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Last updated : Nov 2009
Salzburg
Salzburg - TravelPuppy.com
Salzburg

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.

Excursions

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.

Badgastein 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.

Kremsmünster 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.