Ludwig van Beethoven Walk
Start: Pasqualati House
End: Theater an der Wien
Distance 1.8 miles (2.9 km)
Time: 2 hours
Beethoven may not be a son of Vienna-he was born in Bonn, Germany-but at the age of twenty-two he made his way to the European music capital to study under Haydn. It was 1792, the year after Mozart’s death. Between his arrival in the city and his death in 1827 Beethoven moved homes more than seventy times.
The Ludwig van Beethoven Walk published by the local tourist board traces some of Beethoven’s homes and haunts. A good place to begin is Pasqualati House, now a museum, at Mölker Bastei, where the composer wrote his Fourth,Fifth, and Seventh symphonies in the top-floor apartment.
Among the scores, paintings, and clocks is the composer’s death mask.From there, a fifteen-minute walk south past the Hofburg Palace, where Beethoven premiered his Eighth Symphony during the Congress of Vienna in 1814, is Lobkowitz Palace, where the private premier of his Third Symphony, Eroicci, took place. Nearby, in the multimedia Hans der Musik, visitors can pretend to conduct the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra playing Eine Klein Nachtmusik. From here, a five-minute walk farther south on the Ludwig van Beethoven Walk leads to the Theater an der Wein.
In order to visit Eroica House in Oberdöbling, where Beethoven composed most of his Third Symphony, or Heiligenstadt, where he wrote the Heiligenstadt Testament-a famous letter to his brothers in which he despaired of his deafness and contemplated suicide-you will need to hop on tram No. 37. Both places, once pretty villages, lie in Vienna’s northern suburbs. Tram No. 71 will take you to the Zentralfriedhof (Central Cemetery) in Simmering, where Beethoven’s remains lie alongside those of other musical greats including Schubert, Johann Strauss (Sr. and Jr.), Brahms, Gluch, Safieri, and Schoenberg.