Rietberg Museum Overview

Housing a diverse collection of artefacts from America, Asia, Africa and Oceania, Rietberg Museum, also known as ‘Emerald’ is situated in Zurich, Switzerland. Primarily focusing on the non-European arts and designs, the museum has become a great site of historical splendours. 

Crowned as the third largest museum in Switzerland, it is sprawling across the heart of Zurich on around 17 acres of land. This entire piece of land not only houses the museum but also several historical buildings amidst lush greenery. These buildings include Remise, the Wesendonck Villa, the Schonberg Villa and the Rieter Park-Villa. Explore this cultural hub as part of your Switzerland tour package, discovering a captivating blend of history, art, and natural beauty in the heart of Zurich.

Converted into a museum in the year 1949, Rietberg houses an expansive artistic collection of Baron von der Heydt. Displaying around 30,000 artefacts out of them, the museum features four to six permanent exhibitions every year. All these collections are from notable artefacts of Chinese Ceramics, Indian paintings, African art, and Meiyintang collection of art.

Not situated far from the lake Zurich, the museum is considered a world treasure in the terms of its distinctive art. Along with that, the museum houses various exhibitions which attracts tourists from around the world.

Besides all this, the museum is also famous for its architecture which is a great modern villa.

The classic beige colors look very beautiful in contrast to all the greenery around it. After touring the museum thoroughly, one must stop in the garden to get some great pictures against the Rietberg Museum.

How To Reach

It is advisable to travel by road as it is the quickest way to reach the Museum and takes about 25 minutes. The taxi fare will cost somewhere around 32 CHF-42chf. Train/tram will take approximately 34 minutes to reach Rietberg Museum from the Airport.

Best Time To Visit

Weekdays are the best time to visit this museum as the rush is quite low, and you can explore the museum without any hassle.  However, here's a season-wise description of the climate that would surely come in handy while planning your visit to the museum!

Spring (March to May):
Springtime is pleasantly cool, and temperature ranges between 12°C to 13°C. Since the temperature is quite moderate during this season, you can visit the museum in the best manner.

The summer months are undoubtedly the best months to visit the Museum as the temperature averages to 21°C and makes up for a warm and enjoyable climate.

Autumn (September-November):
The climate is not as chilly as winters but still quite cold and ranges between 4°C-10°C.

Winter (December to February):
During Winters, the temperature drops down to -6°C making it important to shield yourself with warm clothes if you’re planning to visit the museum in winter.

Other Essential Information

History of Museum Rietberg

Rietberg Museum was established on May 24, 1952 and since then it has become an important landmark of Switzerland. The construction of the Museum was initiated in 1951 under the administration of the prominent architect, Alfred Gradmann.

Until the year 1956, Swiss expressionist painter Johannes Itten was the director of the Museum. In 1972, the peripheral boundaries of the Museum were expanded by acquiring the Schonberg Villa which had earlier been threatened with demolition.

The villa opened as an extension of the Museum in 1978 and today it houses a non-lending extensive library that is looked after by the Museum's administration. The oldest piece of artefact in Swiss history, i.e. Earthenware Shards, and it’s existence dates back to 5000 BC.

The history of the Museum comprises many artistic works and popular myths/ Swiss images and it also throws some light on Swiss history starting from the Roman Era and the present day. Majority of the rooms in the Museum follow the theme of the Gothic, Renaissance period or the Baroque period and are a befitting example of supreme craftsmanship.

The complex comprises three villas belonging to the 19th Century and a coach house of Richard Wagner who created Tristan und Isolde Wesendonck-Lieder inside the Wesendonck Villa. The Schönberg Villa comprises a 21st century underground extension and it was opened in the year 2007.

It is a famous glass pavilion designed by Alfred Gazioli and Adolf Krischantiz and these are also the venues for both permanent and temporary exhibitions. Various events and programs on art education are also organised here. Currently, the Museum houses nearly 23,000 artefacts and 37,000 ethnographic photographs.

Tips for visiting Museum Rietberg

Keep in mind these tips that can aid you in having a great time at Museum Rietberg

- It is advisable to buy the Zürich card or the Swiss Museum pass for reduced admissions.

- Travellers can visit the tourist information centre residing at the central railway station. Visitors can also purchase museum passes from the tourist centre.

- It is advisable to check the opening and closing timings beforehand in order to ensure that you visit the museum at the appropriate time. 

- Avoid the most crowded hours of the Museum so that you can explore the museum in the best manner.

Avoid distractions. Limit the use of your phone. Take time to explore this museum that can offer you abundant information.

- Make the visit to the museum as interactive as possible. Do a little research before visiting the Museum.
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Rietberg Museum FAQs

What is the Rietberg Museum famous for?

The Museum Rietberg is Switzerland's only museum famous for housing non-European art and its collection comprises valuable works from Asia, Africa, the Americas, and Oceania. The entire collection at Museum Rietberg comprises 23,000 items of display and 37,000 ethnographic photographs. Be it the 600 Chinese ceramic objects or the elegantly woven silk sarees; the Museum collections is a timeless and exquisite assemblage of art.

Is the Museum Rietberg free?

Admission to the museum is free of charge for children under 17 years of age and a paper voucher is required otherwise to enter the museum. Print and bring your voucher while visiting the Museum. The tickets start from $18.40 for adults and it is free for children below the age of seven years.

How big is the Rietberg Museum?

The Rietberg Museum sprawls across 17-acre (69,000 m2) of Rieterpark in central Zürich. It comprises numerous historical infrastructure which includes Wesendonck Villa, the Remise (or "Depot"), the Rieter Park-Villa, and the Schönberg Villa.

How old is Museum Rietberg?

The Museum was inaugurated on 24 May 1952 and the building is 68 years old.

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