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  • Mika Vepsalainen

Mozarthaus Vienna - Where Le Nozze di Figaro Was Created

Join us for a visit to the house of the probably most famous composer in the world, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart next to the St Stephen’s Cathedral in Vienna.


A couple of steps from Stephansdom in the heart of Vienna, there is a flat where probably the Number One musical genius in the world, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived from 1784 to 1787.


The 17th century building in Domgasse 5 had originally only two floors. Known after the owner family as the Carmesina House, the current form with additional floors saw daylight in 1716. When they rented the flat, the Mozarts used the original entrance facing Schulerstraße but it was later walled to make room for a shop. Today we enter from Domgasse.


For the 150th anniversary of his death in 1941, the flat was opened to the public as part of the Imperial German Mozart Week, a Nazi event intended to honour him as a "typically German" composer.


In 1945 the Vienna Museum took over. The city of Vienna renovated the entire building for the 2006 Mozart Year celebrating the 250th anniversary of his birth and made it a centre dedicated to the composer's life and work. Unfortunately, the historical courtyard had to be destroyed for an elevator to be installed. Also, the original 17th century stone floor of the kitchen was removed and the original oak door of Mozart’s flat was relocated to where we find it today.


Although Mozart lived in fourteen different addresses in Vienna, this flat is the only one that still exists today and this is why we are very priviledged museum goers being able to see the largest, most elegant and most expensive apartment that he ever had and where the Mozarts lived a grand life with Mozart composing more music, including his most popular opera The Marriage of Figaro, than in any other flat. The first-floor or bel-étage (in the Vinnese of the time) flat was rather big, with four large rooms, two smaller ones and a kitchen. There was also a ground floor, cellar and two wooden vaults, all for an annual rent of around 450 gulden. The Mozarts' landlady, Ms Maria Anna Carmesina was the widowed daughter-in-law of the court plasterer Albert Carmesina.


Many researchers argue that Mozart probably spent the happiest years of his life here, at least based on some of his personal quotes: “... I assure you that this is a wonderful place..." and "... - for my profession the best place in the world”. In any case, he lived here for longer than in any other apartment. Particularly during this period, Mozart was a celebrated composer, had an illustrious circle of friends, and was asked to give countless concerts at the houses of the nobility.


In addition to the historical apartment, the museum presents Mozart’s works and the time in which he lived. The visit starts in the third floor with a look into the many aspects of Mozart’s lifestyle including his freemasonry, gambling, drinking and women and, of course, the musical tradition in the 18th century Vienna. Then you will continue to the second floor and information about his operas.


The authentic flat where the Mozarts lived in the bel-étage, focuses exclusively on the years the Mozarts occupied the flat. Unfortunately, facts are in short supply as very little remains of the original furniture, and descriptions of the rooms and what they were used for are hard to come by. However, the furniture and other objects from Mozart's era show us the use of the rooms including a gaming table for board games such as chess or Trick-Track, a forerunner of backgammon, and a magnificent musical clock dating from around 1796, which is one of the highlights of the apartment. It plays a variation of Andante für eine Walze in eine kleine Orgel which Mozart probably wrote for this very object.


There is a museum shop with a selection of CDs and DVDs, publications about Mozart’s life and even the libretti of some of his most famous operas - definitely worth a visit. It is accessible with a platform lift.


There is no proper café but a vending machine in a café room in the ground floor for your immediate needs, also fully accessible. Move on to the Inner City restaurants for a more thorough rest after your museum visit! In the basement there is a new Bösendorfer hall since October 2010. Check their calendar for concerts and events.


The museum is fully accessible with a lift. There are disabled parking places in Strobelgasse with a level entrance. An accessible loo is in the first basement floor that can be reached with a lift.


If you have a coat with you, use the wardrobe as the temperature in the museum seems to be pretty high. Also, take opportunity of the texts available as the audio guide does not address everything at all in the museum.

Domgasse 5, 1010 Wien


www.visitingvienna.com/footsteps/mozartwohnung/

kurier.at/cm/zu-besuch-bei-einer-legende-so-lebte-mozart-in-wien/401464504

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