My “Jahreskarte” for the Viennese art history museums grants me the pleasure of roaming through Vienna’s finest art collections at my leisure for a year before I must renew.  On this particular day I chose the Papyrus Museum, housed in the oh-so-beautiful Austrian National Library building.  I am not, of course, an art historian, but I do appreciate well documented findings from the past.


 Like this one, an ancient Egyptian formulae for toothpaste. To think how we take for granted that Tom’s of Maine tube we toss into our carts at Trader Joe’s.

And this partial page from a Quran.  To think about the peoples and thoughts that came before me is humbling.

This simpler note records a young woman’s questions about marrying a certain young man. Didn’t we all have those uncertainties? Imagine them being unearthed for all of time to see?

But this, a near-compendium on the care of a vineyard, may show where the ancient Egyptians priorities were.

From the Papyrus Museum I moved to the Ephesus Museum, housed in the stunning Neue Burg wing of the Hofburg complex. Imagine this being your home.

The museum is spectacular; the exhibits are well curated. Take for instance, this recreation of an ancient Greek moment. Without the context it really just seems like a pile of rocks.

Because I am not an ancient Greek historian, I shall call this, “Splitting Headache.”

Here we have a pretty collection of ancient Greek oil lamps. This one is the “Victoria” lamp. Can’t imagine why I’m partial to it.

I would probably feel the same if I had a wing projecting from the top of my head.

Oh!  Whatever could be her concern?
I see. Inexplicable modern art.

The museum is truly worth a visit, but is, alas, not all that on the tourist beat. This grand hall showcased magnificent ancient Greek market scenes.


Also within Neue Burg are the Museums of Ancient Musical Instruments and Arms and Armor.

Another wing of Neue Burg, for another day.