The Anatomical Museum of Innsbruck (German: Anatomische Museum) was founded during the 17th century inside the University of Innsbruck. Professor Theodor Friedrich von Stadtlender first explored the human form using corpses obtained from the local hangman. During this period, local residents received invitations to witness public dissections after which the body was prepared for skeletal reconstruction.
From the 1800s until 1943, the museum experienced a variety of upheavals and losses. Moving from an unused billiard space into a separate building provided additional exhibition space and accommodated an ever-increasing student population. World War II resulted in staff causalities and a significant loss of collection pieces however professor Werner Platzer completed current renovations during the late 1940s.
Museum visitors enter through the Medical University of Innsbruck. Skulls from ossuaries or burial sites throughout Europe sit adorned with various paint designs. Works from painter Franz Batke depict various stages of skeletal reconstruction. Human, primate and bird skeletons allow guests to explore a wide range of animal structures. The museum prominently displays the 7 foot 3 inch skeleton of Nicolaus Haidl, dubbed the tallest man in Austria.
Anatomical Museum entry grants access to skeletal preparations. Technicians remove flesh, muscle and other soft tissue in steps referred to as “wet” and “dry” processes. All museum displays endure the precise prepping methods to ensure preservation of the specimen. Unlike earlier periods when the school relied on hangmen for subjects, modern policy allows interested parties to donate their bodies to the museum for research purposes.
History buffs, medical students and fans of the strange all find their niche at the Anatomical Museum of Innsbruck, Austria. Guests have the opportunity to explore current displays and observe works in progress through public preparations.
Images 1, 2, 3, 4 Credit: Mattes | This file is licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 2.0 Germany.