Natural History Museum
Originally commissioned by Emperor Franz Josef I of Austria-Hungary to house the Habsburgs' vast art collection, the Naturhistorisches (Natural History Museum) is one of the most prominent museums in the world. Like its identical twin opposite Maria-Theresien Platz, the Museum of Fine Arts, the ornate, palace-esque domed building was constructed solely for the purpose of showcasing the imperial family's memorabilia. The 94,000 square feet of rare fossils, dinosaur skeletons, precious stones, and exhibits of endangered and extinct species of animals comprise the museum's collection of more than 20 million artifacts. Among the most famous of these objects is the ancient Venus of Willendorf sculpture.