Mozart &
Material Culture

Souvenirs

Matthias Seutter and August Vindel, Plan of Mannheim, 1740-1742

Matthias Seutter and August Vindel, Plan of Mannheim, 1740-1742

Leopold Mozart to Johann Lorenz Hagenauer, Mainz, 3 August 1763:

  1. Mannheim is uncommonly attractive on account of its regularity; but the houses have only one storey and so it looked like a city in miniature. . . At the end of each street you see 4 main roads intersecting, each completely identical to the other. And on both sides of the streets, between the carriageway in the middle and the gutters at the side, there are painted posts on which lanterns stand at dead of night. As you can well imagine, there is no more beautiful sight than a view lit in this way, especially in the 4 main streets, where you can see, for example, from the castle or residence as far as the Neckar Gate etc.’

The city of Mannheim owes its modern origin to the construction of the Friedrichsburg fortress by the Elector Palatine Frederick IV in 1606. It is apparently the first modern European city laid out on a grid plan, which the Mozarts are unlikely to have seen elsewhere.

Mannheim, 1729

Mannheim 1729