The beautiful Austrian city, located on the banks of the Salzach River at the foot of the Alps, attracts with its numerous monasteries, temples, baroque towers, parks and squares.
Who and why goes to Salzburg
The territory on which modern Salzburg is spread was inhabited in the Neolithic era. In 696 the land passed into the hands of Bishop Rupert. He founded several monasteries here, which became the center of the new city. Now tourists come here to admire the ancient defensive fortresses, temples with a thousand-year history, Gothic churches, luxurious palaces and castles.
Salzburg is rightfully considered the world’s musical center. Great artists lived and worked in it: Mozart, Haydn, Heinrich von Bieber. Since the middle of the 19th century, Mozart music festivals have been regularly held here, attracting numerous fans of classical music. The festival program includes concerts, opera performances, theatrical performances.
The proximity of the northern foot of the Alps attracts climbers and lovers of hiking. Sports bases offer skiing on mountain slopes, climbing peaks, hiking in picturesque places.
In winter, the Mozartplatz skating rink opens on the central square of Salzburg, where you can have fun with the whole family.
A trip to Salzburg will impress both adults and children. There are many museums, parks and entertainment within the city. Guests can go to the House of Nature to see huge dinosaurs, walk through the Dwarf Garden in Mirabell Park, go to the zoo.
The Old Town of Allstadt, located in the center of Salzburg, is recognized by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Significant city monuments were built here.
Getreidegasse is the main pedestrian street in the Old Quarter. It is lined with beautiful buildings with wrought iron guild signs. Here in house number 9 Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and spent his childhood. On the Getreidegasse, you can meet a woman in a bright national costume selling puppets. She performs various tricks and amuses the audience.
The square in the historic heart of Salzburg is surrounded by Renaissance mansions, baroque houses, exhibition halls, shops, museums. In the center stands a fountain designed in the 17th century by the architect Tommaso di Garona. It is crowned by a statue of Triton, from which jets of water erupt.
In 1938, the Nazis burned “harmful” books on the Residenzplatz. Walking here, you can see a memorial sign dedicated to this sad event. And in summer, an open-air cinema operates on the square.
One of the central squares of Salzburg bears the name of the great Austrian composer. In 1842, on the initiative of King Ludwig of Bavaria, a bronze statue of Mozart was erected here.
Every day people come here to listen to the melodious sound of the city bells evoking the melodies of Mozart and Haydn, to drink coffee in a cafe, to buy souvenirs. The houses built around the square house an art gallery and a contemporary art exhibition.
The commune in the vicinity of Salzburg can be found at the foot of the Alps. Tourists come there to see with their own eyes the Anif Castle, towering on an island in the middle of the lake. The ancient towers are surrounded by a lush park. Concentres and holidays are regularly held there.
There is a 16th century church in the town. It houses a sculpture by Hans Waldburger. Every year, the Kaiserhof Hotel hosts a wine festival. At the festival, guests taste drinks and taste dishes of national cuisine.
Near Salzburg there is the town of Hallein, near which there are salt mines. They are open to visitors and are a real underground museum. Tourists put on mining uniforms and sit in a trolley that lowers them deep down.
During the tour, people explore ancient tunnels, ride a wooden ferry across an underground lake, and inspect tools for extracting salt.
In the suburbs rises the summer residence of the Archbishop of Salzburg in the 17th century. The architectural ensemble includes a baroque palace, the Mountschloss hunting castle, the Mechanical Theatre, a park and the oldest stage in the Hellbrunn mountain crevice. Luxurious tapestries, antique furniture, and painted ceilings have been preserved in the palace.
There are man-made lakes, fountains, grottoes, marble statues in the park. The Mechanical Theater has wooden figurines of people, a water organ and a model of the town hall. Everyday scenes of a stone den come to life with the help of a hydraulic drive.
Hohenwerfen Castle stands on a hill not far from Salzburg. The fortification was erected in 1077. The towers were rebuilt more than once and regularly changed their appearance until the 17th century. Later, there were no significant changes in the architecture.
Today the castle has been completely restored. Visitors are shown a powerful bastion, magnificent chambers of the former owners, a round tower that served as a dungeon for high-ranking prisoners, as well as an underground chapel with a statue of the Virgin Mary. The castle has a falconry museum that tells how to deal with birds of prey.
The medieval fortress on the top of Mount Festun is the pride of Salzburg. Its history goes back about 900 years. At first it was a small castle in the Romanesque style. Gradually, new towers and a bastion were added to it to protect against enemies. Fortress Hohensalzburg is clearly visible from anywhere in the city.
You can go up to the main gate by funicular or on foot. The ancient interior has been preserved in the interior: gilded tapestries, carved wooden furniture, marble bas-reliefs. Tourists can view a large collection of weapons and understand how the Austrian nobility lived many years ago.
Mirabell Palace and Garden
An outstanding architectural monument and park was erected in the 17th century by order of Bishop Wolf Dietrich von Rathenau. At the beginning of the 19th century, a fire broke out that destroyed most of the building. The masters managed to restore the main staircase, decorated with angels, the marble hall, the palace church, but the appearance of the mansion changed significantly after the restoration.
The garden has beautiful fountains, figured flower beds, marble sculptures of people and animals. For more than 100 years, the palace has been the property of the city. It houses the burgomaster’s office, hosts concentres and important events.
Leopoldskron Palace in the southern part of Salzburg is the former residence of the archbishop. The majestic rococo mansion is surrounded by a large park. Ahead is a picturesque lawn and a lake. Mount Untersberg is visible on the horizon.
The palace is private property, so you can only get inside on the open day, which happens several times a year. There is a hotel in one wing of the building. Guests can freely move around the palace and admire the ancient interior.
The summer palace for the rest of the Salzburg archbishops was built in 1700. It is famous for its magnificent inner chambers, the main hall, and the original stucco on the walls. On the territory of the palace there is an English landscape park with smooth lawns, alleys and a fountain in the shape of a Triton.
Adolf Hitler used Klessheim for official events. Jozef Tiso, Benito Mussolini, Ion Antonescu have been there. Now the palace houses a casino and a European restaurant.
Temples of Salzburg
The Catholic Cathedral, founded in 778, is dedicated to Virgil and Rupert of Salzburg. The building was destroyed and rebuilt several times. The modern temple has acquired the features of the Baroque style. It has 5 organs, 11 altars, many large and small bells cast in the 16th-17th centuries.
In front of the entrance stands a sculptural composition made of lead, marking the victory of the Virgin Mary over the Devil. The facade is decorated with statues of saints. Inside, a copper font of the 13th century and marble sculptures are kept.
Monastery of St. Peter
Near the Residenzplatz in the center of the Old Town is an ancient Benedictine monastery. The architectural complex consists of the Church of St. Peter, the Church of St. Margaret, a cemetery, outbuildings, and catacombs. In the courtyard there is a large statue of the saint.
Under the bell tower is the entrance to the main temple, the interior decoration of which is distinguished by splendor. The walls are decorated with biblical paintings.
Visitors can see a red marble altar, a sculpture of the Virgin Mary of the 15th century, frescoes, and go down to the catacombs, where hermit monks once lived. Of particular interest is the operating bakery, which makes bread according to old recipes.
The Benedictine convent was founded by Saint Rupert in 714. Only the monastery church and the museum are available to visitors. Guests come to see medieval wooden decorations, frescoes, sculptures, multi-colored stained-glass windows. The museum preserves paintings by famous artists, documents and manuscripts.
The Altstadt district is home to one of the oldest churches in the city. The temple, dedicated to the Virgin Mary, is famous for its high marble altar trimmed with gold. It has a statue of the Madonna, sculpted by sculptor Michael Pacher.
Behind the pulpit is a 12th-century marble lion, and the local triumphal arch is frescoed by Konrad Laib. The Franciscan church, built in the Gothic style, has a high bell tower with a gabled roof.
The early 17th century church is located on the University Square in the center of Salzburg. The facade of the building is decorated with arched windows, stucco and statues. Inside is a large organ. The church is a permanent venue for music festivals. In summer, classical music concerts and opera performances take place in the courtyard.
Museums in Salzburg
Archbishop’s main residence
Not far from the Cathedral rises the main residence of the archbishop. An art gallery is open in the eastern wing of the building, which exhibits works by artists of the 16th-19th centuries.
Tourists can admire the full of Rembrandt, Rubens, Pellegrini, Brueghel, Boulanger. The museum shop sells copies of paintings by famous masters, made according to ancient techniques.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on the Getreidegasse in the house number nine. The composer’s family rented an apartment on the third floor. Now it houses a museum, interesting to all fans of classical music. The interior of that time is completely preserved in the premises.
Sheets of music written by Mozart’s hand are hanging on the walls, and the first instruments of the brilliant composer, the harpsichord and the violin, stand in a place of honor. The exposition “Mozart and the theater” is open on the second floor.
The Zattler Museum
A new white stone residence was built for the prince-archbishops at the beginning of the 17th century. Its hallmark is a high tower with 35 bells. Now the Salzburg Carillon is an important museum exhibit. You can watch him at work from March to October.
On the second floor of the mansion there is an exhibition that tells about the life and life of the archbishop. On the third archeological finds are saved. Tourists are shown ancient Roman weapons, Celtic jewelry and pottery found during excavations.
house of nature
The Natural History Museum is a modern scientific center representing the flora and fauna of Salzburg.
Permanent exhibitions are open to visitors:
- “Climate of the Ice Age”
- “Our Universe”
- “Ocean World”
- “Prehistoric Animals”
- “Human body”,
- “Earth Through the Ages”.
Guests can visit the aquarium to observe the inhabitants of the seas and oceans, go to the reptile zoo and see how iguanas, poisonous snakes and turtles live.
The Aeronautics Museum is located in an ultra-modern building, and was founded by Dietrich Mateschitz in 2003. The owner of Red Bull GmbH built a hangar where he exhibited a collection of aircraft from the last century. Under a huge glass dome are a variety of aircraft.
Touching and climbing into the booths of the exhibits is prohibited. But people are happy to take pictures against the backdrop of cars, listen to the fascinating story of the guide, go to the Icarus restaurant to try delicious dishes.
Museum of the family brewery Stiegl-Brauwelt
Stigl is the oldest Austrian brewery. A museum has been opened on its territory, attracting guests of the city like a magnet.
Tourists can learn all the secrets of making a drink, go to the brewery, watch a film about the creation of the company. The museum has a souvenir shop selling beer accessories and a restaurant where you can taste beers and try original cocktails.
Natural attractions and parks
Hohe Tauern National Park
The Austrian National Park, spread within the land of Salzburg, includes several mountain peaks, among which is Mount Grossglockner, 3798 m high. Picturesque forests and meadows are located on their slopes. In the reserve it is allowed to engage in mountain tourism, mountaineering.
Of the main attractions, the Golling, Krimml and Liechtenstein Gorges stand out. A panoramic paid excursion road has been laid along the reserve. Driving along it, you can see in detail the Grossglockner and the Pasterze glacier.
Not far from Salzburg, near the commune of Werfen, there is a huge ice cave. Its length is 42 km, and the depth is 407 meters. A cable car delivers tourists to the entrance to the Eisriesenwelt. Each visitor is given a carbide lamp to light the way.
The cave has bizarre ice growths, stalactites and stalagmites. Here the temperature is below zero all year round, so warm clothes are needed for the tour.
The Salzburg Zoo, founded in 1961, is engaged in the protection of nature. 140 species of animals live on an area of 14 hectares. Adults and children can see representatives of the African continent (lion, cheetah, zebra, white rhino), as well as the inhabitants of South America and Eurasia: caiman, puma, pink flamingo, python, red panda, polar wolf, snow leopard.
The zoo has a large aviary and terrarium. There is a playground for children, and the restaurant “The ZoO” is open for all visitors.
The Salzburg Marionette Theater opened in 1913 and is one of the oldest in the world. He is rightfully proud of the large repertoire of his performances, ballet and opera productions.
The actors are not living people, but puppets led by experienced puppeteers. Revived dolls cause a storm of emotions, so the theater is very popular. For the performances, the music of famous composers is used: Mozart, Haydn, Tchaikovsky, Strauss.