Lifestyle & Travel
Mar 1, 2017
SALZBURG - BEYOND MOZART
Salzburg, whose name literally means "salt fortress", was refunded on the 8th century by St. Rupert of Salzburg, and it's the current capital of the state of Salzburg and the fourth largest city of Austria.
It's thoroughly known for being the home town of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and as the set of the popular "The Sound of Music", a film that marked generations. Both of those legacies are specially evoked on its yearly Salzburg Festival, that this year will run from July 21 until August 31, and is also an event that has cemented itself as one of the most recognised music festivals of the world.
Once part of the state of Bavaria, becoming independent solely on the 14th century, Salzburg is an ancestral city and, up to this date, the archaeological findings go as far as the Neolithic, estimating that started out as independent Celtic communities circa the 5th century B.C.. The Roman Empire united all those agglomerates to found the town of Juvavum in 15th B.C., name which it kept until it was refunded by St. Rupert, already on 8 A.D., which makes it a mandatory visit for all enthusiasts of historical tourism.
Surrounded by the Alps, Salzburg rises along the shores of the Salzach river and its historical centre is considered as World Heritage by UNESCO since 1996. Besides the popular Salzburg Festival, with tickets usually sold out months in advance, the city has capitalised its potential as a musical destination of excellence and throughout the year it hosts several other festivals, being that in the current year already hosted Mozart Week between January 26 and February 4 and we're approaching the Salzburg Easter Festival that will run between April 8 to 17, to which will follow Withsun and Sommerszene, respectively between July 2 to 5 and June 21 up to the 1st of July. Ending the Summer, it does not hibernate and hosts, between October 11 to 22, the Culture Days, charging again with Jazz & the City from the 25th up to the 29th and after that the Advent Singing from December 1 to 17, finishing off the year with its Winter Festival, that runs from November 30 to January 7, 2018. Being that, regardless of the time of year, it's still a mandatory destination to all musical enthusiasts.
Besides its historical wealth, one of its main attractions is the architectonic diversity, from Romanesco to Gothic, up to Classic Modernism and Contemporary Architecture, through Renaissance and Baroque. Its churches and monasteries are a living example of Romanesco and Gothic, featuring the Cathedral of Archbishop Conrad de Wittelsbach, the Chapel in St. Peter's Graveyard and the church choir in the Franciscan Church. During the Renaissance, several Baroque constructions were built, such as the fortifications around the town, the Hellbrunn Palace, Kajetan Church and the university residential buildings.
With the purpose of maintaining and growing its architectonic legacy, throughout the years, authorities have opted for the continuous construction of buildings which, besides standing out for its beauty, also keep up the pace of time, reason why a decade after World War II it built Classic Modernist structures, such as House Zahnwurzen, the Salzburg Congress Centre and the Großes Festspielhaus.
In the same spirit, already in the 21st century, it built the Mozarteum in the hearth of the Baroque garden of Mirabell, the House of Congress, the Makartsteg bridge, the studio residence of the architects Christine and Horst Lechner, the Sciences Faculty of the University of Salzburg and Red Bull's Hangar 7 building, all without damaging the delicate balance required to retain its UNESCO certification of World Heritage.
Grandiose upon the city, at the top of the Festungsberg hill rises Castle Hohensalzburg, with an extension of 250 by 150 metres it's one of the widest medieval castles in Europe, with an altitude of 506 metres.
South of the city, we find the Hohensalzburg Palace, in Rococo Style, it sits on the bank of the Leopoldskroner Weiher lake and was turned in a luxury hotel in 2014. Worthy of a visit due to its architectonical traces as well as its magnificent gardens, we find the Mirabell Palace, considered as a World Heritage site by UNESCO.
Near the Salzburg Zoo, you'll find the Hellbrunn Palace, built in Baroque as the day residence of the Archbishop of Salzburg, being that at the end of the day he would return to his accommodations in the city, the palace was surprisingly built without sleeping chambers; on the Summer months the palaces' gardens show off their artistically fountains and "water games" activated by several mechanisms along the visitors route, which by itself is worthy of a visit.
Within the city we suggest a visit to the Café Tomaselli, Austria's oldest coffeehouse still open for business. Around town you can also visit, on a short distance, the Anif Palace, that has the peculiarity of being built on the centre of a small lagoon; the Freilichtmuseum Großgmain, an outdoors museum that gather rural housings from the whole state into a single historical reconstitution noteworthy area; the Klessheim Palace and the Eagle's Nest, both used as headquarters by Adolf Hitler; the Salzkammergut area with its lakes and traditional villages, also listed as World Heritage sites by UNESCO; and the Untersberg mountain, after all what would be a visit to the Alps, without climbing at least the nearest mountain?
To top it up, we couldn't forget a less known facet of the city, its statute as Austria's Beer Capital. Although the whole world overlooks and visits Oktoberfest on Bavaria, the truth is that the Austrians consider Salzburg local beer as their most well-kept secret. The first brewery opened in 1404, which makes over six centuries of experience that can be tasted on "beer gardens" spread throughout the whole city. Besides its 10 regular breweries, the city also includes 11 micro-breweries and a considerable part of the beer houses prefer to brew its own ales. We point out the Augustiner Bräu due to its location in the Monastery of Mülnn, a must see, and the Weißbierbrauerei brewery, given that it's the world's only organic brewery.
Contacts: www.salzburg.info * Tourismus Salzburg GmbH, 5020 Salzburg, Áustria * Tel: +43662 88987-0