Where is your Superego? Sigmund Freud Museum in Vienna

Yesterday was the first morning in a very long time where I didn’t have errands to run or other obligations to attend to while the kids were in preschool so I took the chance to spend a “Nicole morning” and do something typically Viennese that I have been looking forward to for quite some time.

Nope, not a trip to a cafe, stroll in the park (although the sun was certainly inviting!), or another visit to yet again another art museum ….No, I took the tram to Berggasse 19, the former home and office of Dr. Sigmund Freud. Yup, one of THE men (yes, men….the women appeared later) in psychology.

Berggasse 19, Vienna
Berggasse 19, Vienna

I know, it’s not as exciting for everyone but after spending so many years in school reading, learning, and studying Freud and his theories and contextualizing them to his life and era, I had really been looking forward to stepping foot into his home and former world (and I really wanted to do so alone so that I could soak it all in).

His home/office has been converted into a small museum and I loved the fact that since it literally is still an apartment in an old building, you have to ring the door bell to enter … I wondered how many people had stood outside that door and what thoughts were going through their heads (free association?) as they we were ringing that same little bell before me (yes, I know someone probably changed the bell since Freudian times….but hey, let me just live this little moment for a while, ok?)

The entrance to the original apartment (from the inside of the museum; not the actual entrance)
The entrance to the original apartment (from the inside of the museum; not the actual entrance)
Professor Dr. Freud that is...
Professor Dr. Freud that is…

Inside, I took my time soaking in all the rooms and views, browsed through the library, and gazed at black and white pictures of Freud and his former patients and watched a bit of a video narrated by his daughter, Anna, who took to her father’s theories and applied them to work with children. Since Freud had to flee Vienna to London during the onset of World War Two, not too much furniture remains in the museum; rather there’s an overload of pictures showcasing what the rooms looked like.

The office
The office
A replica of his office chair that was specifically designed for him so he could lean back into his favorite reading position...
A replica of his office chair that was specifically designed for him so he could lean back into his favorite reading position…

I was happily surprised though to see that the waiting room was more or less intact and, once again, spent some time there imaging all those who stepped foot into it before me (what did go through his patients’ heads right before seeing him?).

Freud's hats and cane
Freud’s hats and cane
The waiting room
The waiting room

Overall, a fun morning outing (for me). I don’t think it will be the most exciting museum to visit for non-psychologists (visitors can sigh in relief; I won’t make you go there….unless you want to!) but just being in a space that was once the home to such a remarkable and influential researcher/clinician was certainly a highlight for me….

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