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After the reopening – Atzenbrügg Castle: where Schubert dances

After the reopening – Atzenbrügg Castle: where Schubert dances

Linden tree? He is standing in front of the gate (and not just one). And Franz? He (also) sits at the piano. And: standing in line. With hat, stick and umbrella. With music stand and livery (boys). And: With lots of stories – of him, about him, and about Atzenbrugge.

There, at the estate where his friend Franz (von Schober) had an uncle who was his manager, Franz Schubert “went out” from the city of Vienna to the countryside. That was in 1820, and perhaps also in 1821 and 1822, and perhaps also in 1823. There was music and composition, but there was also dancing and celebration there. The so-called Atzenbrügger dances are also said to exist there.

They are now, as an exact replica, 200 years after their creation, again in Atzenbrugge Castle, which was still a medieval castle, later converted into a country castle, which has belonged to the municipality since 1977, and has long since been renovated. The amphitheater is now owned entirely by the state and the community.

On the first floor, where Schubert plays (and sings) again – in the elegant ballroom with decorations on the ceiling and chandeliers by the windows – it's all about the “aura”. There, in Leopold Koppelweiser's 1823 painting, which adorns two entire walls, people are playing ball in the park. There are three round Schubert glasses and a Schubert braid waiting in the display case, and there are travel routes on the wall and letters next to them. There are quotations from Vogl and Schuwind, from Bauernfeind and Schubert himself, but also from Robert Schumann and Oscar Werner.

“We also wanted to bring Schubert into the present day,” says museum curator Agnes Brandtner, who, together with Stefan Führer, also designed the Rohrau birthplace of Joseph and Michael Haydn. Thus it “appeals to a wide audience”. So, first you have to ask one of the floors below, behind the entrance gate: “Where did he come from?” Draw a timeline with Napoleon, “who stands at the gates,” and with Haydn, “who has just died,” but also with the balance bike, “ that had just been invented.” There are also interview screens and listening stations with music stands and “cultural education”. And also “art and kitsch”, so: Schubert on velvet upholstery, Schubert on the plate of honor, Schubert on Heimat.

There is also cultural education in the park, with stations for reading, resting, hiking (to the Schuberth house on the hill behind the church) and taking photos. “Schubert is still very important,” says Agnes Brandtner. The beautifully restored Schubert Castle is pale yellow on the outside and old-fashioned pink on the inside too – and not just for the next 'country trip'. The museum in the castle, which also houses the Cultural District of Lower Austria in the side wing, is open from Wednesday to Sunday from 10 am. There is only a break in the winter. The next Schubertiade? They are available this Sunday, on June 23.

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