An apartment located in Vienna’s suburb of Heiligenstadt, away from the bustle of the city, holds special meaning for many musicians. Here, Ludwig van Beethoven composed many of his famous symphonies and sonatas. In 1802, the composer retreated to this apartment in the countryside and wrote a letter to his brothers. In the famous unsent document, called the Heiligenstädter Testament, Beethoven expressed his despair over his advancing deafness. In the letter, he describes what it was like to be going deaf, he dealt with feelings of deep anger, and ultimately he found a way to continue with his life and his music. Other exhibits at the Beethoven Museum (or Beethoven Museum in Heiligenstadt) take a look at the compositions he created in the summer of 1802, and show the visitor what the area of Heiligenstadt was like at that time. Another room in the apartment examines the composer’s last months of life – and his death in the Schwarzspanierhaus (which no longer exists). The apartment’s rooms remain intact, and visitors can really get a sense of why this place was a calm writing retreat for the famous classical composer.
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