Gray Sundays in Vienna: The Imperial Carriage Museum

While the Sunday in question wasn’t technically gray, it was chilly and windy. A good day to cross another item off of our Bucket List!

Since we had annual passes to the Kunsthistoriches museums that were expiring soon, we decided it was a good day to finally check out the Imperial Carriage Museum at Schloss Schönnbrunn.  We are not really that into carriages. But with the KHM annual pass, admission is free. If you are new to Vienna, and want to check out a bunch of museums at a reasonable price, this pass is a great deal. Details here.

But first, a stop for lunch at the Residenz Café. This restaurant (owned by Café Landtmann), though a bit touristy due to its location at the palace, manages to remain a nice stop for lunch or a yummy dessert.

Take your pick, they are all wonderful.

Take your pick–they are all wonderful.

Stoked with truffeltorte and coffee, we headed over the check out the carriages.

The museum is bigger than you might expect, and displays a variety of carriages dating back to the time of Maria Theresa. They are mostly interesting just because they are so over the top, but I did learn a thing or two about early shock absorbers and traveling potties while looking them over.

A Baroque-era carriage.

A Baroque-era carriage.

A Victorian carriage.

A Victorian carriage.

A carriage designed for a very fat prince to be able to hunt without turning himself around (the seat swivels).

A carriage designed for a very fat prince to be able to hunt without turning himself around (the seat swivels).

Even the tiniest Hapsburgs had carriages, pulled by ponies, donkeys, or even well-trained sheep and goats.

Child-sized carriage.

Child-sized carriage.

There were a lot of very fancy sleighs as well. It seems that Vienna used to get a lot more snow!

Victorian sleigh.

Victorian sleigh.

The Carriage Museum also displays a lot of clothing and other memorabilia relevant to the Empress Elizabeth, AKA, “Sissi.” She apparently spent most of her life riding, hunting, and riding around in carriages, so there is a connection other than just catering to tourist Sissi-mania.

The museum can be visited in well under an hour, and with lunch, makes for a nice Sunday outing.

Kaiserliche Wagenburg Wien
Schloss Schönnbrunn
November to April:  daily 10 a.m. – 4 p.m.
May to October: daily 9 a.m. – 6 p.m.
www.kaiserliche-wagenburg.at

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