1 – The most visited museum of Beethoven
Here, we look at ten places from the life of Ludwig van Beethoven that all true obsessives should visit.
Beethoven was born in December 1770 to Johann van Beethoven and Maria Magdalena Keverich in the small attic room of a house on Bonngasse. From the very first he was surrounded by music: his father was a tenor at the court of Electoral Prince Maximilian Friedrich. Beethoven lived in the garden wing of the house for the first four years of his life, but the family eventually moved and the composer spent much of his adolescence in another house. This residence, has become the famous Beethoven-Haus museum.
In 1796 he spent time in Prague, lodging in the Malá Strana district near the city’s castle. While staying at the Golden Unicorn inn on Lázeňská (now an apartment building called Palac Beethoven), he penned several chamber works for the aristocrat Josephine de Clary, and he also ventured down to the House at the Three Fiddles on Nerudova Street to have his violin seen to by the Edlinger luthier family. Though it’s now a restaurant, three crossed violins still adorn face of the building.
Beethoven had travelled to Vienna in 1786 in the hope of meeting Mozart, but was forced to return on hearing that his mother was gravely ill. Six years later he came again and built his life in the city and surrounding areas. One such area was Heiligenstadt – then an independent wine growing town, now one of the districts of Vienna. He’d come to the spa town in 1802 on the advice of his doctor in a bid to mitigate his deafness, and it was here that he wrote his famous Testament.
Theater an der Wien
It’s thought that Beethoven lived in no less than 60 residences during his time in Vienna, and in 1803 he was offered one of the grandest: an apartment in part of the Theatre an der Wien complex. The theatre’s manager, Zauberflöte librettist Emanuel Schikaneder, secured Beethoven the digs, and the theatre itself proved centrally significant in his compositional output: the Third, Fifth and Sixth Symphonies premiered there, as did Fidelio and other works. The building that Beethoven lived in no longer exists, but you can still experience living musical history in the Theater an der Wien itself.
(Continues the next day)