A Look Inside Mozarthaus in Vienna
Although Mozart lived at many addresses during his time in Vienna, only one of the places he called home is still around today — Mozarthaus. Located in the historic quarter at Domgasse number 5, the famous composer spent some of the happiest years of his life at this address between 1784 and 1787. As well as containing the real apartment in which Mozart lived, today Mozarthaus is also home to a spectacular museum which showcases many highlights from the composers public and private life.
Credit: MozarthausVienna [CC BY-SA 4.0]
The structure was originally built in the 17th century over just two floors before it was redeveloped and expanded in 1716 — some 70 years before Mozart would walk through its doors. When the composer rented his apartment, the building was not called Mozarthaus, but Camesina House. It was named after the family who had owned it since 1720. The house’s original entrance that Mozart would have used faced Schulerstraße. But this was blocked off to make room for a shop, leaving only the rear entrance on Domgasse.
On the 150th anniversary of Mozart’s death in 1941, his former apartment was opened to the public as part of the “Imperial German Mozart Week”. This was a Nationalist Socialist event designed to honour him as a typically German composer, in contrast to his polyglot lifestyle. In 1945, the Vienna Museum took over the exhibition. Despite Mozarthaus’ convenient location, close to St. Stephen’s Cathedral, visitor numbers were relatively low, at a modest 80,000 per year.
In 2004, Wien Holdingtook over the building and completely renovated it, fully redesigning it to make it more accessible and enjoyable for visitors. The work was completed by 2006 — just in time for the 250th anniversary of Mozart’s birth. Following the renovations, Mozarthaus became a museum dedicated to the composer’s fascinating life and work.
Today, the popular tourist attraction is a treasure trove of information about Mozart, with historical exhibits, audio-visual displays, an events hall in the basement and a well-preserved apartment in which the child genius once lived. Around 340,000 people visited the museum in the first three years after its renovation — a significant improvement on the previous figures.
Credit: Burkhard Mücke [CC BY-SA 4.0]
Mozarthaus guides you through the late 18th century Vienna, providing you with brilliant pieces of information and artefacts from the past. Although don’t get too excited — many of the artefacts are copies.
As soon as you pass by the ticket counter, you’ll find yourself on the third floor which focuses on Mozart and Vienna. Here you can learn all about what the city was like in the 1780s, as well as Mozart’s relationship with the Viennese aristocracy and the freemasons. There are fabulous maps and paintings of Vienna on this floor, giving you an insight into how different the city was back then compared to today. There’s also a copy of Mozart’s application to become a conductor at St. Stephen’s Cathedral.
The second floor looks at Mozart’s musical work and his operas in particular. This part of the museum gives the impression that Vienna was the Hollywood for musicians back then, attracting incredible talent from all over Europe who sought fame and fortune in the Habsburg capital.
You can learn all about Mozart’s contemporaries, such as Christoph Willibald Gluck and Salieri, as well as discover the fascinating story surrounding his Requiem. If you can’t wait until you visit Mozarthaus to find out the secrets, we’ve already written about them! One of the many highlights of the second floor is a video which displays excerpts from seven different modern performances of The Marriage of Figarowhich all play at the same time.
Most visitors’ favourite part of the museum, the first floor of Mozarthaus showcases Mozart’s genuine former apartment where he lived for three years. During Mozart’s residence, the apartment was situated at a high-class rental address with 6-7 spacious rooms, a large open atrium and grand staircase in the centre. Although there is no photographic evidence which proves what his home looked like at the time, the museum curators have done their best to recreate his dwelling as accurately as they possibly could.
The layout and the decor of the apartment are as authentic as possible. And while there are no original furnishings, each room features furniture representative of what Mozart would have possessed and they do come from the same period — they just weren’t owned by Mozart.
Here you can look out the window and see the same view that Mozart admired almost 200 years ago. You can stand in the spot where Mozart’s pen flew across the page, drafting his incredible overture to the Marriage of Figaro the world would come to love. You can walk into the room where, after watching Mozart play, Haydn turned to Mozart’s father and said “Your son is the greatest composer known to me either in person or by name”.
At the end of your visit, you’ll emerge with a much greater understanding of Mozart, his music and the time in which he lived.
Concerts at Mozarthaus
For almost 20 years, the concert hall in the basement of Mozarthaus has hosted classical concerts that represent an important part of the cultural programme of Vienna. Here some of the most beautiful melodies of classical composers such as Mozart, Haydn and Beethoven have amazed and enchanted audiences. The remarkable quartet Mozart Ensemble performs at this location in historically-accurate costumes, providing an incredibly authentic experience for anyone eager to find out what it was like to see such music performed in Mozart’s day.
Performances are held nightly throughout the year on Thursdays, Fridays and Sundays at 7.30pm and on Saturdays at 6pm. Click here to book your tickets.
Important info about Mozarthaus
Address:A-1010 Vienna, Domgasse 5
Opening hours:Every day, 10am - 7pm. Final admission is at 6.30pm.
Prices:Standard adult ticket is €11 and a standard child ticket is €4.50. Free entry with a Vienna Pass.
Getting there:Get off at the Stephansplatz Station via Subway lines U1/U3, or via bus lines 1A, 2A or 3A. Mozarthaus is just a short walk away from this station.