Finding Mozart - Looking For The Composer In Bavaria
A couple of years ago I had the good fortune to visit Bavaria on a tour that centred on the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. I love his music and jumped at the chance to learn more about his life, his loves and his work.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
First Stop: Augsburg, Germany’s Mozart City. Mozart’s father, Leopold, was born in the city and Wolfgang visited Augsburg on five occasions between 1763 and 1790 as part of his frequent travels. It was here that he met his first love, his cousin Anna Maria Thekla Mozart, known as “Bäsle”. Mozart wrote her a number of letters that were later published. We saw Mozart’s Augsburg on a tour with “Bäsle” and visit sites with special Mozart connections. “Bäsle” also revealed some personal details during the tour.
Mozart-related landmarks include the Augsburg Mozart House, now home to the world’s most extensive pictorial collection on the Mozart theme and the Mozart statue, which immortalizes both Mozarts, father and son, and stands between the cathedral and former Episcopal palace.
During his visit to Augsburg in 1777, Mozart played the organs in St. Ulrich’s Basilica and the Barfüsser Church. He also gave a concert in the Fugger Concert Hall and visited the organ builder Johan Andreas Stein, whose house still stands.
We also visited the Fuggerei, the oldest social welfare settlement in the world, created by the Fugger family of financiers, and one-time home of Leopold Mozart’s grandfather.
Credit: Richard Matthews
Hans Jakob Fugger, member of the Fugger family of financiers who created the Fuggerei in Augsburg, the oldest social welfare settlement in the world.
From Augsburg we moved on to Munich, another city Mozart visited repeatedly. His first was in 1762 when he and his sister Nannerl gave concerts for Prince Elector Max Joseph III at the Residenz. Over the years his concert venues included the Schloss Nymphenburg and the Amalienburg, the Baden Burg and the Pagodenburg, all on the vast park-like grounds of the Nymphenburg which we toured, as well as the homes of the city’s noble families.
Schloss Nymphenburg in Munich, where Mozart gave concerts.
Mozart By Bike
Hardy cyclists can follow in the footsteps of Mozart in Germany along the Mozart Cycle Path through Bavaria and Austria, which is suitable for families and anyone who enjoys a combination of nature and culture.
The Mozart Cycle Path is a circular route covering about 450 kilometres, passing through glorious countryside with beautiful lakes and pretty towns and villages. Seeon Abbey and the quaint town of Wasserburg are just two of the highlights. Lake Chiemsee, Lake Waging and the Berchtesgadener Land offer a wealth of fabulous scenery.
Beautiful Lake Chiemsee is just one of the scenic stops along the Mozart Cycle Path.
The cycle path is very well sign-posted throughout with signs showing Mozart’s head. All along the way, there are guesthouses and hotels where cyclists are especially welcome. Look out for the “cyclists welcome” signs.