Salzburg is located in the north west of the country, stretches along both banks on the river Salzach and up the slopes of the Kapuzinerberg and Monchsberg hills. The Kapuzinerberg, on the right bank, is home to the old part of the city, while the Monchsberg, on the left bank, is the site of modern Salzburg.
Salzburg is the city of Mozart, where he was born and lived until adulthood. The city has built its fame around the notoriety of this great composer, offering attractions including; the houses, where the composer lived, his music, the music festival in August and the international artistic festivals, which manage to produce and regulate a continuous flow of tourists throughout the year. Mozartplatz, with its statue dedicated to the composer, is the focal point and centre of the city. The medieval shopping centre Waagplatz is located to the right of the Glockenspiel Cafe and is the departure point for the Judengasse, that leads into the Getreidgasse, forming the heart of Salzburg’s shopping centre. This lively and picturesque zone, with its tall houses, ornately decorated with wrought iron signs, is home to Mozart’s birthplace. The house, n° 9, is where the famous composer was born in 1756. It is now a museum and houses Mozart’s first violin, his spinet, musical scores, letters and mementos.
The Gstattengasse, beyond the Schleifer Tor, a quaint narrow street, lined with antique shops, is also the departure point for an electric lift, which transports visitors up the Monchsberg Hill, site of the Winkler Café and Salzburg’s Casino. The summit of Monchsberg is crowned by the mighty Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of the largest existing medieval military constructions and symbol of the city. Built in 1077, the fortress was restored during the 15th century when it became the residence of Achbishops and Princes. Today it is a museum and famous tourist site. Access to the interior of the fortress is permitted only by a guided tour, which details the various stages of the fortress’ architectural development throughout the centuries. A funicular railway transports visitors to the top of the keep tower, where it is possible to obtain a spectacular view of the city and the Bavarian Alps.
Another fine view of the city can be obtained from the market square, near the Nonnthaler Bruck, at the foot of the Kapuzinerberg. Here the river Salzach flows under the visitor’s feet and the large mass of the Hohensalsburg Festung, dominates the skyline. The Mirabell Castle stands on the right bank of the river Salzbach. Built in 1666 and modified in 1712, the castle was once the summer residence of Archbishops and Princes. The castle’s interior houses a fabulous grand staircase and the Marmorsaal, which hosts classical music concerts. The Baroque Museum, situated to the left of the main entrance, is dedicated to European paintings and sculptures from the 16th and 17th century.
St Peter is Salzburg’s oldest church. This Roman Basilica, built between 1130 and 1143, is fronted by a Baroque tower and a gateway with a gable in red marble relief. The right flank of the church, houses the old Peters-Friedhof cemetery, which has at its centre the Magaretenkapelle from the 14th century together with smaller chapels dating back to before this time.
Other fine examples of churches within Salsburg are the Franziskankirke, built in Roman style at the beginning of the 13th century, with the choir and tower re- built in Gothic style and the Kollengienkirke, the University Church, which offers one of the finest examples of New Austrian Baroque architecture.
Hotels and lodging
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- The courtyard of the Maria Plain church, provides the visitor with an extensive panorama of the city. The church, which stands on the left bank of the Salzach, to the north of the city, is built in Baroque style and has an imposing façade and a magnificent interior.
- The Museumplatz is the site of Salzburg’s important museums: the Salzburger Museum Carolina Augusteum, a modern museum dedicated to the history of the city; the Haus der Natur, a large natural history museum, which houses one of the richest aquariums in Europe, together with a live reptile and amphibian zoo; the Barockmuseum, which has displays of sketches, plans and preparatory designs from the Baroque works of Tiepolo, Fragonard, Rubens and Bernini.
- Mattsee, a beautiful holiday resort with thermal baths, is situated on the Mattsee lake, 20 km north-east of Salzburg. The town also possesses an ancient abbey and a Roman Gothic church from the 13th century.
- The Hellbrunn Castle is located 5 km south of Salzburg. This one-time summer residence of Archbishop- Prince Marcus Sitticus, has magnificent gardens complete with fountains,caves and a water theatre with 113 moving figures. A road initially leads from the gardens to the Bergwelt Tiergarten, a zoological garden with mountain wildlife and from here the road continues to the top of the hill, site of a folklore museum.
- Continuing further south, the visitor arrives at Hallein, an ancient and beautiful town, close to the German border. A cable car takes visitors up the Durrnberg Hill to the entrance of Salzberg, a salt mine, consisting of a series of communicating tunnels and caves and an underground lake, which can be crossed by boat. Sankt Wolfang Im Salzkammergut, situated 20 km east of the city, is a picturesque resort town. It lies on the lake of the same name at the foot of the Schafberg. The town has many old rustic houses with frescoed fronts and is home to the renown hotel Am Weiseen Rossl, the principle attraction of the town. An old rack-railway takes its passengers on an hour long trip to Schafberg(1783 metres), where it is possible to enjoy one of the most spectacular views in the area, comprising the Austrian and Bavarian Alps and 13 lakes.
- Travelling further east, the visitor arrives at Bad Ischl, these thermal baths, situated among the Salzkammergut Mountains, were once the summer residence of the Austrian Court of the Emperor Francesco Giuseppe. A detour to the south, leads to Hallstatt , an attractive village clinging to the mountainside. From here it is possible to take a cable- car, which climbs to the Dachsteiunhohle Cave, with its magnificent ice formations and the Mammuthhohle, an enormous 40 metre high opening. The second stage of the cable car journey, takes its passengers to the view point, which looks onto the Dachstein Glacier.
- A longer trip (approx 130 km ) in a southerly direction leads to Heilingenblut, at the start of the famous Grossglocknerstasse, one of Austria’s major tourist attractions. The road, lined by various parking bays, where it is possible to admire this wonderful landscape, leads to Franz-Josefs-Hohe(2369 metres), where an enormous square provides the visitor with fine views of the Pasterze Glacier and the Grossglockner, at 3797 metres, Austria’s highest mountain. A funicular railway allows visitors to descend onto the glacier.
Maps and transportation
Getting to Salzburg
The public transport system is well-oeganised, efficient and punctual. Travel cards are available for a three or seven day period and are valid for all public transport. An interesting and characteristic way to view the city could be by one of the many horse-drawn carriages. The funicular railway, at the Fortess in Festungsgasse, is in operation from March to October and departs every ten minutes. The electric lift at Monchsberg in Gstattengasse 13, operates from April to October, from 7am to 1pm. The cable car for Untersberg in St Leonard operates from March to October.
Practical information and resources
Currency : Euro
Electric supply: 220 volts, with a round two-pinned plug.
Climate : continental.
Language : German
Opening hours : the city operates a flexible opening time programme. Usually the shops are open from Monday to Friday until 7:30 pm and Saturday until 5pm. The banks have a large number of cash point machines
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