Tuesday, July 8, 2014

Travel the Whole World in the Town of Schwaz, Austria

One of the most interesting museums I’ve been in this summer is found in the small town of Schwaz. Although I suspect it’s often overlooked, the museum founded by Geri Chesi in 1995 is a gem I’m thankful I had the chance to experience.

Chesi had a great idea for his museum. He wanted to share non-Western cultures with his hometown. The museum has pieces from Buddhas from Thailand, Burma, and Laos. It was wooden doors from India, and colorful costumes from Togo. It has photographs of voodoo ceremonies and other unfamiliar practices taken by Chesi himself.

The thirty-entry audioguide offers a wealth of extra information to help visitors understand the pieces and their cultural significance. (German or English)

Although I’ve been to Thailand a couple of times, I was thrilled to find such beautiful examples of Buddhist artwork all in one room. I was also thrilled to find stone guards from China. Best of all: I got to view handiwork from countries I’d only vaguely heard of.

I kept wondering why my friend and I made up half of the museum’s visitors. This saddened me; such a complete, complex museum should be on every must-see list. Many tourists come to this region, but they get sidetracked before they get to Schwaz. One distraction is the Swarovski Crystal World which is only a few kilometers by the road. I understand those tourists; in fact I’ve been to the Crystal World in Wattens several times myself. I love to visit that place too! But the Museum der Völker is in many ways more important. It gives the whole Tirol a way to see parts of the world that might otherwise be inaccessible to them.

For me the museum served as a reminder that I’ve been lucky to travel the world yet no matter where I go, there are always brand-new things to learn.

Gert Chesi


  1. D.R. you are so right. There are always new things to learn. Thanks for sharing your visit.

    1. Joseph, it was just such the coolest little place. My friend lives there so she knew about it, but I know it goes way under the radar.


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