Organ, St. Nicholas Church, Malá Strana, Prague

Organ, St. Nicholas Church, Mala Strana, Prague

Mozart played here.

Or, to be more precise, Mozart played on this organ. Built by the Jesuit Thomas Scwharz (1745-1747), the organ has over 4,000 pipes.

Mozart’s connection with Prague came about through his friendship with composer Frantisek Dusek and his wife Josefina. They first met in Salzburg, when the Duseks were on their honeymoon.

In January 1787, Mozart arrived for his first extended stay in the Paris of the East, conducting The Marriage of Figaro in the Nostic Theatre.

He returned in August, staying at the Dusek’s villa Betramka. There in the peace of the countryside – and in the ripe ground of the local pubs – he polished off the overture for Don Giovanni. According to legend, he wrote part of the score in between turns playing skittles in the garden.

Don Giovanni premiered on the 29th of October, 1787 in the Estates Theatre and was a roaring success. Though he never again achieved that level of accolade, Mozart is still remembered with great fondness by the city.

Check out this article for more on Mozart’s time in Prague.