Address: Schweizerhof, Hofburg, Vienna, 1010, Austria
Telephone: 0 1 525 24-0

- Mid-range


Jewels, emeralds, crowns and unicorns.

The treasury is one of my favourite museums. It has a lot to do with the perfect way in which these priceless objects are displayed, being able to get really close and witness the incredible detail is half the fun. Divided into an Ecclesiastical and a Secular part, I recommend a brief look at the former and a thorough inspection of the latter.
Of tremendous historic and symbolic importance is the collection pertaining to the Holy Roman Empire. A medieval masterpiece is the gem-studded Imperial Crown, the Holy Lance, a piece of the Holy Cross and the beautifully embroidered coronation mantle. See if you can spot the tooth of John the Baptist and the sable of Charlemagne. Of particular beauty and artistic quality are the heavily embroidered liturgical vestments belonging to the Order of the Golden Fleece – which, theoretically, still belongs to the Hapsburg family – I call this needlework painting. Furthermore, one of the world's largest emeralds can be seen here too, weighing in at 2680 carats, it's bigger than a cricket ball.

Two more objects should not be missed, these are the “inalienable heirlooms” of the House of Hapsburg. One is a unicorn's horn (or so they thought), the other is the largest agate bowl in the world, thought to have been the legendary Holy Grail due to the inscription on the base. One more highlight is the golden cradle of Napoleon’s only legitimate son, which is actually silver, covered in gilt. Napoleon was married to the Hapsburg Princess Marie Louise who returned home with their son and the cradle (which was a gift from the silversmiths of Paris) when Napoleon was sent into exile.

Value for money

Price advice

Tickets cost 12 euros.

Expert tips

Do invest in a guidebook or audio guide to help understand the significance of this treasury.

The treasury belongs to the Museum of Fine Art, if you consider visiting more collections combined tickets are cheaper.

Recommended for

  • Culture vultures
  • Education
  • History