Salzburg is a beautiful, baroque city located right on the Salzach River, with parks, historical sites and wonderful music venues, plus shopping and dining spots that won’t put a huge hole in your pocketbook. This is the place of Mozart’s youth and you will see his imprint across the town. Salzburg is also considered a world-class live music destination. In summer, it hosts the famous Salzburg Festival, bringing thousands to enjoy live, classical music. Tiny Salzburg offers more than 2 ,000 live performances in its churches and palaces every year. And the memorable film “The Sound of Music” was filmed in this city and in the surrounding hills. You can even take the “Sound of Music Tour” to visit all the filming locations.
Some things that we would not miss when visiting Salzburg are:
The Salzburg Cathedral is probably the city’s most significant piece of church architecture. With its magnificent façade and mighty dome it represents the most impressive early Baroque edifice north of the Alps. Destroyed by fire and rebuilt, enlarged and expanded, it bears witness to the power and independence of Salzburg’s archbishops. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was the cathedral organist for two years.
Dom zu Salzburg
Tel. 0043662 8047-7950
The Salzburg Museum tells the story of Salzburg, its history, famous residents, and culture. Opened in 2007, the Salzburg Museum is housed in the magnificent setting of the Neue Residenz – the “New Residential Palace” – on Mozartplatz. I loved this interactive museum which brought art objects and history to life. The Panorama museum next door, depicts the historic center of Salzburg and its surroundings in 1829. It offers a trip through time into the history of Salzburg.
Tel: +43-662-62 08 08-700
With its beautiful gardens, magical Trick Fountains and beautiful art, the Hellbrunn Palace is a short bus ride from the city center. Visit when the weather is nice because the gardens are what makes the Hellbrunn special. The season runs from the end of March until November.
Tel: 43 (0) 662 82 03 72-0
Located just above the city, Hohensalzburg Fortress offers visitors a stunning view of the city of Salzburg and its environs. The Fortress is accessed from Kapitelplatz through the Festungsgasse; visitors can choose between the funicular, departing every 10 minutes, or taking a 30-minute walk to the top. The 900-year-old Hohensalzburg Fortress, the city’s chief landmark, is the biggest and most fully-preserved fortification in Europe. The chambers and vaults of the Fortress Castle Museum present relics from the fortress history, offering insight into fortress life and customs. Also on site, The Rainer Regiment Museum, which offers an impressive multimedia show and a charming Marionette Museum.
This is where the Leopold Mozart family lived from 1747 to 1773. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born here on January 27, 1756. Today this building houses a museum. The most famous exhibits include Mozart’s childhood violin, his concert violin, his clavichord, the pianoforte, portraits and correspondence of the Mozart family.
Getreidegasse no. 9
tel. ++43/662/84 43 13
Mozart lived here from 1773 to 1780. Now a museum, you can see an excellent exhibit of Mozart’s life including portraits of him and his family as well as some of the musical scores he wrote. He entertained the elite of Salzburg society in this residence.
Residenz Gallerie Museum
This museum is located in the Salzburg Residenz, situated in the heart of the Old Town. It once housed the reception rooms of the prince-archbishops, emphasising their spiritual and secular power. It now houses a collection of 16th to 19th century European paintings with an emphasis on Dutch, Italian and Austrian masters. The permanent collection is augmented by special exhibits.
One of the loveliest city parks I have come across, is the Mirabell Gardens. Ajacent to the Mirabell Palace, which now houses municipal offices, The Mirabell Gardens are considered the most beautiful baroque gardens in Europe. It has several unique sections; the picture above is of the Grand Parterre which has a clear view of the city and the Hohensalzburg Fortress in the distance. The Small Parterre is located just along the backside of the Mirabell Castle. It is directly attached to the Grand Parterre and centers on a fountain with a Pegasus statue that was the starting point for Frà¤ulein Maria and the Trapp children to run down the hedge arcade in the movie “The Sound of Music” You will probably see visitors doing the same thing singing their favorite “Sound of Music” songs!
Half-way through the arcade, you can enter the Hedge Maze with the “Heckentheater” or “hedge theatre” still used for musical productions. Finally the Salzburg gnome or dwarf garden is another part of the Mirabell gardens. It contains statues of gnomes or dwarfs, little people with grotesque faces that look more like caricatures. In fact, some of the models for the gnomes were real people, living at the court under the reign of Prince Archbishop Franz Anton Harrach in 1715.
We enjoyed the Mozart Dinner Concert, which is offered daily, year-round. Mozart’s most popular compositions are performed in candlelight by local musicians in period costume. It is designed for tourists, and we were happily seated with other tourists from around the world, who enjoyed the dinner, wine and music in a beautiful venue right in the heart of Salzburg.
Remember, with the Salzburg Card, transportation and most of these venues are free of charge. Salzburg is more than just the charming tourist sights; it is the vitality of the people, the beauty of the landscape, the great food, and the music you hear from every quarter. Come to Salzburg and Listen to the sound of music!