The tower called Narrenturm was built in 1784 and back then it was the first psychiatric hospital in the world. The rotunda offered solitary cells for 139 inmates. It is part of the area that had back then been the general hospital of Vienna, since 1998 it’s the campus of the main university. Because its shape resembles the ring cake Viennese often also call it Guglhupf.
Nowadays the tower is home to Vienna’s Pathologic-anatomical Museum and has recently been renovated. With its new facade, it has been stripped of some charm. But certain alterations were restored so that the current appearance would return to its original state. One can have a look at human and animal exhibits, a lot of diseases (should get some people to start using condoms each and every time!) and malformations, but also medical devices that make you wonder on what planet they might have been in use.
This museum is definitely something one doesn’t get the chance to see in every city. If you are on a small budget you’ll be happy to know the entrance fee is only €2. The only drawback one could find is the very limited opening hours, but this way the visit is just more of an exclusive one.
About once a month they offer guided night tours for € 10; for these, you need to register! Find all their events here, search for “NHM Narrenturm” in the category, results are most extensive in the German version 😉