Town: Vienna Address: Schleifmühlgasse 6 Phone: +43 1 585 24 31 The European Coat of Arms Museum traces the history of coats of arms over the last 1,000 years. Interestingly, the 12th-century knights in armour used to cover their heads for better protection. This, however, made identification difficult and foes could easily be mistaken for friends. In result, the shield bearing the coat of arms was popularised as a kind of a Medieval identification. Gradually, they became associated with specific families and were also widespread for professional guilds and trades, as well as for names of towns. An early version of the present-day logo, the symbols played an important part in personal identity. Some coats of arms exist as logos for cities, fire brigades, tram lines, breweries, and so on. You can learn much more of these facts at the museum, where you can also track family surnames via its vast archives. Visitors can even trace the family history of their dog or horse.
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