The Stemmler Museum was founded by Carl Stemmler (1882-1971) who was the heir to a thriving peltmonger business and later became a conservationist, animal welfare activist, and self-taught taxidermist.
In stark contrast to his trade and after life-long observation and documentation of the animals he often saw killed for coat and hat fashion, Stemmler leapt at a radical career change and became a passionate ecologist and animal rights activist. Stemmler seemed to have a special affinity for Alpine eagles and vultures.
The museum shows not only taxidermy including owls, foxes, and foals, but also anatomical and anthropological curiosa such as human babies in formaldehyde and skeletons of about the same age.
Alongside the extensive and varied taxidermy specimens are Stemmler’s observations of eagle and vulture life cycles. Visitors can read his own hand-typed manuscripts which come complete with absolutely heartbreaking revelations he came to which led to his activism later in life. Guests looking to take up a vegetarian lifestyle might do well to read his notes for inspiration.
The Stemmler Museum is a testament to its founder’s late-in-life passion for wildlife conservation and conversely an impressive tribute to the art of the dead animal.
Know Before You Go
The Museum is slightly hidden in a side street off Vordergasse (opposite the famous Haus zum Ritter) about a five-to-10-minute walk from the train station. It is open Sundays between 11 a.m. and 5 p.m.