We found out that there were a bunch of free museums today, because it is Austria National Day. I meant to go to all the actual "Austrian" stuff, like the military exhibition at the Hofburg and the swearing in of new troops and all that, but... we took a nap and missed it. Instead we headed out to the Roman Museum in the late afternoon with our friends Krista and Jason.
Here we are in front of the museum. I had not spent any time in the Hoher Markt before today, and there are some really beautiful statues, buildings, and fountains... need to come back and explore!
Inside the museum there was a computer station. It was great, Oliver was so occupied with it that the rest of us got to enjoy all the exhibits on this floor without being worried that Ollie would run away!
Krista showing Elora all the different types of weapons artifacts.
Elora checking out the writing tools. This was super cool. They had little writing tablets that had a wax coating that they carved messages in, and then they could seal their little books with fancy ornamental seals. Very fun stuff. I could have bought my very own in the gift shop, along with a mosaic kit - I will admit I was pretty tempted!
We watched a very interesting video on the aquaduct and sewer system of the Roman fortress that was here in Vienna a long time ago. It was all very advanced, they had a complete underground sewer system, and wells that provided water to the individual homes, and a filtration system for the water that went through the aquaduct. The artifacts in the museum are all ones found locally, many were found after the city was bombed in WWII.
Elora liked this exhibit. There are a lot of hands on activities for children here - very nicely set up little museum. As you can see, Dirty Teddy also enjoyed this exhibit. Oliver came to play too, but he just picked up the action figures and threw them... so we decided to move on.
Another hands on exhibit - there were three different people represented, and you could spin the pieces to match the clothes correctly, then read about each person.
Here we got to practice putting together pieces of pottery. Elora took this job very seriously. Krista and I both tried the more difficult water jug one, and gave up - there must have been missing pieces, right?
I thought this was a very interesting little exhibit showing artifacts from the Romans, and matching them next to their modern counterparts. Check out the Roman safety pin!
This is a millstone that was carved out of a gravestone. Oliver just liked that he found a bench the right size for him to sit on. I was glad he was entertained by this - he was sad when we left the computer and spent most of our remaining time asking to go back to it, or just running away...
These ruins in the basement of the museum are the ruins of two houses that were inside the walls of the fortress. The military camp here was founded in 97 AD to protect the northern border of the Roman empire. They mostly existed here in times of peace, so many of the artifacts in the museum are items from every day life. The ruin above shows many columns that are part of an underground heating system for the houses.
Elora is having a little trouble adjusting to the time change... She took a little break under the map of the area where the Roman fort was located.
We decided to walk back toward Karlsplatz instead of getting straight back on the train. While passing by Stephansdom, a group of men dressed in armor started marching through the street. They stopped and let people take pictures with them. Krista told Elora to go near a knight so she could get a pic - I snapped this one, I will post Krista's once I get it from her. When Elora came back over to us she said, "He was nice! He was a nice knight here to protect the people from the bad knights!"
We also got some balloon flowers from one of the street performers. Elora was so excited to pick out a flower for herself and Oliver. When we got home the kids were excited to pose for the flashing red light, and I am surprised at how well our photo shoot turned out! This pic is so that Daddy can see Elora's balloon flowers that she will soon be planting in a balloon flower garden.