The city located at the northern boundary of the Alps is one the most beautiful in central Europe. The backdrop of the Alps to the south contrasts strongly with the rolling plains to the north. The closest Alpine peak – the 1,972 m Untersberg – is only a few kilometers from the city center. The inner city, or old town, is dominated by baroque towers and churches. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart is Salzburg's most famous son. The houses where he was born and also lived in are popular tourist attractions and there are many monuments remembering the “Wolferl” in the city. His family is buried in a small church graveyard in the old town.
Summer residence of a baroque church dignitary
On the outskirts of Salzburg lies one of the most beautiful summer palaces in Austria. It was built from 1613 by the prince archbishop of Salzburg, including a late Gothic aristocratic house. The baroque churchman spared no expense and effort: he commissioned an Italian star architect who took the Tuscan concept of the villa suburbana as his model. The ballroom is painted from top to bottom. The park with water features from the late Renaissance is also remarkable. With its movable figures and grottos, all named after pagan gods, the complex is unique in Europe.
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Mighty fortress on a rock
The fortress from the 11th century towers high above the city. It is the landmark of Salzburg and with an area of over 7,000 square metres one of the largest castles in Europe. The location on a rock above the Salzach was ideal for monitoring a wide surrounding area. Even today you have the best views of Salzburg from there. The interior of the fortress is also worth seeing. Concerts take place regularly in the Golden Hall. If the ascent to the castle is too difficult for you, you can take the fortress railway.
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Modest abode for the Archbishop's family
Although the Archbishop of Salzburg lived in celibacy qua office, this did not prevent him from taking the beautiful Salome Alt as his lover. And since he was a generous man, he had a palace built for them and their 15 children, which he named after her “Schloss Altenau”. When he had to exchange his pretty residence for a prison cell in Hohensalzburg in 1612 because of this scandal, the glory came to an end. His successor as archbishop was his virtuous nephew, who expelled the illustrious family and renamed the castle. It's called Mirabell ever since. A masterpiece of architectural history is the magnificent staircase from the ground floor to the second floor. The wall niches contain marble sculptures inspired by Greek mythology.
UNESCO World Heritage right and left of the Salzach River
The Salzach River, which divides the old town into two parts, flows right through Salzburg. To the left, i.e. west of it, lies the actual core of the city. There are the historic churches, the monasteries and cemeteries, the Salzburg Cathedral and the Getreidegasse with Mozart's birthplace. The Festspielhaus and the Residenzplatz also belong to the left Old Town. The old town on the right is younger, but is also a UNESCO World Heritage site due to the many valuable town houses and the worth seeing Mirabell Castle. Those who want to stroll through the old town should therefore visit both sides of the river.