Salzburg, Austria Cityscape

Salzburg, capital of the Austrian state of Salzburg, with (2019) 154 200 residents. The city, through which the Salzach flows, lies between the Mönchsberg (with the Hohensalzburg fortress) and the Kapuzinerberg. It has a university, a college for music and performing arts (Mozarteum) as well as numerous scientific institutions, museums and archives, including Mozart’s birthplace. Salzburg is primarily a tourist attraction as well as a congress and trade fair city. The Salzburg Festival has been taking place in summer since 1920.

The old town is characterized by magnificent churches, including the collegiate church of St. Peter (1130–43) and the cathedral (1614–28). Mirabell Palace (1721–27) and the Prince Archbishop’s Residence (1595–1792) contribute to the baroque cityscape.

According to estatelearning, Salzburg was founded by the Romans in the 1st century and was first mentioned as a city (merchant settlement) in 774. It has been the seat of an archbishop since 798; Donations by Emperor Otto II (977) laid the foundation for the later spiritual principality. In 1816 the city came to Austria.


The Hohensalzburg Fortress rises above the city (1077–1147, almost constant renovation, especially 1465–1510; Vorwerke 1631–81). Most of the old town of Salzburg (UNESCO World Heritage Site) is located on the left bank of the river. Squares, palaces, churches, fountains and tall, colorfully plastered houses give Salzburg a partly Italian character. The baroque is architecturally decisive.

The center of the episcopal city is the cathedral (1614–28, by S. Solari, based on a design by V. Scamozzi based on the model of Il Gesù in Rome; built over two previous buildings) with a two-storey two-tower facade (towers 1652–55) and an octagonal crossing dome (uniform baroque furnishings). The residence (1595–1619, northwest wing 1788–90), an extensive building complex, whose state rooms are partly designed by J. M. Rottmayr and M. Altomonte, are grouped around the cathedralwere painted, and the Residenz new building (1592–1602); to the north of the cathedral is the Residenzbrunnen (between 1656 and 1661), to the south the Kapitelschwemme (1732). The Franciscan Church is attached to the residence (nave consecrated in 1223; Romanesque portal in Lombard style around 1220; hall choir, 15th century, by H. von Burghausen and Stefan Krumenhauser) with valuable furnishings, especially the high altar by J. B. Fischer von Erlach (1709/10) with Our Lady from the late Gothic high altar by M. Pacher (1495-98). To the south of the cathedral square with the Marian column (1766–71) lies the Benedictine Abbey of St. Peter; the collegiate church is a Romanesque basilica (1130–43, main portal around 1240) with a late baroque facade and furnishings. The monastery complex of St. Peter also includes grave monuments (15th to 18th centuries), Romanesque-Gothic cloister, early Gothic chapter house, early Gothic St. Mary’s Chapel and St. Peter’s Cemetery with probably early Christian “catacombs”.

The west of the old town is dominated by the baroque college church (1696–1707) Fischer von Erlachs (interior by D. F. Carlone, M. Guggenbichler, J. M. Rottmayr, J. G. Bergmüller). The old university (1618–31) encloses a trapezoidal courtyard with arcades. The complex of the former Hofmarstall (1607) with winter and summer riding school was converted into a large and small festival hall (1960, by C. Holzmeister). The Blasius Church (consecrated in 1350) is a Gothic hall, built as the church of the citizens’ hospital (1556–62, with arcaded courtyard). To the east of the old town are the Nonnberg Benedictine Abbey (founded 713–715) with a three-aisled collegiate church (1463–1507; with Romanesque frescoes, around 1150), the Kajetan Church (1685–1700; furnishings completed around 1730) and the Erhard Church (1685–89), both baroque buildings by G. Zuccalli. The center of the bourgeois town is the town hall between the river and Getreidegasse (1407, renovation 1616–18) with a trapezoidal floor plan. The Getreidegasse is home to the richest number of typical town houses (especially the 16th century; the house where W. A. ​​Mozart was born).

To the right of the Salzach are the Holy Trinity Church (1694–1702, by Fischer von Erlach) and St. Sebastian’s Church (1505–12, 1749–53 baroque), and Gabriel’s Chapel (between 1597 and 1603) on the Sebastian cemetery. Mirabell Palace (1606, rebuilt by J. L. von Hildebrandt 1721–27) with marble stairs and colossal statues by G. R. Donner (1726) is known for its gardens.

Although the historical buildings dominate the cityscape, Salzburg also has remarkable examples of modern architecture, such as For example, the parish church “Zum heiligen Blut” in Parsch (1953–56, including a concrete crucifix by F. Wotrubaand incised drawings after O. Kokoschka), the Sankt Josef college in Aigen (W. Holzbauer et al., 1961–64) and the educational center Sankt Virgil (Holzbauer, 1965 and 1968–76) and the ORF Studio (G. Peichl, 1968–72). The contemporary architecture represented inter alia. the buildings of the Faculty of Natural Sciences in Nonntal (Holzbauer and S. Hübner, 1983–86), the Museum der Moderne on Mönchsberg (architectural office Friedrich Hoff Zwick, 2002-04) and the Sohlstufe Lehen hydropower plant (Max Rieder and Erich Wagner, 2010-13).

The castles of Kleßheim (1700–09, by Fischer von Erlach), Leopoldskron (1736 in rococo style) and Hellbrunn (1613–19, by Solari) are located in the vicinity of Salzburg.

Salzburg, Austria Cityscape

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