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Travel Better: Mozart’s Vienna apartment is locked into the 1780s

Visitors walk past a Mozart poster during an exhibition at the Mozarthaus in Vienna. At the apartment in Domgasse 5, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived from 1784 to 1787 composing “The Impresario” and “The Marriage of Figaro” and other major works.
Visitors walk past a Mozart poster during an exhibition at the Mozarthaus in Vienna. At the apartment in Domgasse 5, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived from 1784 to 1787 composing “The Impresario” and “The Marriage of Figaro” and other major works. AP

Visitors to Vienna quickly learn that in the “City of Music” there is no such thing as too much Mozart or Strauss.

Museums are often an acquired taste for travelers, but when they capture the essence of a someone’s personality or a particular era, they take on a new life. Vienna’s Mozarthaus is one of those places.

Access to the apartment where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and his family lived from 1784 to 1787 is from the rear of the building rather than the main street. It requires a bit of diligence, but that’s part of the charm.

To visit Mozarthaus, begin at the rear of St. Stephen’s Cathedral and walk roughly 100 to 150 yards toward a small archway. Go through the arch until it opens to a narrow avenue that resembles an alleyway more than a street. At first you may wonder if you are in the right place because the apartments above the museum are still in use today, creating an atmosphere that Mozart still lives at the site that was his home about 230 years ago.

For roughly 60 years, Mozart’s apartment has been a museum in one fashion or another. Curators have been unable to find most of Mozart’s original furniture and furnishings, so the rooms of the apartment/museum are appointed as accurately as possible from written accounts of the composer’s life.

When combined with other elements of this venue, it is practically impossible not to feel a sense of being in the maestro’s presence during a visit. The design is intentionally meant to be interactive, rather than a stuffy memorial that fails to capture the spirit of the man who lived there. It was in this location that Mozart wrote his famous comic opera, “The Marriage of Figaro.”

The apartment consists of four large rooms plus two smaller ones and a kitchen. Among the treasured artifacts at Mozarthaus is the Flute Clock, a magnificent timepiece made around 1790, which plays the “Andante for a Cylinder in a Small Organ.” Many experts believe Mozart composed the music specifically for the clock.

Mozarthaus is a museum in tune with the times.

Details: http://mozarthausvienna.at/en.

Bob Taylor of Charlotte leads group tours and organized the Magellan Club.

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