Palaces are everywhere in Vienna, ranging from the truly spectacular like Hofburg to ones that are rather comparable in size to some of the homes near us in Northern Virginia. The Palais Mollard belongs more to the latter category, and is tucked away along an unassuming street near Hofburg. It now houses the Globe Museum, a part of the Austrian National Library. Not too many tourists seem to wander behind the Hofburg to explore the 200+ spheres that describe our little planet, though. I was but one of 5 visitors in the museum on the day I visited.
The main level of the palace has undergone a little renovation since its Baroque times. I loved the colors of the hallway.
The globe collection is the second largest worldwide holding of these objects of art and navigation prior to 1850 (Greenwich, of course, holds the honor of first place), but the museum in Vienna is the largest worldwide.
The construction of the globe involves gluing the separate pieces onto the sphere with “the utmost precision.”
A sheet of the “gores” before being trimmed and glued on the globe. Not all globes represented land and water forms, of course. Some depict fanciful sea creatures and astrological forms.
As well as constellations.
This being a palace, after all, a connecting hallway between galleries still retains its glorious art.
This globe shows the revolution of the planets.
If my notes are correct, this is one of two globes attributed to Gerard Mercator.
The “Elsevier Globe,” a collapsible globe.
A smaller, portable version. For on-the-go cartographic needs?
Even the floor has a globe-like quality.
The collection of solar system globes resembled a case of giant, shiny marbles.
And, a children’s globe depicts land forms, animals, and sea monsters!
Bonus! Also in the palace is the very small but interesting Esperanto Museum. (No, it’s not a museum devoted to Tonto’s Mexican half-brother.) The artificial language was invented by a Pole living in a divided part of Russia in the late 1800’s who saw a universal form of communication as the path to world peace. A grammar guide and dictionary were published early on for the practical users.
By 1906 a Congress had convened on Esperanto.
You have to hand it to the framers of Esperanto for respecting the universality of the word “chocolate.”
The membership pin collection of worldwide speakers. Next time you see one of 10,000 or so people wearing a green star, you can thank me for knowing they speak Esperanto.
World peace be damned, however. Hitler forbade the use of the language, decrying it as a Jewish language designed to help Jews master the world. He tried to have all related items removed from the Austrian National Library, but the director of the library at the time said, “Nein, danke.” Pretty bold action.
Stalin didn’t forbid the language, he just executed those who worked to spread it, such as Vladimir Varnakin, a professor of history in Russia.
Despite attempts to erase Esperanto from the world, a few words have taken root. Fiat and Movodo…
…and Toblerone chocolate.