The Mozarts of Augsburg
In 1643 the journeyman mason David Mozart (1620-1685) was granted citizenship of the Free Imperial City of Augsburg. He came from the village of Pfersee, just outside the city walls and which until 1816 belonged to the former Austrian territories of south-west Germany. His ancestors from the neighbouring village of Leitershofen originally came from the west of the present day administrative district of Augsburg, the so-called “Mozart Corner”.
David was in demand as a mason and baroque architect. Amongst other projects, he worked in Dillingen on the River Danube, where he added tothe height of the tower in the parish church of St. Peter. In 1761 he became Master of the Guild of Augsburg Masons. The Mozarts in Augsburg were a family of artists: David Mozart’s children and their children became successful master masons, architects of the baroque, sculptors and bookbinders.
His eldest son, Hans Georg Mozart (1647-1719), the respected baroque architect and master of works of the Cathedral Chapter of Augsburg erected the cloister building next to the Augustine monastery of St. Georg and the tower of the parish church of St. Michael in Pfersee. Leopold’s great uncle also carried out many building works outside the Free Imperial City, for example to the parish church of St. Adelgundis in Anhausen. He provided the plans for the new construction of the chancel and tower for the parish church of St. Blasius in Hirblingen. In 1718 he was responsible for extensive conversion work to the Castle of Wellenburg situated on the border of Augsburg.
Hans Georg’s younger brother Franz (1649-1694) also took up his father’s craft – although he was not as successful as his brother. For fourteen years he lived in the Fuggerei, the social settlement founded for needy citizens of Augsburg by Jakob Fugger the Rich. It is assumed that he worked here as the master mason for the settlement. His older brother Michael (1655-1728) made his career as a sculptor in Vienna.
After the death of his brother Franz Mozart, Hans Georg took over the care of the half-orphaned Johann Georg (1679-1736), later the father of Leopold Mozart. The master bookbinder Johann Georg Mozart had his workshop in the craftsmen’s house, which is now Frauentorstr. 30. When the Mozarts moved to the Jesuitengasse in 1721, the Cathedral of Augsburg thus became their local church.
The bookbinding business and the cultural life of the cathedral district meant that the Mozart family had connections with all the important artistic and intellectual personalities of the time. This may also possibly have been the reason that the master bookbinder enabled his son to attend the grammar school and adjacent lyceum. In this way the young Leopold was able to enjoy a level of education far beyond his social standing and laid the foundations for his subsequent activities in the world of the arts.