• Mika Vepsalainen

The Rich Non-English Composer in Vienna

Thanks to his world-renowned music, Joseph Haydn had reached such wealth in his late middle age that he could acquire a big villa in Gumpendorf in the outskirts of Vienna.



What was far away at Haydn’s time is now in the heart of Vienna's sixth Bezirk, not far from the popular Mariahilferstrasße, where Haydnhaus is located and exhibited as the oldest musician’s apartment of the Vienna Museum. Haydn bought his villa between his two shortish stints in England in the 1790's (about two years each, not really making him an English composer, does it?). Haydn added a floor in the building which allowed him to accommodate lots of friends who complained though that his house was too far from Vienna. When kicked out of his own flat, Brahms even lived there with Haydn and left some beautiful furniture that are still on show in the Brahms room in the 1st floor. From Haydn himself there are only a pen and two pianos left but instead you can admire a cannon ball that was found in Haydn's garden after Napoleon's attack on Vienna on 12 May 1809!


Haydn’s household followed a strict order of events between composing, eating and resting with his faithful staff taking care of the ageing composer till his end in the house, please see the daily schedule! For his rest and for growing fruit, Haydn had a beautiful inner yard which was already mentioned in the “Franziszeischer Kataster”, the first Viennese land register from about 1820. There are park benches now for you to listen so some of Brahms’s music - a lovely spot for a peaceful moment.


There is a loo that you can access from the garden but no café - bring a drink with you and have it in the garden. The museum shop at the entrance is not particularly convincing but might give you a few ideas. Check the Haydnhaus with me - easy to find in his own street!



Haydngasse 19, 1060 Vienna

https://www.wienmuseum.at/en/locations/haydnhaus