Beethoven in Gneixendorf
Although he had been born in Bonn/Germany, Beethoven belongs to the “four Musical Classics“ in Austria. Already during his lifetime he was named a genius and he was described as impulsive and erratic. Beethoven arrived in Vienna in November 1792 and died there in March 1827.
In Vienna 26 different homes are proven, furthermore Beethoven had lived in an apartment in Baden near Vienna. One of the reasons for his frequent moves according to the tradition was that with his increasing deafness he became very suspicious and disputatious. He did not tolerate that anybody listened while composing at the piano as he wanted to avoid that other persons steal his musical ideas.
The hygienic conditions around 1800 cannot be compared with the situation nowadays. Beethoven fell ill with hepatitis, which made him suffer that much in 1826, that he accepted an invitation from his brother to follow him to Gneixendorf where he stayed from end of September until late November. For board and lodging in the Wasserhof castle Ludwig had to pay 4 guilders per day to his brother Johann. About Gneixendorf he wrote that the name reminds him of a breaking car axle, that the air is healthy, about the rest you have to “Memento Mori” (remember that you are mortal).
Beethoven’s health deteriorated constantly until the disputatious mind departed hastily after a struggle with his brother and whose family. On the journey back to Vienna he developed pneumonia, from which he did not recover anymore. Even so he is called in Gneixendorf “Der närrische und terrische Bruder vom Gnä Herrn” or “Der grauperte Musikant” who managed to “make nervous the young oxes” by his unusual behaviour, Gneixendorf will always keep a positive memory of Ludwig van Beethoven.
The Beethovenhaus is located south of Gneixdendorf castle (Schlossstraße 19).
You enter the cubic double-storey mansard hipped roof building through a semicircular arch doorway with a gable frame and a stone coat of arms. The current construction goes back to the 18th century, with a painted “Ortbänderung” and large rectangular windows which hide the older core, which dates back probably to the 16th century. The beautiful classicistic equipping and staffing on the first floor were erected around 1800. Wallpapers with romantic landscape painting (waterfalls and Greek, Roman and oriental buildings as well as painted illusionistic architecture.
Beethoven had never live in this building, however he probably was there for a visit from time to time during his stay in the countryside in Gneixendorf in 1826.
The premises on the 1st floor are a private museum run by Fam. Gettinger and can be visited based on an advance reservation under phone no +43650 4353290.
Translated by Georg Wellischowitsch