Vienna is never too shy to highlight its classical music heritage. And so it is with the composer Franz Schubert (1797-1828), a son of the city who gets his own statue in the Stadtpark city park.
- 1872 memorial statue with musical reliefs
- Shares a park with other composer statues, including Strauss
- See also:
The statue and its history
(Behind Schubert is the splendid Ring boulevard)
Back in 1872, Schubert got his own memorial in the Stadtpark, thanks to a statue organised by the Viennese Male Voice Choir: an institution that continues today.
The choir raised the funds over a ten-year period, mainly through their own concerts. This led the great patron of the arts, Nikolaus Dumba, to note in his speech at the official unveiling on May 18th that (my rough translation):
We built this statue stone by stone not from donations but through his songs.
Numerous members of the Schubert family and associates attended that unveiling along with Vienna’s mayor, with the papers celebrating a worthy monument to a true son of the city (Schubert was born, lived and died in Vienna).
A celebratory concert followed in the evening in the large concert hall of the newly-built Musikverein (considered one of the world’s greatest classical concert venues).
(That’s not a paint-by-numbers book in his hands)
The design by sculptor Carl Kundmann shows Schubert sitting pensively, poised to put down notes on paper and just waiting for the right inspiration. (Given he wrote hundreds of compositions, he presumably didn’t have to wait very long.)
You almost have the urge to climb up and see what he’s already written (don’t, though).
The base of the statue features three reliefs dedicated to the themes musical imagination, instrumental music, and vocal music.
Incidentally, Kundmann also designed the memorial marking Schubert’s grave in the Zentralfriedhof cemetery, as well as numerous statues and reliefs for various state buildings that went up around Vienna in the 19th century.
(Carl Kundmann photographed by Emil Rabending in 1868; Wien Museum Inv.-Nr. 104070/3; excerpt reproduced with permission under the terms of the CC0 licence)
The Stadtpark also has memorials to Franz Lehar and Anton Bruckner, for example. One composer statue, however, overshadows all the others: the hugely popular golden Strauss (easily found by looking for the cameras and smartphones).
The park itself is an otherwise tranquil spot with ornamental trees, open meadows and even a river running through it. It’s right on the edge of the city center: one end adjoins the Schubertring (!) part of the giant Ringstrassen that encircles the old town.
How to get to Schubert
Simply follow the instructions for reaching the Stadtpark. The Schubert statue sits about halfway between the Weihburggasse and Stubentor stops on tram line 2. See the map below:
Address: Stadtpark, Parkring, 1010 Vienna