Beethoven made his name in Vienna, spending around 35 years in the city from 1792 until his death here in 1827. Dozens of addresses have some kind of connection to his life…not least the two locations where he was buried (yep, two).
Beethoven location map
Beethoven lived in numerous Viennese houses and apartments, drank coffee and ate in numerous cafés and restaurants, and performed in numerous establishments. Some are still around, today. Many are not.
Discover the most prominent surviving locations with this map and guide, which includes photos and various articles so you can tour Vienna and follow in the footsteps of one of the world’s greatest composers.
N.B. Beethoven’s 250th birthday is in 2020, an occasion of celebration with a host of events taking place in the city.
Top Beethoven landmarks
Since Beethoven was born in Bonn, you’re not going to find his birthplace anywhere. But there are plenty of other locations in Vienna with a strong relationship to the composer. Let us begin with the most important…
The Beethoven Museum (Probusgasse 6): A lovely musical museum in what is presumed to be the very house that Beethoven wrote the famous Heiligenstädter Testament (and his third symphony).
Beethoven’s grave (Zentralfriedhof): When Beethoven died in 1827, they first buried him in the local Währinger cemetery before eventually moving the body to Vienna’s main Zentralfriedhof cemetery. Beethoven’s grave forms the centrepiece of a beautiful arrangement of composer graves that includes Strauss Jnr. and Schubert.
The Beethoven statue (Beethovenplatz): A large bronze statue unveiled in 1880 is Vienna’s main monument to the master. The Beethoven statue sits in what you might call the music quarter, full of great venues that play host to his works today.
The Beethoven Pasqualatihaus (Mölker Bastei 8): A small museum in the house where he produced his opera, Fidelio. Not as comprehensive as the main Beethoven Museum, but it gives you a feel for the kind of environment he once lived and composed in.
Other Beethoven sites
Haus der Musik (Seilerstätte 30): a museum of music and sound, with individual galleries dedicated to Vienna’s famous composers. The Beethoven room, for example, includes a door from his final residence and plenty of other memorabilia.
Schwarzspanierhaus (Schwarzspanierstraße 15): Beethoven died in his apartment on this site in 1827. The original house has gone, but the “new” one from 1903 has reliefs and plaques paying testament to the location’s historical importance.
Historical Musical Instrument Collection (Neue Burg): no prizes for guessing what this part of Vienna’s Kunsthistorisches Museum displays. Among the treasures is a fortepiano allegedly played by Beethoven himself.
Palais Niederösterreich (Herrengasse 13): Beethoven apparently conducted a performance here in 1825. The Palais is a beautiful old city palace that only opens to the public on rare occasions.
The Beethoven Frieze (Friedrichstraße 12): this huge Klimt wall painting lives in the Secession art gallery. Klimt created the work for the 1902 Beethoven exhibition.
The Haydnhaus (Haydngasse 19): As you might guess from the name, this was the last residence of Haydn in Vienna: literally the Haydn House. Now a museum, Beethoven visited the old master here.
The Augarten Saal (Obere Augartenstraße 1): Another surviving venue, now a café and a tract of the Augarten porcelain manufactury. A plaque outside the Saal notes that Beethoven premiered the Kreutzer Sonata here in 1803.
Grinzinger Straße 64: Known as the Beethoven-Grillparzer House, this private residence once echoed to the music of the maestro and the words of Franz Grillparzer, one of Austria’s greatest writers. Both lodged there at the same time.
I’m researching more locations in 2019/2020, so watch this space for updates on residences, in particular.