Salzburg (Salt Castle) derives its name from the local salt mines and the salt barges that used the Salzach River which flows through the city. Settlements in the area have been here since Roman times. It was annexed by Bavaria in the 700’s and would not win its independence as a prince-bishopic of the Holy Roman Empire until the 14th century. In the 18th century the pro-Catholic city would expel almost its entire protestant population. In 1815 it became a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire until that regime's defeat at the end of World War I. Salzburg, along with all of Austria was again annexed by Nazi Germany in 1938 and would be heavily damaged by allied bombing during the war. After WW II the city and the country remained non-aligned in the cold war. Salzburg still today embraces and celebrates the fact that it is the birthplace and home town of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born here in 1756.
If you ever drive to Salzburg for a visit you’ll find out quite quickly that there’s essentially no private autos allowed in the old town and that also includes no parking. But, smartly the city has built a large underground parking area in the high ridgeline that runs along the south side of the old town. Here’s the entrance to the tunnel that leads to the old town section of the city. Just to the right of this tunnel is the entrance to the parking area for the entire old town section of town. Hildmannplazt, Parking Area B.
After parking underground, there’s a maze of levels and walkways, including shops. Signs mark the way quite well. We followed the signs to the Dom (Cathedral) to this exit. Parking to hotel was 10 minutes.
We did a quick check-in to our hotel and, since we arrived later than planned, we hit the streets for some quick sightseeing. This is the Salzburg Cathedral. Although there were previous cathedrals on this site, the present building was begun in 1614 and finished in 1628. Mozart was baptized here.
The north side of Salzburg Cathedral. Although the front façade of the cathedral is rather ornate you can see this side, along with the other two sides, is pretty plain.
Interior of Salzburg Cathedral.
Ceiling in Salzburg Cathedral.
The skyline of Salzburg is dominated by Hohensalzburg (High Salzburg Castle) which sits atop Festungberg, the mountain that lays on the south side of the old town.
Getreidegasse is the main shopping street in the old town of Salzburg. It’s lined with restaurants, shops and souvenir stores.
Getreidegasse 9 is the birthplace and home of Mozart and, of course, a main tourist attraction in the city.
Mozart statue. And with that, officially, Day 1 of our Bavaria trip was at an end.
Here we are at the no-kidding beginning of Day 2. The smallest parade in the world. Here’s the band.
Here’s the parade thingies. That’s it, parade over. Just a band and thingies. No idea what this was for.
Salzburg looking south from the Salzach River. You can really tell from this picture just how high above the city the castle sits. Hohensalzburg was originally begun in 1077 and various walls and ramparts were added over the years. It is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe.
We’re in the Mirabell Palace which was begun in 1606 as a royal summer home. It has beautiful sculptured and geometrically styled gardens. A number of scenes from the movie The Sound of Music were filmed here. This Pegasus fountain is where the von Trapp children sang “Do-Re-Mi.”
This trellised pathway at the Mirabell Palace was also used in The Sound of Music as the children frolicked through the garden. Check out my top notch frolicking.
Time for a break from sightseeing. Jeff has a shirt he purchased from the Munich Beer Drinker’s Guide website. On the back of the shirt around 50 beer halls/gardens are listed with a small box in front of each where a person can check off after visiting that particular establishment. Well, one of those places is the Augustiner Bräustübl in Salzburg. So, of course, here we are.
The brewery, the Augustiner Bräu, Salzburg Mülln.
Jeff with a fresh glass of Augustiner. Another square filled.
Another image of Hohensalzburg. We’re on our way back to the old town and that’s our next stop, the castle.
You can walk up to Hohensalzburg or you can take this funicular train. Two train tickets please.
Old town Salzburg from the castle. Slazburg Cathedral on the right and the brown, porcelain roofed church on the left is Franziskanerkirche
Doing an audio tour of Hohensalzburg. Just hanging out in the dungeon.
This wheel is a torture device used in medieval times. Note the blade that was attached to the outside of the wheel. The intent was to drop the wheel, blade first, onto folks that they might an issue with.
The exterior wall of Hohensalzburg. Over the wall around this platform the drop is 100 feet to the rocks below. Hohensalzburg was under siege a number of times but was never taken by force.
From the central tower within Hohensalzburg, the highest point in Salzburg, a panoramic view of the Salzburg and the surrounding area.
The funicular train tracks back down to the city. Funicular trains use the weight of the down- going car to help pull up the up-going car. For most of the trip there’s just a single track except for the area where the two cars pass which you can make out here near the bottom.
One of the best beer halls and favorite beers of Salzburg is Stiegl, which conveniently is located just up the hill from the funicular train bottom platform.
Much needed nutrition after intense sightseeing.
Inside Franziskanerkirche (Franciscan Church) which is one of the oldest churches in Salzburg. It’s origin is uncertain but the first renovation is known to have taken place in the early 8th century.
Incredible porcelain artwork inside Franziskanerkirche.
Day 2 is done, at least the sightseeing part. There was still some necessary nutritional needs. Next blog, "4 Days in Bavaria--Day 3."