Quirky museums vie for attention with Vienna's grand galleries
VIENNA (AFP) - Fascinated by contraception, chimney sweeps, or magic boxes? Vienna has a museum for you.
The city may be better known for its grand art collections, but it is filled with quirky or downright bizarre establishments, and Museum Night, which Vienna will hold on Saturday for the 13th time, is their chance to shine.
Far off the beaten track, in a grey residential area, stands Vienna's hottest museum as it calls itself: the bright orange Brennpunkt - the Museum of Heating. Gleaming pipes and large boilers share this colourful space with delicate old wood stoves, blackened iron bread ovens and century-old utensils for cooking and lighting fires from Tanzania to Borneo.
Brennpunkt, German for "burning point", emerged from Vienna's switch to district heating when the city found itself with a mass of old coal and oil heaters on its hands and decided to preserve this part of its history. And this is how many other small museums saw the light of day, from the Coffee Museum - filled with all manner of coffee grinders and espresso machines - to the Circus and Clown Museum, to the Chimneysweep Museum, naturally packed with an array of round brushes, and the Dentistry Museum, which features dentist's chairs dating back to the early 1800s.