Three funerals and one death Three funerals and one death
Three funerals and one death
© Beethoven-Haus Bonn
Photo: Frank Hellwig


18. October 2002 – 28. February 2003

Beethoven's end and the culture of memory of his time

A Joint Exhibition of the Beethoven-Haus Bonn and the Museum for Sepulchral Culture on the 175th Anniversary of the Composer's Death

How did Ludwig van Beethoven die? How was he buried? How was he remembered? How did two exhumations of the composer come about?

On the occasion of the 175th anniversary of Ludwig van Beethoven's death, the Museum for Sepulchral Culture, in cooperation with the Beethoven-Haus Bonn and the Arbeitskreis selbständiger Kulturinstitute (ASKI), presents the special exhibition Three Burials and a Death - Beethoven's End and the Culture of Remembrance of his Time. On the basis of authentic documents, the last days of the great composer's life are illustrated, his death, his funeral and the cult of worship that followed, which ultimately made Beethoven immortal. The preserved material not only reflects the external environment in which Beethoven's passing away took place, but also provides insights into the inner condition of him being sick and his immediate surroundings.

The Beethoven-Haus, where the exhibition was on display until September 8, 2002, has an extensive collection of documents on the subject. Among them are medical reports, letters from and about the seriously ill composer, pictorial representations of Beethoven on the sickbed and on his deathbed, views of his death chamber, and wall and floor fragments from his apartment. Furthermore, the protocol of the autopsy and the auction of Beethoven's estate have been preserved, as well as extensive material on his funeral, such as the printed invitation to the funeral, two large-format watercolor drawings by Franz Stöber showing the funeral procession, or poems distributed at the funeral, the eulogy of Franz Grillparzer, as well as manuscripts and prints of the compositions performed at the funeral.


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Arbeitsgemeinschaft Friedhof und Denkmal e.V.

Zentralinstitut für Sepulkralkultur

Museum für Sepulkralkultur

Weinbergstraße 25–27
D-34117 Kassel | Germany
Tel. +49 (0)561 918 93-0

Die Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Kultur und Medien
Hessisches Ministerium für Wissenschaft und Kunst
Kassel Documenta Stadt
Deutsche Bischofskonferenz