It’s one thing to hear a performance of Mozart’s The Marriage of Figaro, but quite another to stand in the very room where he wrote it. Welcome to Mozart’s apartment in Vienna.
- The real deal – Mozart’s actual home for three years
- Period layout and decor, with information and displays offering insights into his life and music
- Entrance included in the Mozarthaus ticket (one-time free entry with the Vienna Pass, advanced tickets available*)
- See also: Mozart location guide | Beethoven Museum
Inside the Mozartwohnung
(Portrait of Mozart by Carl Meyer; early 19th century. Image courtesy of the Rijksmuseum)
This is the actual apartment that Mozart and his family occupied from 1784 to 1787, quite the longest period of time he stayed in one place in the city.
Located close to Stephansdom cathedral, this must have been a fairly high-class rental address, with some six to seven rooms around the open atrium and staircase at the centre of the house.
Sadly, Instagram was somewhat underdeveloped back in the 1780s, so our records of the apartment’s look and contents are scanty. But careful research means the layout and decor is as authentic as it can be.
Unfortunately, no original furnishings survive, but each room contains a representative item of furniture that wasn’t Mozart’s but is from the correct historical period.
So much for that.
Now, why should you go there? I’ll come to the contents, but it’s all about history…
- You look out a window and see more or less the exact same view Mozart might have seen over 200 years ago
- You stand in a room where Mozart’s pen flew across the page, releasing the overture to the Marriage of Figaro into the world
- You wander through the room where Mozart took up a viola, nodded to his father on the violin and played – for the very first time – the final piece in what would become known as the Haydn quartets. All while Haydn was watching
An impressed Haydn tuned to Leopold Mozart and said:
…your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person and by name.”
The words echo down the decades: clearly Haydn knew what he was talking about.
So that’s all you really need to know: this is the spiritual home of all classical music. Possibly.
(The street outside the apartment)
Now, aside from all that, you learn little tidbits about Mozart’s life, too. Information displays include both German and English, with an audioguide as part of your ticket. You’ll also find a few items and memorabilia scattered through each room.
You’re not going to learn a huge amount, but it’s about the experience, not necessarily the education. For example, little personal details bring you closer to the man:
- The copy of a handwritten note on an exercise sheet for a pupil
- The inventory from his final residence, with the two most expensive items the pianoforte and billiard table (seems apt, no?)
- The slew of images of Mozart himself: some authentic, some not. But the authentic ones leave the impression of a man driven with energy and imagination
The copies of six pages of sheet music that represent Mozart’s average daily output made the biggest impression on me. I’m a novelist and several levels down from that level of genius – but I know what maintaining that intensity of creativity must have taken in terms of blood, sweat, and inspiration.
And I don’t even like classical music that much. (Some places transcend personal interests.)
Tickets & visitor tips
The entrance ticket to the Mozarthaus includes a visit to the Mozartwohnung. See here for more details and visitor tips. One thing, though – do really look out the windows. It’s hard to believe that a modern city has managed to keep that view more or less intact for over 200 years.
Incidentally, the Mozarthaus also hosts concerts of Mozart’s music, including performances of pieces actually composed in the Mozartwohnung.
For more Mozart-related locations in Vienna (including his grave), see this handy guide and map.
How to get to the Mozartwohnung
Again, check the main Mozarthaus article for directions.
Address: Domgasse 5, 1010 Vienna | Website