This is literally my first place to go after my plane touches down Vienna. I have to move this time sink to my schedule’s very beginning – by far it’s the least-central attraction of my trip, requiring a ten-minute train ride from the Mitte Station followed by a fifteen-minute walk.
Branding. The house can also be casually called a “Beethoven House”. But having been rebranded as a museum, it now acquires a bit more legitimacy to attract visitors to this Heiligenstadt, an otherwise suburban, residential district much less touristy than those with other composers’ houses.
(Not to be confused with the “Beethoven Pasqualati House”, an apartment he lived in at a later period.)
Background. The museum traces the time Beethoven was to visit Vienna for the second time – a time that that he was already well-established as a musical genius in his home town, Bonn. But then this time his visit had an expected twist – his father’s death and France's ambitious military actions towards the east eventually meant that he was to stay here, forever.
Living here. In 1801 his hearing continued to deteriorate only to be complicated by stress and a questionable future. It was under this backdrop that his doctor recommended him to move away from the hectic Vienna. He moved to the house in 1802.
Interactivity. A small number of devices scatter across the showrooms. Keyboard game – press the chord as shown to activate the music playing. Try not to struggle for too long, or face the humiliation of a staffer coming to rescue.
Cold knowledge. On the first floor you can experiment using your skull bones to listen – much like Beethoven in his later years, when he used his teeth to sense the vibrations from his piano.