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Salzburg, Austria
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Austria: Salzburg
2012

The City Residenz Nonnberg Abbey Hohensalzburg Fortress
Hohensalzburg Fortress, Salzburg, Austria

 

Excellent Sacher Torte and a great fortress in a wintry Salzburg.

The City

Train to Salzburg from Basel
Travelling by train Basel to Salzburg.

We took the train to Salzburg from Basel, travelling First Class so it was very comfortable. It was a gorgeous day to travel through the snowy mountains

Salzburg
Arte Vida

We arrived late afternoon and went straight to the Arte Vida, which we'd chosen because it was in a good location and looked a little different. It's actually very different, furnished in Moroccan style, the public room ceilings draped in shiny fabric, joss sticks burning. The room was fine, though hot - we turned off the radiator and kept it off for the duration of our stay, and the bathroom was very small, more of a wet room - everything got wet when you took a shower!

We wandered out to the nearest Christmas Market which was in Mirabellplatz, small but lovely and full of local people.

Salzburg Xmas Market
Mirabellplatz Christmas Market.
Salzburg Xmas Market
Salzburg
Salzburg Xmas Market
Mirabellplatz Christmas Market.
Salzburg Xmas Market
Mozartkugeln
Salzburg
Statue of Austrian conductor Herbert von Karajan.

 

Mozart was born in Salzburg and there are lots of associations with him. Much in evidence are the chocolate, pistachio, marzipan confection invented in Salzburg, Mozartkugeln, in distinctive packaging adorned with his portrait.

Salzburg's other big claim to fame, it seems, is as the location for The Sound Of Music, which draws hordes of tourists.

Later, after a bit of a wander, we ate at Alten Fuchs where we were very lucky to get a table. Andrew had the best Wiener Schnitzel vom Schwein ever (still true in 2020). Beers with the meal in a great atmosphere.

 

Salzburg
Salzburg Cathedral
Impressive ceiling in the cathedral.
Salzburg

Though Arte Vida provides a breakfast of sorts we preferred to eat at the nearby Café Classic which is on the ground floor of the Mozart Residenz. The Mozart family lived here from 1773 until the death of the father, Leopold, in 1787, though Wolfgang Amadeus had moved to Vienna in 1781.

We had really great Sacher Torte in the Hotel Sacher and some good meals. In Triangel we had excellent goulash and a beer and another good goulash at Sternbrau where Andrew had an excellent venison stew with cranberry sauce and a very good local desert called Nocherl - an eggy "creamy" soufflé.

Salzburg

Everywhere was heaving with people, particularly at the big Christmas Market on Saturday around the cathedral. The cathedral itself is Baroque, a style I'm not keen on, though it has fine ceilings.

Salzburg Xmas Market
Salzburg Xmas Market
Christmas market around the cathedral.
Salzburg Xmas Market
Salzburg Xmas Market

Though there were some nice things to buy at the Christmas Markets, it would be fair to say that we didn't find Salzburg to be as atmospheric as Vienna.

Salzburg
Salzburg
Salzburg
Salzburg
Salzburg
Salzburg
Salzburg
Salzburg
Salzburg
View across the city to Hohensalzburg Fortress and the mountains beyond on the climb to Franziskischlössl.

 

We visited the tomb of Paracelsus in St. Sebastian's Church. He was a famous 16th century Swiss alchemist but also a true scientist, using minerals and chemicals in medicine.

 

Salzburg
Memorial to Paracelsus.
Salzburg
Salzburg cathedral.

 

Salzburg
Franziskischlössl
Salzburg

One cold morning we walked up to the Franziskischlössl, quite a long walk and steep in places, and we were an hour too early for it opening! But the small 17th century fortress, part of the city defenses, is lovely.

Salzburg
Salzburg
Detail from the Salzburg Panorama by Hubert Sattler.

 

Later in the same cold day we went to the Panorama Museum which has a very nice painting by Hubert Sattler of a view over Salzburg and the surrounding countryside painted around 1829.

Salzburg
Detail from the Salzburg Panorama by Hubert Sattler.
Salzburg
Detail from the Salzburg Panorama by Hubert Sattler.
Salzburg
Detail from the Salzburg Panorama by Hubert Sattler.

Then to the Salzburg museum, mainly for an art exhibition, but it was a bit boring - an uninspiring collection of Alpine paintings apart from one of a very tall spired church in the mountains by Hubert Sattler again.

Salzburg
Catacombs, St. Peter's.
Salzburg
"Heiligenblut" by Hubert Sattler, around 1860.
Salzburg Museum

We did discover Mary Whitehead, an Englishwoman of the mid 19th century who was the first woman to climb a local mountain, but couldn't find out much more about her.

We went to St. Peter's for the catacombs but there isn't really much to see, a few caves and a couple of cave chapels, rather crude, probably well over 1500 years old, no frescoes which we have seen in many European cave churches.

 

Residenz

Salzburg Residenz
Carabinierisaal

The Residenz, in the centre of Salzburg next to the cathedral, is not the greatest palace we've ever been into, though it is at a disadvantage as I'm not keen on Baroque, but the musical balustrade in the Great Hall was fun and some of the wooden parquet floors are also very nice.

Salzburg Residenz
Residenzplatz seen from the Residenz.

 

A bishop's palace has existed here for 900 years, added to and renovated over the centuries, particularly the 17th and 18th.

Salzburg Residenz
Ornate ceramic stove in the Ante Camera.
Salzburg Residenz
Tapestries and wooden parquet floor in the Audienzsaal.

Video: musical balustrade in Salzburg Residenz.
Salzburg Residenz
The musical balustrade.

 

 

Nonnberg Abbey

Salzburg

This Benedictine Convent stands at the foot of the Festungsberg. When we visited on a Saturday morning most of it was closed but we eventually did manage to see the old frescoes in the church. They are quite primitive wall paintings and a little difficult to see. The views on the way up to the convent are rather nice too.

Salzburg

The church interior is pure Gothic with pointed arches, quite plain and very dark.

 

Salzburg
St Erentraud was the first abbess.
Salzburg
Salzburg
Salzburg
Salzburg

 

 

But the Romanesque frescoes are really rather lovely.

 

 

 




Salzburg
Salzburg
Salzburg

 

 

 

Hohensalzburg Fortress

Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Hohensalzburg Fortress seen from across the river.

 

The Hohensalzburg Fortress stands on top of the Festungsberg - a perfect site for a castle protecting the city. Originally built in the 11th century, like most ancient edifices it has undergone extensive renovation and extension until by the 16th century it had developed into the fortress we see today.

Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
In the forge.
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
The development of the fortress under each of the archbishops.
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Leonhard von Keutschach
Prince-Archbishop 1495-1519.
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Wintry view of Salzburg from the fortress.
Cathedral in the foreground with the Franciscan church to its left.
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
A model of the building process demonstrates this clever method of elevating heavy stone blocks.

 

 

There was a very small Christmas Market in the castle courtyard. We had a very good glühwein there but were a bit annoyed that we had to buy the mugs, and couldn't just pay a deposit and return them.

Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Medieval arcade.
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Medieval arcade.
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress

 

 

Renovations in 1998 uncovered a hexagonal round-arched arcade dating from the time of Archbishop Konrad I (1106-1147).

The beautifully painted arcade adjoins what was once a living room, one of the oldest parts of the Medieval castle, and, together with the room below, formed the high Romanesque living quarters, begun by Archbishop Gebhard (1060-1088) and finished by Konrad I.

Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress

 

 

The display of armour was rather well done with skeleton soldiers.

Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Golden Hall
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress

The Golden Hall and Golden Chamber are very impressive, especially the deep blue ceiling studded with golden stars to simulate the night sky. These were private rooms of the Prince Archbishops.

Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Golden Hall
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress

 

Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
The turnip is a feature of the coat of arms of Prince-Archbishop Keutschach.
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
The majolica stove.
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress

 

The coat of arms of Prince-Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach features a turnip and the story goes that an uncle threw a turnip at his head when he was a boy to straighten him out! Truth is probably that he descended from agricultural stock.

Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Bench decoration, Golden Chamber.

 

The Golden Chamber is lined with tall benches, richly decorated with vines and animals, which were once upholstered. A massive ornate majolica stove stands in one corner.

 

Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Salzburg Hohensalzburg Fortress
Bench decoration, Golden Chamber.

For us the fortress (and its museum) was the best thing in the city - that and the Sacher Torte!