Sigmund Freud Museum

Sigmund Freud Museum (12)

Mythomaniacs may be interested to know that Sigmund Freud lived and worked in this house from 1891 to 1938. Unfortunately, the sinister shadow of National Socialism loomed over Freud and, when forced into exile, he chose to flee to England.

The father of psychoanalysis chose his residence well, however, as in this quiet corner nothing could disturb the thoughts and theories that would both astonish and outrage turn-of-the-century Vienna.

The house is typical of the 19th century, with its façade somewhere between grey and pale blue, its solid walls, its courtyards where the light only penetrates on particularly sunny days, and its wooden staircases that echo the passage of time, the very same staircases that Freud used.

The museum is dedicated to remembering the life and work of Sigmund Freud and, thanks to the advice given by his daughter Anna in 1971, accurately reproduces the original look of the house. 

Signed first editions of the author's books, letters, photographs and numerous items of furniture constitute the 420 objects on display that originally belonged to Freud. When forced to abandon his home by the Nazi regime on the 4th June, 1938, he left so hastily that visitors can still see his beloved cane and ever-present hat, left behind in the hall next to one of the trunks that transported his belongings.

Freud was a traveller, smoker and collector of antique objects (Egyptian, Greek, Oriental...) and this Viennese home now houses eighty of the three thousand or so pieces which he managed to gather together and which accompanied him in his flight. These pieces include numerous statuettes that Freud called "friends" and who he liked to accompany him in the privacy of his thoughts.

Freud, who saw himself as an archaeologist of thought, died on the 23rd September, 1939.

Visitors here can also contemplate the legendary couch, something akin to the altar of the temple of psychoanalysis, which Freud used to have his patients lie on in order to listen to them, sometimes for eight hours straight.

However, while you can get an idea of what the real room was like, the famous couch on display here is only a replica. To view the original one must travel to London. Interestingly enough, death visited Freud while lying on the couch in his London home, which also opened as a museum in 1986. 

Over time, the museum has expanded. In the 80s and 90s a library, a souvenir shop and a conference room that occasionally hosts temporary exhibitions were added.

The museum also houses a small collection of contemporary art that is open to the public in addition to a video room where images of the life of Freud and his family commentated on by his daughter Anna are projected.

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