Vienna Media News 02/2018 A new Viennese museum dedicated to Beethoven
The new Beethoven Museum, which opened at the end of November 2017 with two open-house days, sheds fresh light on the life and work of the great composer with the help of the latest research. Fans can look forward to a fascinatingly stage-managed visitor flow, which is structured around nuggets of information relating to Vienna’s cultural history and Beethoven’s output. The garden at the back of the building is an oasis of quiet reflection during the day. An additional bonus for visitors is that the new museum is surrounded by the wine taverns of the nineteenth district.
Born in Bonn in 1770, Ludwig van Beethoven first came to Vienna as a 17-year-old to study under Mozart. He would later return to the city, making the Austrian capital his permanent home from 1792 until his death in 1827. Three apartments linked to the famous composer have long since become outposts of the Wien Museum. One of which, the apartment at Probusgasse 6 in the nineteenth district suburb of Heiligenstadt, has grown over the years from a small memorial site into the major new Beethoven Museum it is today.
The location played a significant role in the composer’s life, as it was here that he sought deliverance – or at least respite – from his hearing difficulties. In the early nineteenth century Heiligenstadt was a self-contained wine growing village. Construction of the public baths on what is now Heiligenstädter Park brought about a change in the modest village’s fortunes. The baths were supplied by a water source that was rich in natural minerals and its purported curative properties attracted countless people looking to take the cure, including many leading figures of Viennese high society.
According to documentary evidence, the house at Probusgasse 6 was where Beethoven put a devastating realization to paper. It was here that he wrote the Heiligenstadt Testament in 1802, a letter intended for his brothers, which he never sent, that expressed the despair he felt over his increasing deafness. The apartment is also where he worked on a number of his most important works, including his Second Symphony and sketched out the initial outlines of his Third Symphony, Eroica.
- Beethoven Museum, Probusgasse 6, 1190 Vienna, www.wienmuseum.at
Vienna Tourist Board
Tel. (+ 43 1) 211 14-364