Haydn was laid to rest in Vienna where his last public appearance in March 1808 took place. One of the guests: Ludwig van Beethoven. With the age of 77, he died peacefully in the Haydn House.
In March 1808
, the old master was carried in his chair to his last public appearance
at the assembly hall of the Old University
(today Academy of Science, 1, Dr.-Ignaz-Seipel-Platz 2), where he attended the performance of his “Creation.” Another of the illustrious guests: Ludwig van Beethoven.
On May 31st 1809
, at the age of 77, he died peacefully in the Haydn House
, where he was taken care of for many years by a housekeeper and by his secretary Johann Elssler, father of the famous dancer Fanny Elssler. In his old age, it is said, he intoned daily the melody of his Imperial Anthem. Napoleon
, commander of the enemy troops occupying Vienna, showed his admiration for the composer: when Haydn was fading, he posted an honorary guard in front of his house.
Haydn was first laid to rest in Vienna
at the Hundsturm Cemetery
(today’s Haydn Park, 12, Gaudenzdorfer Gürtel). Nowadays only a memorial plaque with the – translated – inscription "I will not die completely
" can be found here.
Followers of the science of phrenology which was then in fashion (they purport to be able to deduce intellectual abilities from the form of the skull) stole Haydn’s skull. After changing owners several times – a crime case of the first order – the skull reached the Mountain Church
where the rest of Haydn’s remains have rested since 1820