Mozart is a constant in our house. Whether it’s my husband or my daughter playing one of the great composer’s masterful pieces on the piano, or my other daughter playing a Mozart opus on the violin, the sounds of the classical idol have accompanied our life for years. It was fitting, I suppose, that at some point in my travels I would find myself in Mozart’s birthplace. Here I was at No. 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg, Austria, alone for a few surreal moments in the very room in which he was born. A heady moment, to be sure. Here are just a few of the things I learned about Mozart that day and why I highly recommend a visit to his birth home, as well as his subsequent residence elsewhere in the city.
Wolfgang Amadé Mozart was born in 1756 on the third floor of a bright-yellow house on Getreidegasse, known at that time as the “Upper Hagenauer House on the Fish Market.” Today, the house is one of the most-visited museums in Austria. His family lived in the home for 26 years, starting in 1747, before moving to the Mozart Residence on Makartplatz Square. The birthplace museum was opened in 1880 by the International Mozarteum Foundation.
Mozart's original pianoforte. He received his child violin at the age of 6.
What You’ll See at the Mozart House
I suggest taking the hour-long tour through the original rooms of the Mozart House. You’ll see original certificates, letters and memorabilia from his life in Salzburg; a collection of portraits; and Mozart’s own violin and clavichord. You can also explore the reconstructed apartment that has been outfitted with furniture from the 18th century for an authentic feel. On the first floor, an annual exhibition keeps things fresh, so it’s even fun to return if you’ve visited the house-museum on a prior visit. You’ll leave with a new perspective on and appreciation for this musical genius.
Don’t Overlook the Mozart Residence
Once you’ve visited the Mozart House, move on to the Mozart Residence or “Dance Master’s House” on today’s Makartplatz. The eight-room apartment on the first floor, where the family lived from 1773 to 1787, has been converted into an intriguing museum. Mozart lived here until he moved to Vienna in 1781. The home suffered damage during World War II, but was bought and restored according to its original building plans by the International Mozart Foundation in 1955. Look for Mozart’s pianoforte, original documents, portraits and more, and attend concerts and talks that dive deeper into the Mozart experience.
A few of the items on display that I saw during my visit.
More About Mozart
Did you know …
… that Mozart was a knight?
In fact, he was dubbed by the Pope a “Knight of the Golden Spur.” Much to his father Leopold’s chagrin, he didn’t marry a baroness befitting of his royal station, but in fact married for love.
… that Mozart wrote a poem for his bird?
In keeping with the family’s penchant for music, they typically kept songbirds as pets. (They also had a fox terrier named Pimperl.) When Mozart lived in Vienna as an adult, he continued to keep birds, including a starling to whom he penned “Poem to a dead starling” upon its passing in 1787.
Are you a music lover? Reach out by booking a consultation through my Services page and let’s chat about why you should include the Mozart House and Mozart Residence on your trip to Austria!