While the likes of Beethoven were adopted sons of Vienna, Franz Schubert was the city’s true biological offspring. Born here. Died here. And – for most of his short life – lived and worked here.
Explore the major (and minor) Schubert landmarks in Vienna below, view relevant photos in the slideshow and follow his footsteps on the map at the end of the article:
Birthplace and childhood
The house in Alsergrund where Schubert was born on Jan 31st, 1797 – and spent the early part of his childhood – is now the Schubert Geburtshaus museum. It displays, for example, a pair of his famous spectacles (address: Nußdorfer Straße 54).
It’s a short walk to two other nearby sites featuring commemorative plaques:
- The Schubertkirche or Lichtentaler Pfarrkirche (the parish church where he was baptised)
Schubert sang in the choir, played the organ (which you can still see) and composed several works for the church. He wrote, for example, his Mass No. 1 in F major in celebration of the church’s centenary and conducted the first performance there on September 25, 1814 (address: Marktgasse 40).
- Säulengasse 3 (his father’s house and the parish church’s school)
Schubert lived over half his life in the house of his father and it was here that he composed his 2nd, 3rd, 4th and 5th symphonies. You’d hardly think it from the look of the building, but the only things tuned there now are cars – it’s an auto repair shop.
Schubert died on November 19, 1828 in his brother Ferdinand’s apartment. Like his birthplace, the Schubert Sterbewohnung is also a small museum (address: Kettenbrückengasse 6).
The funeral service took place a few streets away at the St. Josef zu Margareten church, where you’ll find both a commemorative plaque and another church organ that Schubert used to play (address: Schönbrunnerstraße 52).
He was then buried close to Beethoven in the Währinger Ortsfriedhof (now a public park popular with dog owners – the Währinger Schubertpark), but was later moved to the main Zentralfriedhof cemetery to join other famous composers in a celebrity section: this is where you’ll find Schubert’s grave.
The site of the original grave still features the headstone monument erected by friends and family using funds raised by concert performances.
Other notable addresses
Statues and memorials
I like Schubert’s look – poised to put another inspirational note down on paper. But it’s not as big or as golden as the nearby Strauss memorial, which is why you won’t usually have to wait to take a photo.
- Bruno-Kreisky Park features a lime tree and memorial stone planted to mark the 100th anniversary of the composer’s death (address: where the Margaretengürtel meets the Schönbrunner Straße)
What can I say? It’s a lime tree.
- The “Schubert fountain” (Schubertbrunnen – erected in 1928) is at the junction of Alserbachstraße and Liechtensteinstraße
It rained when I visited. Fountains don’t look good in the rain.
- Akademische Gymnasium and Konviktschule – this is the location of Schubert’s grammar school and also where he was a choir boy, taking lessons from none other than Antonio Salieri (address: Dr.-Ignaz-Seipel-Platz)
This is a beautiful old square which also features the Jesuitenkirche (Jesuit church) and the Austrian Academy of Sciences. Walk the narrow lanes for a flavor of Vienna’s elegant past.
- St. Anna school – here he did his teacher training (address: Annagasse 3-3a).
The same building is where Austria’s most-famous footballer – Matthias Sindelar – died in 1939, officially from accidental carbon monoxide poisoning, but possibly in a suicide pact or at the hand of the Nazis. The ground floor now houses a Burger King.
Other homes and haunts
Schubert was not wealthy and spent a large amount of time living in the apartments of friends like Franz von Schober (for example at Tuchlauben 14 and 20). Other addresses are marked on the map, but among the more notable are:
- Spiegelgasse 9 – von Schober’s home where Schubert started his unfinished symphony
- Singerstraße 28 – the restaurant at this address (“Zu den drei Hacken”) is the very same one that he used to eat, drink and (presumably) compose in
- Schönbrunnerstraße 52 – Schubert used the organ at the St. Josef zu Margareten church here, where his body was also consecrated
Enjoy your trip around Schubert’s Vienna and remember, “Anyone who loves music can never be quite unhappy”.