Vienna Beethoven Museum - Atlas Obscura

Vienna Beethoven Museum

A museum capturing one of the world's most famous classical composer's battle with hearing loss.  


Ludwig von Beethoven called Vienna home for the last 35 years of his life. In the summer of 1802, Beethoven was grappling with progressive deafness. He sought refuge in the home that is now the Beethoven Museum. It was within these walls, at 32 years old, that Beethoven penned the Heiligenstädter Testament, a raw and emotional letter where he vehemently confronted his deafness and the elusive cure, ultimately resolving to forge ahead in his musical career. 

Now, the museum tells the tale of the composer’s tumultuous time battling his hearing loss. Fourteen meticulously curated rooms allow visitors to immerse themselves in the composer’s life, each whispering secrets of the building’s rich history and Beethoven’s time in it. Early hearing devices called “ear pipes” and sound amplifiers for his piano sit in the museum. Some symbolic items like eggs—which Beethoven was said to have thrown in bad temper—are also on display.

Amidst his struggle, Beethoven composed several of his masterpieces here, such as his Eroica Symphony, The Tempest piano sonata, and Christ on the Mount of Olives.

Know Before You Go

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., with an hour closure from 1 to 2 p.m.. Admission for adults is eight euros. On the first Sunday of every month, entry to the museum is free.

In partnership with KAYAK

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