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Vienna: Haydn at Every Step

The Austrian composer Joseph Haydn left his mark in many corners of the capital Vienna. Visit his memorial in Mariahilfer Straße and see - or even hear - Haydn at the historic Anker Clock.
Joseph Haydn turned down an attractive offer in London to return to his musical roots in Vienna. Numerous places across the city testify to the great composer’s legacy.

In 1793 Haydn bought this former suburb house in Haydngasse 19, near today’s famous Mariahilferstraße, and had it converted and another storey added. This house, which served as his home for 12 years, was where Haydn composed the majority of his late works, among them the grandiose oratorios "The Creation" and "The Four Seasons". The museum inside today's Haydnhaus is a must for all Haydn fans!

St. Stephen’s Cathedral
In 1739 the conductor of St. Stephen’s Cathedral visited Hainburg’s parish priest in search of talented choir boys. One of those auditioning was the young Haydn and the conductor immediately recognized his outstanding musical talent and recruited the eight-year old Joseph for the cathedral in Vienna, where Haydn then married Maria Anna Keller in 1760.

Mozarthaus Vienna
The child prodigy and music genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart called Haydn his fatherly friend. On 2nd February 1785, the two composers met in Domgasse where Mozart lived from 1784 to 1787. With four rooms, two cabinets and one kitchen Mozart lived like a prince. In those years Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart wrote some of his quartets, which he dedicated to Joseph Haydn. Three of them premiered with Haydn on the violin and Mozart on the viola. Nowadays visitors to Vienna can still step inside the Mozarthaus.

Michaelerhaus and Michaelerkirche
Between 1750 and 1755 Haydn lived at Michaelerhaus, where he was both employee and student of the famous conductor Nicola Porpora. This is also where he met the court poet Pietro Metastasio. Despite all the privations, Haydn said of those years: “I worked on a piano that was eaten up by worms, yet I did not envy any king for his fortune”. In 1749, a 17-year old Joseph Haydn played the organ in the Michaelerkirche church next door. A memorial plaque left of Michaelertor reminds of the old Burgtheater where Haydn triumphed with his "Emperor's Hymn".

Anker Clock at Hoher Markt
The splendid Anker Clock - designed by the Art Nouveau painter and sculptor Franz von Matsch and built between 1911 and 1917 - links the two parts of the Anker building, boasting a total span of ten meters. Throughout the course of 12 hours, 12 historical figures move across the clock face, among them Roman Emperor Marcus Aurelius, Empress Maria Theresa and Prince Eugen of Savoy. Joseph Haydn is the last of them. Every day at noon all figures appear at the same time, accompanied by music. In the old days it was the "Emperor's Hymn" which, for political reasons, was replaced by another Haydn composition after the downfall of the monarchy.

Haydn Memorial in Mariahilfer Straße
This memorial is located on Vienna’s liveliest shopping street at Mariahilfer Straße 55. It was funded from donations collected by Haydn fans. The memorial was unveiled in 1887, long after Haydn’s death in 1809. The marble statue is the work of the South Tirolean sculptor Heinrich Natter. The pedestal was designed by the Viennese architect Otto Hieser.

Schönbrunn Palace
The Austrian emperor’s former summer residence is one of Europe’s most beautiful baroque palaces. In 1745, the St. Stephan's Cathedral choir performed here. Choir boy Joseph Haydn began climbing around the scaffolding and promptly got a flogging for this unseemly behavior. Many years later, in 1777, Haydn performed at Schönbrunn Palace once again, this time as conductor under Count Esterházy.

This old wine cellar at Haarhof 1, 1010 Vienna dates from 1683. It inspired Haydn, who was a regular patron, to several of his compositions. Today the historic rooms serve a unique combination of Viennese cooking, wine and exhibitions.
Maria Treu Baroque Basilica
Commissioned by the Piarists, Haydn’s "Missa in Tempore Belli" was first performed in this church on 26th December 1796. Another musician who chose Maria Treu Basilica to premiere his works was Anton Bruckner. Bruckner also took two exams on the basilica’s organ which dates from 1858 and is still used today.

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