Haydn Museum

The History of the Building

The original core of “Haydn-House” dates back to the 16th Century, as was recently revealed by the discovery of late gothic window frames. The date chiseled into stone above the stairs to the basement says 1747. This marks the year of another conversion to this house. it was noted, 1758, that the rear section was used as a stable for horses and also to shelter wagons or animal food.

Joseph Haydn, one of the greatest musicians, bought this house on the 2 May 1766 and spent 12 years in the house. He experienced varied fate during these 12 years, such as two big fires, in 1768 and 1776, which caused him considerable financial travail. They were probably the reasons why he sold this house on the 27th of October 1778.

In these 12 years he lived in the house he composed over 30 symphonies, about 16 piano sonatas, piano concertos, numerous organ recitals, double concertos for violin and piano and many other musical pieces.

The house was opened as the Haydn Museum on the 23rd of June 1935.

Description of the Building - Initial Situation

Parts of the building have a basement (see plan sketch). The masonry consists of sand limestone. The rising damp in the masonry was, at the beginning of the dehydration, up to 1 meter above groundlevel. The plaster or rather coat was partially damaged to that height, and showed symptoms of rising damp. Mouldy smell was noticable on the ground floor.

Draining aim

The ground floor was supposed to be dehydrated without interference to the masonry.

The redevelopment of plaster was scheduled for later. The basement needed to become dryer to improve the building substance static-wise but without the need of a vertical damp-proof course outside the building.

Draining procedure and results

A dehydration trend was clearly visible at the relevant measurement points after one year. The measurement in the second year already revealed humidity compensation values that were influenced negatively by the old hygroscopic plaster.

The damp level in the masonry was already lowered down to the basement by the summer 1994 (see sketch of cross section and photos 4 and 6). This was achieved without any construction work or changes in the airing habits.

By the end of 1994 the basement was overflowing with water caused by an underlying watercourse. Despite that flood, the humidity level in the masonry did not change! The slightly higher value at one measurement point was created by the very high humidity introduced by the flood in the basement.

To avoid future floods in the basement a water trench with a underwater pump was constructed in 1995. The old and slightly oversalted limeplaster in the basement was not touched and could dry out well (photos 4 and 6).


Please see below some pictures of the project. Clicking on the main window will bring up higher resolution pictures.

Project at a Glance


Department of the Burgenland Government, Austria

Supervising Institutions / Bodies

Mr. Reumann (certified engineer)
Mr. Kollarits

Historic Building Protection Agencies

Austrian Federal Department of Historic Buildings

Start Date

14 Dec 1992

End Date: Building Dry

14 Dec 1994 (in 2 years)

Subsequent Check

26 Aug 1998 (4 years later)

System of Moisture Measurement

DARR Method


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