Are you a Mozart devotee? If so, you’ll know sometimes it’s just not enough just to hear the composer’s work – you need to go to the places where he lived, where his prodigious talent grew and bloomed. Here are ten significant places from Mozart’s life that you should visit.

1Hagenauer Haus, Salzburg

Mozart's birthplace © Andreas Stiasny | Wikimedia Commons
Mozart's birthplace
© Andreas Stiasny | Wikimedia Commons
In 1747, the composer and Salzburg Royal Chamber musician Leopold Mozart moved with his wife Anna Maria into the third floor residence at 9 Getreidegasse. It was here in January 1756 that their son Wolfgang Amadeus was born, the last in line of seven children born to the couple, of whom only one other survived – Mozart’s older sister Maria Anna. Understandably, the house became a pilgrimage site for music fans, and in 1880 the International Mozarteum Foundation established a museum on the premises. Here, you can see relics such as the violin the composer played as a child, and the keyboard he used to write The Magic Flute.

View of Salzburg Cathedral © Tourismus Salzburg | Breitegger Günter
View of Salzburg Cathedral
© Tourismus Salzburg | Breitegger Günter

2Salzburg Cathedral 

The day after Wolfgang was born, his parents took him to Salzburg’s Baroque city cathedral to be baptised. The font, in which Joseph Mohr – the writer of the lyrics to the Christmas carol Silent Night – was also baptised, is still there to be wondered at. Mozart was organist here in his teenage years as well as after a futile period looking for employment in Paris, and it was likely here where he performed the Coronation Mass for the first time. Now, the Salzburg Festival celebrates Mozart with performances of his work in the square in front of the cathedral.  

Schönbrunn Palace © Simon Matzinger | Wikimedia Commons
Schönbrunn Palace
© Simon Matzinger | Wikimedia Commons

3Schönbrunn Palace

The young Mozart’s precautious musical talents were evident early on, and his father sought to exhibit them to the world. In October 1762 he brought Wolfgang and his sister to the imperial summer retreat of the Hapsburg dynasty, Schönbrunn Palace, which at the time lay just outside Vienna. The concert that they gave before the royal family is believed to have been the Spiegelsaal, the “Hall of Mirrors”. Now, this opulent residence is a UNESCO world heritage site and major tourist attraction in its own right.

4Brno 

Statue of Mozart outside Reduta Theatre © David Karlin
Statue of Mozart outside Reduta Theatre
© David Karlin
Having toured the courts of Europe as a musical prodigy, the young Mozart was no stranger to travel. But in late 1767 it was necessity that pushed him on: an outbreak of smallpox in Vienna forced his family to flee to Brno. They travelled on to Olomouc, but by then it was clear that Wolfgang had caught the disease. Once he recovered, they travelled back to Brno, and the Mozart siblings gave a concert at the Taverna Theatre (now the Reduta) on 30 December 1767. A statue of the young Mozart, unveiled in 2008, commemorates their time there.

St Peter's Abbey © Zairon | Wikimedia Commons
St Peter's Abbey
© Zairon | Wikimedia Commons

5St Peter’s Abbey, Salzburg

When the son of the Mozart family’s landlord was ordained as the abbot of this Benedictine monastery, the 13-year-old Mozart composed his “Dominicus Mass” to mark the occasion. Years later, in 1783, parts of the composer’s incomplete Mass in C minor were premiered here, and when Mozart’s sister died in 1829 she was buried in the adjacent cemetery.

Inside the Mozart Residence musuem © ISM | Christian Schneider
Inside the Mozart Residence musuem
© ISM | Christian Schneider

6The dance-master’s house, Salzburg

Salzburg’s “Tanzmeisterhaus” – so named because it was the place where local aristocrats had taken dancing lessons – was fertile ground for Mozart’s burgeoning compositional talent. After moving with his family in 1773, he composed symphonies, concertos and masses, not to mention operas Il re pastore and parts of La finta giardiniera and Idomeneo here.

St Stephen's Cathedral © Bwag | Wikimedia Commons
St Stephen's Cathedral
© Bwag | Wikimedia Commons
After being all but flattened during the Second World War, the residence was rebuilt and opened as the Mozart Residence museum in 1996.

7St Stephen’s Cathedral, Vienna

This imposing Gothic and Romanesque structure, where Haydn had once sung as a choir boy, featured prominently some of the most significant events of Mozart’s life. He married Constanze Weber here in 1782 (one day before he received word of his father’s consent, the rebel), was briefly one of its music directors, had two of his children christenings and his own funeral held here too. 

Inside the Mozarthaus museum © Mozarthaus Vienna | David Peters
Inside the Mozarthaus museum
© Mozarthaus Vienna | David Peters

8Domgasse 5, Vienna

Probably the fanciest residence Mozart ever inhabited (and the only extant one in Vienna), Mozart took his family to live in this apartment at Domgasse 5 in 1784, where they would stay for the next two and a half years. Most significantly, it’s where he penned The Marriage of Figaro (as well as three of the “Haydn” string quartets), and today it functions as the Mozarthaus Vienna museum.

Inside the Estates Theatre © Jorge Royan | http://www.royan.com.ar
Inside the Estates Theatre
© Jorge Royan | http://www.royan.com.ar

9Estates Theatre, Prague

“My Praguers understand me”, Mozart is believed to have said, and in the performance history of his operas, Prague inhabits a particularly privileged place. Though its première was in Vienna, it was at Prague’s Estates Theatre where The Marriage of Figaro really found its audience, its triumph there leading to Mozart being asked to compose Don Giovanni in the city. He conducted the première of that work at the Estates Theatre in 1787, as well as the first performance of La clemenza di Tito in 1791. To celebrate Mozart’s relationship with the space, the theatre still puts on a run of Don Giovanni each August. 

The city figures prominently in Mozart’s orchestral oeuvre, too – the Clarinet Concerto and of course the “Prague” Symphony premiered here.

Zauberflötenhäuschen (Magic Flute House) © ISM | Christian Schneider
Zauberflötenhäuschen (Magic Flute House)
© ISM | Christian Schneider

10Little Magic Flute House

This shack-like structure travelled a long way to get to its current place in the garden of the International Mozarteum Foundation in Salzburg. Originally lying close to Vienna’s Theater auf der Wieden, it is believed that Mozart furiously worked on finishing The Magic Flute here in 1791, urged on by his librettist Emanuel Schikaneder who plied him with oysters and wine. In 1873, the structure was bequeathed to the Mozarteum Foundation and moved to the city of the composer’s birth. It can be visited, but only when you’re attending summer events at the Foundation.