Franz Schubert was unique in that he was one of the few composers able to make a living from the music he wrote during his lifetime. Schubert was born in 1797 in the kitchen of a small apartment near Vienna, and lived there with his family for the first five years of his life. Today the apartment has been converted to a museum that documents and illustrates most of the composer’s biography including: his training, his musical development, his friends, and his family. Objects on display at the Schubert Geburthaus (or Schubert’s birth home, in German) include famous contemporary portraits of Schubert by Moritz von Schwind, Wilhelm August Rieder, and Leopold Kupelwieser. The composer’s trademark spectacles are also on display, and visitors may listen to works composed by Schubert while sitting at his desk. Though the museum is small and simple, with a little imagination the visitor can transport themselves back 200 years and imagine what life might have been like in Austria at that time.
This museum is just a short ride out from Vienna’s city center on the number 38 or 37 tram (get off at Canisiusgasse), or take the Metro to Währinger Strasse. The museum is free to visit on the first Sunday of the month.