An elegant and spacious baroque city, Salzburg is set against a
backdrop of the most breathtaking mountain scenery. The snow-capped
mountains of the Hohe Tauern rise in the south
whereas the north offers the hills and lakes of the Salzkammergut.
All sights are within walking distance of the old city centre, overlooked
by the fortress Hohensalzburg, which can be reached
either by walking up through the narrow, winding Festungsgasse or
by taking the funicular.
The Altstadt (the old city) was recently granted
World Heritage Status by UNESCO
and has now largely been pedestrianised. Considering its reputation
as a ‘typically Austrian city’ it is ironic that it
was either Bavarian or an independent city state, only coming under
Hapsburg rule in 1816.
Interesting sights include:
The Peterskirche (St Peter’s Abbey, with
cemetery and catacombs),
The Domkirche (intended to rival St Peter’s
in Rome) and
The Alter Markt (old market square).
Salzburg’s most famous son – although only after his
death – is Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, who is
commemorated in the yearly Salzburger Festspiele
which take place in the Grosse and Kleine Festspielhäuser
(festival halls) as well as on the Cathedral square or in the University
church. Mozart’s birthplace (Mozart Geburtshaus) is in the
Getreidegasse, also the city’s main shopping
street, while the family residence (Mozart Wohnhaus) is on the market
square. Both are museums, with the residence offering a particularly
detailed insight into his life and work.
Like Vienna, Salzburg contains fine examples of Baroque architecture
which stands second only to music in the country’s cultural
history. The Franciscan church, the Nonnberg Convent, the
Trinity Church, St Sebastian’s Cemetery, the Church of Parsch,
the Palace of the Prince-Archbishops, the carillon, the Town Hall,
the Pferdeschwemme (a fountain), the festival halls, the
Mirabell Palace with its landscaped gardens, the
Mönchsberg and the Kapuzinerberg,
many museums, the theatre, Hellbrunn Palace with
the fountains, Leopoldskron and Klesshem Palaces,
Maria Pein Pilgrimage Church, the Gaisberg
and the Untersberg provide many possible tours and walks.
The original wealth of Salzburg and the province
was based on the salt trade, and the mines and the Celtic
Museum of Hallein are well worth a visit.
is a popular spa and winter resort, with a large casino, whilst
Kaprun offers glacier skiing even in the summer.
The Zell-am-See skiing area has an active nightlife.
The Open-Air Folklife Museum at Grossgmain is also
worth visiting, as are the Eisriesenwelt (ice caves,
with wonderful ice sculptures) near Werfen.
Monastery is one of the country’s oldest, founded
in 877, the buildings are full of paintings, frescos and Renaissance
statues and the monastery is also famous for its white wines.