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Joseph/Michael Haydn birthplace in Rohrau


jacobsaunders

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We spent our cultural Sunday today visiting the birthplace of Joseph and Michael Haydn in Rohrau. https://www.haydngeburtshaus.at/ The Haydn’s birthplace is one of those quite typical lower Austrian cottages. Thatched, only one floor, and looks modest from the outside, but becomes a Tardis when you go in, with mostly a nice courtyard inside, sometimes a second courtyard behind that. The Haydn’s father, Mathias Haydn, was a Wagnermeister. A Wagnermeister wasn’t the person who drove coaches, but the person who made and maintained them. His mother was a cook at the nearby (5 minutes walk) Schloss of the Count Harrach, where we had an excellent lunch. The house is surely authentic from the outside, but I had gone hoping to get the impression of how Haydn lived as a child. Some arsehole architect has “re-graduated” the inside of the house into a modern seminar centre though, the only authentic part left being the doorways, which you can bang your head on all the time, until you have worked out that they were made for short people. I wish people would leave historic characters birthplaces as authentic as possible (The Schubert one in Vienna is), just as I wish people would leave good antique violins in their original specifications

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What a nice way to spend a Sunday! :)

I also get frustrated when historical (or even 'decade') houses/architecture gets 'updated'...but at the same time, it also has to function and be livable.  So what's the answer?  I suppose it's better to modernize than to tear down.

Hopefully there are some period buildings of that time left intact?  Other museums?  We have quite a few intact period buildings (but not as old as Haydn's obviously).

As far as more recent buildings go...I'm not a fan of the universally popular 'open concept'.  I like rooms.  With walls.  And with doors.  We have an open concept style 1970s bungalow.  We have walls, but no doors.  If I cook - the cooking odours permeate through the house.  If someone watches TV in the family room, you can hear it equally well in the living room.

I would prefer to be able to lock myself in the kitchen and cook in peace, before heading to the living room, that doesn't smell like the kitchen, to read a book without hearing the hockey game blasting from the family room.

To that end...I actually get upset when I see lovely old Victorians that have had their beautiful dark woodwork ripped out (or painted white), and all/most of the walls removed, to 'open up' the space.  It may look nice...but it's much less livable/functional.

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7 minutes ago, Rue said:

As far as more recent buildings go...I'm not a fan of the universally popular 'open concept'.  I like rooms.  With walls.  And with doors.

Love doors too Rue, from my front door through the hall to the kitchen you pass 7 oak doors. I'm not a big fan of changes to old buildings either.

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Glad I'm not the only one!

Really, the only things I think that really do need to be upgraded are bathrooms (indoor plumbing is a marvelous thing) and power outlets (saves having to run extension cords everywhere).  That can always be done without ruining the character of a character/period building.

If you really really want the latest version of a modern house - get one.  Don't 'ruin' the old ones.

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LOL...well there is that. ^_^

Hubby is 6'3'...the older buildings in Europe have him doing a lot of ducking, and occasionally searching for ice packs...

I'm only 5'6"...not something I worry about too often...although I recall this one spiral staircase...I think it was in Belgium...

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Haydn is one of my heroes, and I would love to visit his birthplace, it would be a shrine I can to the Taj Mahal, though perhaps a bit less ornate.

I hate that they have turned the inside, which was the most important part, into something that Haydn himself would not have recognized.

I want to see everything except the chamber pot, and maybe even that, so long as certain conditions are met before hand.

My wife’s Grandfather was a high-ranking military general in China, and he had a typical upper middle-class Chinese house that was never modified.

About 10 years ago the communist government decided it would be perfect for a museum, so they confiscated it and turned it into a museum.

oh well, at least it’s not going to be changed too much.

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11 hours ago, PhilipKT said:

 

About 10 years ago the communist government decided it would be perfect for a museum, so they confiscated it and turned it into a museum.

oh well, at least it’s not going to be changed too much.

Gratifying that you have such confidence in the Chinese communist party:D

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If you would live in Japan, you would face pure horrors. Authentic old buildings have to make space for 'better' new ones all the time. I am always happy if I see just the shell of an old historic building no matter how modernized it is in the interior.

So looking for places where famous artists of the 18th century lived is almost impossible. 

In the case of the birthplace of Michael and Joseph Haydn I don't know what were the points in rebuilding the interior. Often the interior was altered im the past by later inhabitants, so it would be unauthentic to show it as the original interior anyway.

 

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4 hours ago, jacobsaunders said:

Gratifying that you have such confidence in the Chinese communist party:D

Well it might get some pro communist propaganda, but actually no I don’t think they will change it they certainly haven’t yet.

It was a little bit of a shock that they just showed up and said, “we are taking your house please leave.” And everybody just left.

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Recently, I reported on our outing to Haydns birthplace in Rohrau, and was a bit disappointed that it had been modernised to death. We followed this up by visiting his town house in Eisenstadt where he lived from 1766 for 12 years. Such objects are the responsibility of the “Länder”, roughly like your States, Rohrau being in Niederösterreich, and Eisenstadt in Burgenland. Burgenland have made a much better job of it, in my humble opinion.

The “Land” (State) has bought the house next door, and adapted that for displaying sundry Haydn stuff, but the four rooms on the first floor of Haydn’s house itself have been restored to try and show it as it was back in 1766.

Rather than havin wall paper, the walls have fresco imitating wallpaper and the restores have made the effort to chisel off som 17 layers of fresco, to get to the colours they reckon Haydn had

Haydn_House_outside.jpg

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The next room has his piano. They also show some shoes. Apparently Haydn always wore high heels, being a bit of a short arse. It also has volume III of his London notebook (in English) unfortunately only one page is open. Little is made of his stay/dealings in London. One can find corrispondance between Haydn and William Forster in the Sandys & Forster book. William Forster was his publisher in London, so I was hatching plans about offering them a rather nice Forster Viola I have.

I can't find the pictures of this room, so I will post them later if I find where they went

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After that come the rooms of the next door house, with lots of interestin corrispondance, and relationships to other composers. I particularly had to chuccle at a letter from Haydn’s boss, Esterhazy, who was obviously a big fan, and didn’t like Beethoven “I acnowledge that Beethoven took lessons, but he evidently didn’t learn anything”

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I didn't notice his Baryton, mind you I wasn't looking for it, and neither did I notice a violin (have to help them a little:))

I will have to go back another time, there is plenty to see for 2 or 3 trips, and I still want to look at his allotment, and the church just up the hill, with his organ, where he is buried

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I’ve found he pictures of his music room. This is a picture of his piano, behind that his Sunday frock, and behind that more fresco fake wallpaper. Also a close up of the piano.

One gets the impression that Haydn was quite a wealthy successful gentleman.

One should perhaps bear in mind, that this was the room in which the string quartet was invented!

Haydn's piano.jpg

Haydn's piano close up.jpg

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