demographic that enjoys walking through extensive cellars, looking at picture after picture of murder victims.
Yes, there are some bits on the sterling work of the police force, but the emphasis is certainly skewed towards rusty torture instruments, brutal weapons and photos of de-limbed torsos being dug up.
But sometimes it’s a refreshing change to settle in for a couple of hours of witch-burnings, violent confession extractions, lynch mobs and mummified heads in jars.
The whole thing is an engaging, morally ambiguous romp through Vienna’s criminal past. Much is ordered chronologically, with illustrated year-by-year and blow-by-blow accounts about the most newsworthy murders complimented by extensive profiles of the crooks. Lovely stuff.

Getting to the Crime Museum in Vienna, Austria

Nearest international airport: Vienna

Using public transport: Get bus number 5A or tram N. The museum is at Große Sperlgasse 24.

More information: Kriminalmuseum

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