Nov 03 2019

Beethoven Haus

Published by at 3:11 am under PSO 2019 European Tour

Berlin claims the title Capital of Spies with a German Spy Museum on Leipziger Platz but surely Vienna is the capital with an estimated 7,000 spies owing to its place on the map near East and West historically and more liberal laws regarding spying. Not long ago Rudolf Giuliani was attempting to pull off political maneuvers regarding American interests in Ukraine, the Russians exchanged spies with the US in Vienna in 2010, Kruschev met JFK in Vienna to hash out the Berlin Crisis of 1961 and John Kerry was at the Palais Coburg on State Department matters in Vienna just a few years back.

Palais Coburg Vienna, scene of diplomatic negotiations

I met WQED-FM member Frances Anderton whose husband Keith is part of the diplomatic core based in Vienna working for the International Atomic Energy Commission and the UN. Fran’s parents Patrick and Ellen O’donnell were life long Pittsburgh Symphony subscribers.

Gulasch at the Cafe Schwarzenberg Vienna with the Anderton Family

At the Schwarzenberg Cafe there I enjoyed Gulasch and Knoedel with Sachertorte and Espresso.

Then it was off to the Otto Wagner Kirche am Steinhof in the Wienerwald, the Vienna Woods less than thirty minutes from downtown. There I ran into Carol Walton and a friend from Graz who admired the Art Nouveau Church at the Steinhof Psychiatric Hospital on a hillside overlooking the city. Wagner was   part of the Wiener Werkstatte formed in 1903 as a group of artists devoted do beauty of design in the arts and crafts movement. The Vienna Secession was a stop for several party members where the Klimt Beethoven Frieze is permanently on display.

Otto Wagner Kirche am Steinhof The Church of St. Leopold

Florian Partl, Manfred Honeck’s Brother in Law was my affable tour guide. He pointed out the use of gold throughout the design scheme, bright white to brighten the scene for a patient at the hospital and the special design of the font for holy water that might accomodate a patient with disabilities.

Florian drove on Grinzing, the Vienna suburb where Beethoven wrote his Heilegenstadt Testament, now part of the city.

Florian Partl, Brother in Law of Manfred Honeck

Beethoven spent a great deal of time walking in the woods,sipping the new Gruner Veltliner wine and dining on red cabbage with apple flavor and sauerkraut with a touch or caraway. Vilinist Kelsey Blumenthal and Bill Kristin were touring the Beethoven Haus Museum.


Pittsburgh Symphony violinist Kelsey Blumenthal and Bill Kristan

Florian is an efficient driver. He’s a member of the Austrian version of the AAA with a large branch just a few steps away from the hotel.



Beethoven in Heiligenstadt map to help you find his many addresses on the way of the Mayer am Pfarrplatz restaurant

The Austrian AAA in case of a flat tire