Salzburg, Austria (Osterreich)


Salzburg is known as the home of Mozart and is close to the fictional site of the movie The Sound of Music The so-called Sound of Music tour departs from Mirabell Kirche daily. One can either take the shorter half-day or the full-day tour. I did not take this particular trip, although it is very popular.

The Salzach River separates the east and west sides of the town. On one side is the famous Hotel Salzburg, Makartplatz, and the Hauptbahnhof. On the other side is Old Town, Hohensalzburg Fortress, Mozartplatz, Monks Mountain (Monschberg), The University of Salzburg, and many college bars. A trolley climbs up the side of the hill to the castle, although one can certainly save a few Euros and walk. I would recommend taking the trolley up and then walking down the hill. It is about a twenty minute walk, and it is only steep at the top.

This town is small, accustomed to tourists, makes a living from tourism, and has many college students. My guess is that this unique combination of factors is what gives Salzburg its uncommon european friendliness. My own experience is that a minimum of German (Deutsch) is required for English speaking tourists.

I only spent a few days in town, but I easily could have spent a week to ten days. If you wish to see cultural artifacts and historical items, then three days will exhaust the possibilities. However, if you hire an auto and drive out to the countryside, then one can enjoy the beauty of nature during the day while resting in the comforts of superior lodging and restaurants.

If you are night owl, the party doesn't stop until early morning. My own experience on the southwest side of Salzach outside the university was very pleasant. Most of my nights started at Shamrock Irish Pub. Live american rock music is played nightly by local artists.

Points of Interest

Mirabell Palace (Schloss Mirabell) was originally used by Archbishop Wolf Dietrich in 1606. Now, it is used as a civil administration building and sits across the park from city hall. Carefully placed statues and a cultured garden path lend a grandeur to this small site. From Mirabell, one can see Kapuzinerberg.

Kapuzinerberg is composed of an old castle incorporated into the Capuchin Monastery. 250 steep steps known as Imbertstiege lead from Lindergasse to the top. The view immediately overlooks Makartplatz, the opera house, and theatre. There is also a panaramic view of Old Town across the Salzach.

Benedictine Abbey (Stift St Peter), the Franciscan Church (Franziskanerkirche) the Dom dominate Old Town's centre. Salzburg Festival open air concerts are held in the courtyard separating Stift St Peter and Franziskanerkirche. St Peter's is open to the public. St Peter's and the Dom were originally built during the 7th and 8th century. In the 18th century, they were remodelled in the Baroque style. Mozart's Birthplace (Geburtshaus) and the Residenzplatz are other attractions.

At this point, you are steps away from the trolley up the hill to the Hohensalzburg. Atop awaits panaramic views of Salzburg to the northeast and the Austrian Alps on the northwest, west, and southwest sides. There is a moderate fee to take the trolley and another fee to enter the castle. More fees await those entering any of the castle's attractions.

North past the 2400 seat Festspielhaus in Old Town, one can walk up Monschberg (Monk's Hill), also known as Nonnberg (Nun's Hill). Stift Nonnberg, a Benedictine nunnery overlooks the city. Footpaths lead around the grounds and overlook a residential area in north Salzberg. The pilgramage church of Maria Plain is a picturesque fifteen minute walk from the Stift. A winding road leads down and past the historic Hotel Schloss Monchstein. If you can, then reserve a table at their restaurant.

Central Europe:Austria On Salzach River view Salburg to South From Monchberg view Salzburg on Salzach River From Mirabell Platz view Kapuzinerberg, Schloss Mirabell on left Night: From Mirabell Platz view Kapuzinerberg Clockwise: Hotel Schoss Monchstein, Stift Nonnberg, Mirabell Platz behind Hotel Bristol, Opera House, Makartplatz Night: Old Town, St Peter, the Dom and Kapuzinerberg From Mozartplatz view Stift St Peter: Outside Stift St Peter: Inside Old Town (Alt Stadt) From HohenSalzburg view Alps to West

  • 2004-2005, Stephan Lau-- Chicago Illinois USA