Great artists and thinkers have the power to stir our minds and emotions -- and once touched, we may spend a lifetime under their influence. To know them better, we are drawn as pilgrims to the houses where they were born or lived or worked. Among Europe's places of pilgrimage (open to visitors)
Mozart's birthplace, Salzburg: Mozart is the favorite son of Salzburg, and the Geburtshaus, the house in the old city where the composer was born in 1756, has been preserved as a museum.
Jane Austen's house, Chawton, England: In this modest red-brick home northeast of Winchester, Jane Austen lived until her death in 1817, writing or revising her famous novels, including "Emma" and "Pride and Prejudice." Now a museum, it is little-changed from her time.
Sigmund Freud's apartment, Vienna: The founder of psychoanalysis lived at Berggasse 19 until 1938, when he went to London. His disciples have faithfully filled it with original furniture and memorabilia.
Rembrandt's house, Amsterdam: Holland's great painter lived for 20 years from 1639 in this typically Dutch three-story brick home. During his residence, he completed the famous "Night Watch." On view are many of his etchings and some of the tools he used to create his works.sw sk
Beethoven's residences, Vienna: The composer spent much of his life in Vienna and lived in perhaps 30 residences, some of which may be visited. One is the Pasqualatihaus at Molker Bastei 8 in the old city, where he took a fourth-floor apartment off and on from 1804 to 1815.
John Keats' homes, London and Rome: Toward the end of his short life, the English poet lived in Hampstead, a London borough, in what is now known as the Keats Memorial House in Keats Grove. Many of his personal items remain. He died in Rome in 1821 in a house at the foot of the Spanish Steps, where a museum honors him and poet Percy Shelley.sw sk
Leonardo da Vinci's last residence, Amboise, France: The great Italian inventor and artist stayed at Clos-Luce', a Loire Valley chateau, as the honored guest of Francis I, and it is here he died in 1519. Of special interest are the scale-model reproductions of some of his far-thinking inventions.
Tolstoy's estate, Yasnaya Polyana: The large farm, about 135 miles south of Moscow, was the Russian novelist's lifelong home (1828 to 1910), and it is where he is buried. Many original manuscripts are displayed in the library, and the grounds are very well-kept.