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With one of the best preserved city centers north of the Alps, the first images that are conveyed when one things of Salzburg are the many castles and estates of the area.
Salzburg’s particular blend of sophistication, charm and elegance is best experienced by simply wandering the city environs, preferably without a map. Austria’s home town of Baroque, and the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is picturesquely sheltered by surrounding mountains and straddles the Salzach River near the border with Germany.
The Salzburg that everyone knows and loves was largely built by three bishop-princes in the late-16th and early-17th century, which is what gives the city its Italian flavour and its skyline punctuated by countless medieval spires, domes, belfries and turrets. The old town, on the south bank of the river, is a Baroque masterpiece of churches, plazas, courtyards and fountains, oozing so much charm that it’s enough to make you forgive young Wolfgang for being so precocious and omniscient. Museums, houses, squares, chocolate bars, liqueurs – you name it and it’s got a Mozart tag stuck on it. A perfectly preserved Baroque city, with a vibrant Old Town, there are enough Alpen peak indicators, church towers and friendly townspeople to prevent any prolonged loss of way. Steps from the city’s spacious squares and garden parks are numerous entryways to the historic Old Town – a truly genuine ambience brimming with cobblestone alleys, medieval signs and tempting fragrances. Tiny shops abound, selling the most tantalizing sweets, as well as antiques, crafts and fashions.
If it isn’t an image of the Barqoue architecture that comes to mind, then it is likely the image of Julie Andrews strolling through the city as The Sound of Music had many film sites within the city’s limits.
Unlike other cities that experienced Allied bombing during World War II, the majority of the strikes in this city were centered around the train station. Because of that, most of the city center and the major population centers were left intact. Because of that, it is a real treat to stroll down the streets of Old Salzburg. You may also enjoy these other wonderful gems when you choose to visit Salzburg!
The Largest and Most Preserved Fortress in Central Europe Is Here
The high point of a visit to Salzburg (literally and metaphorically) is a tour of the 11th-century Hohensalzburg Castle, which stands on a rock outcrop about 120m above the city. It’s almost a separate village in its own right, with all the usual self-sufficient accoutrements of a tiny settlement like torture chambers, state rooms, a tower and two museums.
Built in the 11th century, the Hohensalzburg Fortress has been expanded over the centuries to become on the Europe’s most recognizable landmarks. It is located on a highly inaccessible hill and has never been conquered by enemy forces over its over 900 years of existence. Today there are concerts held regularly there in the courtyards and artist groups routinely hold seminars within its many rooms because of its picturesque setting. It’s open year-round to the public and guided tours are available for groups.
Once you’ve finished exploring the grounds of the Hohensalzburg Fortress, be sure to make your way to the gardens of the Mirabell Palace. Are there gardens more expansive than these elsewhere in Europe? Certainly. None, however, have the story of love that this one has. The estate itself was built as a tribute to love with 15 children born on the grounds. Today a stroll through the grounds offers a look at some extraordinary artwork inside and incredible garden artistry outside of it.
Experience One of the Oldest Drama Festivals Still Practiced
Established in 1920, the Salzburg Festival is held over the course of 5 weeks in the late summer months of July and August. Even though the acts change every year and there are many tributes to Mozart, there is one constant at every festival: the annual performance of the The Summoning of Everyman.
If you can’t make it to Salzburg for this festival, perhaps you can make it to Kontracom, which is an alternative art festival that focuses more on contemporary art and music. Street theaters crop up during the Summer months throughout the city and Christmas is always a special time of year for this city. Each season offers something new and exciting to do, so be sure to plan according to your personal preferences to enjoy the culture of this city!
Are you ready to go to Salzburg? This is truly one of those cities that everyone should be able to visit and experience at least once in their lives. The history that flows through the city streets hits you right in the heart, making you become part of the ebb and flow that the generations before have also been apart of here. Add these items to your itinerary and you will certainly have one of the best trips of your life!
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Salzburg Tourist Information
Tel.: +43 0662 889870
Fax: +43 0662 8898732
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Best of Salzburg
What to see and do in Salzburg ?
Best sights in Salzburg
The Festung Hohensalzburg (Hohensalzburg Fortress from the 11th-century ) offers the outstanding view from its high place above the town. Also looking south is the view of Alpine peaks, including the Untersberg at 1850m. It is one of the largest castles in Europe and it was never been captured by enemy forces. It is about a 15 minte walk up the from the old town or take the funicular adjacent to St. Peter’s Cemetery.
Mozart-Wohnhaus (Mozart’s Residence)
The Mozart family lived in this house from 1773 to 1787 and it is now a musem to the city’s favorie son.. A slide show, tours, musical instruments, sheet music and other memorabilia of the musical genius can be viewed.
The baroque old town is the focus of this city. Salzburg Old City was placed on UNESCO’s list of the world’s cultural and natural heritage in 1997. It teems with plazas, courtyards, fountains, churches and open-air markets. Domplatz, Kapitelplatz and Residenzplatz all bustle with music, market activity and general fun.
The other very noteworthy buildings are a late 7th-century Benedictine abbey, which was for many years the center of missionary activities; the Franciscan church, consecrated in 1223; the early 17th-century cathedral, modeled after St. Peter’s in Rome; the Residenz (16th-18th cent.), formerly the archiepiscopal palace; Mirabell castle (early 18th cent.), situated in a beautiful garden; and the Festspielhaus (1960), the city’s chief concert hall.
Museum Carolino Augusteum
The permanent exhibitions located in the main building of the Carolino Augusteum Museum in Salzburg provide a survey of the history of the city and province of Salzburg from early prehistoric history to the 20th century
The works of art on display are first-rate examples of progressive sketches and designs of monumental structures in the 17th and 18th centuries. The exhibits range from works by Rubens, Cortona, Maffei, Bernini and Algardi, Rottmayr, Altomonte and Troger, Tiepolo and the Guardis to Maulbertsch and Fragonard.
Cathedral treasure, art from the Salzburg archdiocese from the Middle Age to the 19th century; archiepiscopal Art and Curiosity Chamber from the 17th and 18th centuries.
Salzburg Marionette Theatre
A performance at the Salzburg Marionette Theatre is a unique experience during a visit to Salzburg.The baroque theatre with its auditorium seating 350 visitors is in itself worth seeing and now been in existence for more than 90 years and has become world famous not only through its 160 annual performances.
This world-famous jewel is indoubtedly the leading theatre of its kind. The operas, operettas and ballet performed on the small stage by marionettes never fail to enchant audiences. Once you have entered this fascinating world, it is soon easy to forget that the characters are puppets on strings. You will be captivated by the illusion and imagine you are seeing life-size performers. And do not think this is just for Children.
Events and Festivals in Salzburg
While you are in Salzburg you will find events and festivals to tempt you and keep you busy. Salzburg is a city that is full of festivals and annual events that are steeped in history as well as modern culture. Three important festivals are:
Mozart Festival Week
The 2006 Mozart week festival promises to be very special this year as it also a celebration of Mozart’s 250th birthday. Countless concerts and exhibitions with international performers will decnd on Salzburg to warm the winter weather.
Salzburg Jazz Festival
Late October to early Nov. Typically known more for Classical music than Jazz, the Salzburg Jazz Festival attracts some of the biggest stars in late fall each year.
In a city that has preserved its baroque architecture in almost perfect condition and therefore is a breathtaking backdrop in itself, the Salzburg Festival presents performances of opera, plays and concerts of the highest artistic standards over a period of five to six weeks each summer.
Salzburg residents and their guests enjoy the beer gardens, the local cuisine of the ‘Gasthaus’ and the famous traditional viennese-style coffee houses. Salzburg’s contemporary cuisine incorporates traditional dishes with the modern taste.
Enjoy a hearty, medieval meal in a centuries old vaulted cellar at the “Salzburger Schmaustheater,” let yourself be pampered in a fine city restaurant with a view of the Salzach River or the Fortress.
Mozart Dinner Concert
The Mozart Dinner Concert in the historic Baroque hall of Stiftskeller St. Peter in the heart of Salzburg’s Old City, founded in 803 and thus the oldest restaurant in Central Europe, is one of the musical and culinary tempations. The most popular compositions by Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart performed by Salzburg’s musicians in period costumes can be enjoyed together with a multi-course candlelight dinner, prepared according to traditional recipes from the 17th and 18th centuries.
The Esszimmer in Müllner Hauptstrasse primary goal is to provide distinctive dining exemplifying culinary excellence. The “Esszimmer” not only offers a menu guaranteed not to be monotonous (it changes every week and lists no less than four different full menus accommodating even the most discriminating palate), but also has a number of subtle technical features. The loudspeakers and light protection are computer-controlled and there are two flat screens in the dining room used to show videos – after all, guests want to be entertained. Another special highlight is the dining room’s glass installation: it allows guests to look down on the Almkanal that virtually flows right through the “Esszimmer“ and is simultaneously used as an air conditioner when it gets hot.
For something also unqiue try the Ikarus in Hangar 7 near the airport. Managed by star chef Eckard Witzigmann, connoisseurs are pampered by a different international award-winning chef each month. A unique space, the Mayday Bar can also be tried as it is located on the floor just above the “Ikarus”. Cuisine can be ideally combined with technology: guided tours of the Flight Museum are offered at various times at Hangar 7.
Pubs and Clubs in Salzburg
The bars are lined up side by side along the left banks of the Salzach river. This is where you’ll find everything from Irish music at the Shamrock or O’Malley’s with a glass of stout or lager, to hard rock and heavy metal at the “Barfly” or the “Podium” frequented by the younger crowd, or the American “Roses” bar.
A selection of excellent Austrian and international wines that are worth seeing and tasting can be found at Fridrich’s.
And if you enjoy Beer, you are in heaven. Although many Beer Gardens are open only during the summer months. Probably the most famous beer garden is not far from the city’s landmark, Hohensalzburg Fortress: the Stiegl Keller, serving its own Stiegl beer produced by of Austria’s biggest private breweries. If you walk to the end of the pedestrian zone on the right bank of the Salzach, you will find the White Beer Brewery (“Weissbierbrauerei”). After spending four days in a fermenting vat, the “Hefeweissbier” is filled into bottles, where the yeast lets it age for two weeks.
Shopping in Salzburg
Browsing the shops of oldtown Salzburg can be an experience all its own. Romantic narrow lanes curve around magnificent sacred buildings, flow into spacious squares only to squeeze again between proud, century-old burgher mansions. Crooked paths lead up to the Fortress, past venerable monasteries and take you back down to the bustling city live. In such a picturesque setting, shopping becomes a special experience.
And there is much to discover with traditional Salzburg costumes compete with eccentric creations from Europe’s fashion capitals. Strolling through Getreidegasse is a must and exploring the choas of the farmer’s market in front of Andrä Church has its own charm. Each Thursday, vendors and farmers from all over the province display their wares, in most cases home-produced.
For the more modern shopping center experience, consider the large, Airportcenter Himmelreich http://www.airportcenter.at which can be reached by the Autobahn near the airport, A1-A10.
Famous citizens from Salzburg
Salzburg is the birthplace of: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, composer, and Christian Doppler, scientist. Salzburg is also the birthplace of Hans Makart, a 19th century Austrian painter-decorator and national celebrity; Makart Square, or Makartplatz, is named after him.
Joseph Mohr was born in Salzburg. He became a priest and in 1816 wrote the lyrics to a song that has become famous around the world, Silent Night, first performed in 1818.
Salzburg, short history
As much of this area, it was originally inhabited by Celts, but the area was eventually conquered by the Romans and became part of the province of Noricum and a A Roman trading center named Juvavum. After the fall of the Roman Empire the town developed in the early 8th cent. around the late 7th-century monastery of St. Peter.
By 798 Salzburg was the seat of an archbishopric, and for almost 1,000 years it was the residence of the autocratic archbishops of Salzburg, the leading ecclesiastics of the German-speaking world. They became princes of the Holy Roman Empire in 1278 and wielded their power with extreme intolerance. Secularized in 1802, Salzburg was transferred to Bavaria by the Peace of Schönbrunn (1809). The Congress of Vienna (1814-15) returned it to Austria and became part of the Habsburg Empire. Situated on the Salzach River, there are famous salt deposits that have long been worked, as well as gold, copper, and iron mines.
In 1756 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg’s greatest son, was born here. 1842 saw the erection of a monument to him in what is today Mozart square. In 1964 the world famous film “The Sound of Music” was made in Salzburg. To this day numerous visitors wanting to see the film locations for themselves flock to the city.
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