Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and Vienna a unique symbiosis to be relived and rediscovered in the streets of this magnificent
We walk 900 metres to another important place in the life of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the Hofburg, Vienna’s imperial palace, one of the largest residences in the world.
The Hofburg complex has been the centre of Austrian power for more than six centuries, together with the more peripheral and less ancient Schönbrunn Palace. Part of the palace is now the residence and workplace of the President of Austria. The Hofburg covers 240,000 m² and consists of 18 wings, 19 courtyards and 2,600 rooms, in which around 5,000 people still live and work.
Built starting from the 13th century, the Hofburg complex was expanded over the centuries by the Habsburg dynasty, which ruled the fate of Austria, the Holy Roman Empire, the Austrian Empire and the Austro-Hungarian Empire for almost eight centuries.
The complex of buildings was built over the centuries without a basic plan, and this can easily be seen by taking a look at the general plan of the building. Therefore, the unique design that still emerges today is the result of including several pre-existing structures with each extension while preserving the facilities in each new design. From 1438 to 1583 and from 1612 to 1806, the palace was the seat of the kings and emperors of the Holy Roman Empire and the Germanic nation, then of the emperors of Austria until 1918.
In 1781, the great composer competed here on the piano with the famous pianist Clementi. On Christmas Eve 1781, at a reception hosted by Emperor Joseph II at the palace in honour of the future Russian Emperor Paul I, the internationally renowned pianist Clementi and the 25-year-old rising musician-composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart were invited, unbeknownst to each other.
By the Emperor’s decision, Clementi began with a sonata of unparalleled virtuosity, and Mozart followed with a performance of incredible musical intensity. The two musicians had astounded the audience at the palace by winning the tie set by the Emperor.
Mozart’s presence at the Hofburg can also be admired in the palace garden, the Burggarten. In the garden, we see Viktor Tilgner’s marble statue of Mozart, which depicts the composer alone and in two bas-reliefs: on the front, the stone spirit from the opera ‘Don Giovanni’ and on the back, the composer is depicted at the age of six at the piano, accompanied on the violin by his father and sister Nannerl.