Mozarthaus Vienna

Lonely Planet review

Mozarthaus Vienna, the residence where the great composer spent two and a half happy and productive years, is now the city’s premiere Mozart attraction. Although the exhibits in themselves are not startling (they tend to be mainly copies of music scores or based around paintings), the free audio guide is indispensable and recreates well the story of Mozart and his time.

Mozart spent a total of 11 years in Vienna, changing residence frequently and sometimes setting up his home outside the Ringstrasse in the cheaper Vorstädte (inner suburbs) when he needed to tighten his purse.

The exhibition begins on the top floor of this historic building with a narrow, closed-in inner courtyard. This deals with the society of the late 18th century, providing asides into prominent figures in the court and Mozart’s life, such as the Freemasons to whom he dedicated a number of pieces. Mozart’s vices – his womanising, gambling and ability to waste excessive amounts of money – lend a spicy edge (you can look through some peepholes). The next floor concentrates on Mozart’s music and his musical influences. It was in this house that he penned The Marriage of Figaro, which went down like a lead balloon in Vienna but was enthusiastically received in Prague. A surreal holographic performance of scenes from The Magic Flute is in another room. The final floor has Mozart's bedroom and a few period pieces of furniture in glass cases to give a feel for the era.