Ein englisches Team von Museumsfachleuten ermittelte für Sunday     Times die 10 besten Museen der Welt.
Österreich kam mit dem Naturhistorischen Museum unter die Top Ten
The Sunday Times: Travel August 19 2001

Quelle: http://www.nhm-wien.ac.at/d/wissenswertes.html

Citadels of culture: our experts say which museums are the worldwide winners - and why
Our experts: Dr Patrick Greene OBE, director of the Museum of Science and Technology in Manchester; Peter Jenkinson OBE, director of the New Art Gallery in Walsall; Barbara Woroncow OBE, chief executive of the Yorkshire Museums Council; and Loyd Grossman, chairman of the Campaign for Museums

On show - the best museums

What is it? Now the largest railway museum in the world and European Museum of the Year 2001 (see main story). What the experts say: "The history of the railways is not just transport history. Britain is where railways were invented, and their years of triumph are inseparable from this country's 19th-century boom. You get a real sense of this at the NRM." (Greene)
How to see it: to do the museum justice takes the best part of a day, and, not surprisingly, it is most easily reached by rail - York station is a short walk away (for train times, call 0845 748 4940). There are extensive children's facilities, and the Brief Encounter cafe in the South Hall serves excellent lunches. Further information: contact the NRM on 01904 621261;

What is it? Opened in June last year, Segedunum sits at the eastern end of Hadrian's Wall. There's a reconstructed (and fully operational) bathhouse, two museum galleries and a viewing tower that looks over the remains of a recently excavated Roman fort. What the experts say: "This is a museum conceived and run with passion. The bathhouse works with interactive and written displays to provide an excellent interpretation of Roman life in Britain. There's also an outstanding bookshop, which sells both popular and scholarly works." (Grossman) How to see it: a stretch of Hadrian's Wall is just a short stroll away from the museum, but if you want to get a better sense of this mighty military and political project, you should follow the B6318 along the wall's central section: Housesteads and Camboglanna forts are notable highlights. Plan to spend at least a weekend in the area: there are more historical delights further north at Alnwick, Bamburgh and Berwick.
Further information: contact the museum on 0191 236 9347, or visit
www.hadrians-wall.org. The Northumbria Tourist Board (0191 375 3000;
www.visitnorthumbria.com) can help with accommodation.

What is it? The world's finest collection of Picasso's paintings and sculpture, housed in one of the grandest houses in the Marais - an unbeatable combination. What the experts say: "The work is fantastic, of course, but what I really like about this museum is the way the collection works with the building. There is no classical suite of galleries here: you have to keep changing levels, investigating niches and turning corners, and this encourages you to make your own voyages of discovery, and your own connections between the works." (Jenkinson) How to see it: the museum is the perfect anchor for a day out in the Marais: market stalls on the Boulevard Beaumarchais, cafe stops, antiques shops, circuits of the Place des Vosges, that kind of thing. Most of us won't need a tour operator to organise the trip for us: just organise your own flight from a regional airport. Further information: call 00 33 1 42 71 25 21; or visit

What is it? A museum of the history of post-war Germany, which in many ways is the story of the Cold War as much as the fate of just one country. What the experts say: "Unlike many museums, it doesn't flinch from uncomfortable subjects, such as the re-emergence of right-wing racist extremism and the phase of burning immigrant hostels. It also has a great programme of temporary exhibitions, on subjects such as the Germans on holiday." (Greene) How to see it: there can be few better places to get a taste of Germany than the Rhineland around Bonn. Just to the north is Cologne, with its mighty cathedral and first-rate art gallery, and to the south the dramatic scenery of the Siebengebirge. Bonn is the curious ex-capital in between, struggling to retain some of its significance - if nothing else, it is now a vast showcase of post-war, modernist architecture. Further information: try the German National Tourist Office (0900 160 0100; premium rate), or visit

What is it? One of Europe's leading galleries of modern and contemporary art. What the experts say: "You step off the train, about half an hour from the centre of Copenhagen, and there you are looking at fantastic art in the most beautiful setting, right on the seashore. The Louisiana is special not only because of its collection and the temporary exhibitions mounted there, but because of its commitment to the public. In 1990, a children's wing on three levels was opened there." (Jenkinson) How to see it: the museum has an excellent website,
www.louisiana.dk, which will help you plan your visit. Further information: contact the Danish national tourist office on 020 7259 5959 or visit www.visitcopenhagen.com

What is it? The Vasa was going to be the Swedish navy's finest warship. Launched in a blaze of publicity in 1628, it capsized in Stockholm's harbour after a voyage of only 1,300 metres. It was pulled out of the water in 1961, in an extraordinarily well-preserved state, and the Vasa Museum is where it is displayed. What the experts say: "A fabulous museum. It's beautifully set on Stockholm's harbour; the ship itself is fantastic and the story of why it sank - a combination of bad design, royal megalomania and the fact that nobody had the nerve to tell the king to stop interfering - is well told." (Greene) How to see it: Stockholm is city-break heaven. Combine the Vasa with plenty of eating out, a sprinkling of art galleries, mid-price shopping for designer goods and a trip out into the Stockholm archipelago. Good weekend packages can be arranged through the Swedish Travel and Tourism Council (00800 3080 3080; www.visit-sweden.com). Further information: call 00 46 8 519 548 00; or visit

What is it? A built-in mirror image of the more famous museum of art and architecture, the Naturhistorisches has collections of natural history, geology and archeology. It's interesting not only because of what it contains, but also as a monument to the 19th century's fascination with natural history - it was as sexy a subject then as art is now. What the experts say: "It's a vast and imposing building, and it's astonishing inside too, because the interiors were designed to enhance the exhibits - within the cornices in each room are paintings of the sites where the things came from. The collections are pretty impressive. The one that I most remember is a piece of topaz from Brazil that's about 4ft high." (Woroncow) Further information: the Austrian Tourist Board (020 7629 0461).

What is it? The museum of the history of St Petersburg, and a lot more besides. What the experts say: "Of course, the Hermitage (St Petersburg's famous art gallery) is a splendid place, but relatively few of its collections are concerned with Russia. If you want to get a sense of the city and country you are visiting, the Peter and Paul Fortress is the place to go. It is the final resting place of the tsars, has excellent collections across many disciplines and it puts on some strange and wonderful temporary shows - when I was last there, an exhibition of Soviet underwear had people queueing around the block." (Woroncow) How to see it: the fortress is a fine-weather excursion: you'll need to walk around outside to get between the various attractions. The Russian Travel Company (01273 686 184) can tailor-make trips or organise packages. Further information:
www.museum.ru is one of the few websites giving any information about the fortress. Better to start with a guidebook: St Petersburg (Lonely Planet) is a spirited and enthusiastic introduction to the city.

What is it? One of a triumvirate of museums founded in America in the late 19th century (along with the Met in New York and the Philadelphia Museum of Art), as a sign of civic pride and cultural confidence. The MFA has a huge and wide-ranging collection. What the experts say: "Its collections veer towards the encyclopedic, with outstanding Egyptian and Asiatic art and artefacts, a dazzling collection of America's greatest painters (John Singleton Copley, Winslow Homer, Singer Sargent, Fitzhugh Lane, Childe Hassam), big-league French artists (Manet, Monet, Gauguin), and big holdings of American furniture, silver and folk art." (Grossman) How to see it: fall colours, anyone? Or how about a trip to Cape Cod? As well as its intrinsic pleasures, Boston is the perfect springboard into New England. Further information: Discover New England (0906 558 8555, premium rate; www.discovernewengland.org) is a good first stop. The museum also has an excellent website:

What is it? One of the best collections in America, the Philadelphia excels in the applied and decorative arts as well as paintings. What the experts say: "The building is breathtaking in its scale and holds an extraordinarily diverse collection. Many of the iconic paintings of our age are here - by Picasso, for example, and Marcel Duchamp - as well as entire buildings and interiors, saved from demolition and reconstructed inside the museum. On the top floor, you'll find a reception hall from a medieval Chinese palace, as well as a Japanese teahouse and a complete Indian temple." (Woroncow) How to see it: you couldn't take it all in at one go, so it's best to see a little at a time - say, paintings one day, buildings the next; the website is a good planning tool. Lots of operators feature the city in their brochures. Further information: visit