Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg
The town is located on the site of the former Roman settlement of Iuvavum
. Salzburg was founded as an episcopal see
in 696 and became a seat of the archbishop
in 798. Its main sources of income were salt extraction and trade and, at times, gold mining. The fortress of Hohensalzburg
, one of the largest medieval fortresses in Europe, dates from the 11th century. In the 17th century, Salzburg became a centre of the Counter-Reformation
, where monasteries and numerous Baroque churches were built.
Salzburg's historic centre (German
) is thus renowned for its Baroque architecture
and is one of the best-preserved city centres north of the Alps, with 27 churches. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site
in 1996. The city has three universities and a large population of students. Tourists also visit Salzburg to tour the historic centre and the scenic Alpine
surroundings. Salzburg was the birthplace of the 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
. Because of its history, culture, and attractions, Salzburg has been labeled Austria's "most inspiring city."
Antiquity to the High Middle Ages
Traces of human settlements
have been found in the area, dating to the Neolithic Age
. The first settlements in Salzburg continuous with the present were apparently by the Celts
around the 5th century BC.
Around 15 BC the Roman Empire
merged the settlements into one city. At this time, the city was called "Juvavum" and was awarded the status of a Roman municipium
in 45 AD
. Juvavum developed into an important town of the Roman province
. After the Norican frontier's collapse, Juvavum declined so sharply that by the late 7th century it nearly became a ruin.
The Life of Saint Rupert
credits the 8th-century saint with the city's rebirth. When Theodo of Bavaria
asked Rupert to become bishop
c. 700, Rupert reconnoitered the river for the site of his basilica
. Rupert chose Juvavum, ordained priests, and annexed the manor of Piding. Rupert named the city "Salzburg". He travelled to evangelise
The name Salzburg means "Salt Castle" (Latin
: Salis Burgium
). The name derives from the barges carrying salt on the River Salzach
, which were subject to a toll in the 8th century as was customary for many communities and cities on European rivers. Hohensalzburg Fortress
, the city's fortress
, was built in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard, who made it his residence.
It was greatly expanded during the following centuries.
Eventually, tensions were quelled, and the city's independence led to an increase in wealth and prosperity, culminating in the late 16th to 18th centuries under the Prince Archbishops Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau
, Markus Sittikus
, and Paris Lodron
. It was in the 17th century that Italian architects (and Austrians who had studied the Baroque style) rebuilt the city centre as it is today along with many palaces.
On 31 October 1731, the 214th anniversary of the 95 Theses
Count Leopold Anton von Firmian
signed an Edict of Expulsion, the Emigrationspatent
, directing all Protestant
citizens to recant their non-Catholic beliefs. 21,475 citizens refused to recant their beliefs and were expelled from Salzburg. Most of them accepted an offer by King Friedrich Wilhelm I
, travelling the length and breadth of Germany to their new homes in East Prussia.
The rest settled in other Protestant states in Europe and the British colonies in America.
In 1772–1803, under archbishop Hieronymus Graf von Colloredo
, Salzburg was a centre of late Illuminism
. Colloredo is known for being one of the main employers of Mozart
. He often had several arguments with Mozart he dismissed him[clarification needed]
by saying, “Soll er doch gehen, ich brauche ihn nicht!” (He should just go then; I don't need him!) Mozart would leave Salzburg for Vienna in 1781 with his family including his father Leopold staying back as he and Colloredo had a close relationship.
Electorate of Salzburg
Austrian annexation of Salzburg
Salzburg under Bavarian rule
Division of Salzburg and annexation by Austria and Bavaria
Salzburg in 1914
Annexation by the Third Reich
Young Austrians at celebrations just after the Anschluss
(the occupation and annexation of Austria, including Salzburg, into the Third Reich
) took place on 12 March 1938, one day before a scheduled referendum
on Austria's independence. German troops moved into the city. Political opponents, Jewish citizens
and other minorities
were subsequently arrested and deported
to concentration camps. The synagogue
was destroyed. After Germany invaded the Soviet Union, several POW camps
for prisoners from the Soviet Union
and other enemy nations were organized in the city.
During the Nazi occupation, a Romani camp was built in Salzburg-Maxglan. It was an Arbeitserziehungslager (work 'education' camp), which provided slave labour to local industry. It also operated as a Zwischenlager (transit camp), holding Roma before their deportation to German camps or ghettos in German-occupied territories in eastern Europe.
World War II
bombing destroyed 7,600 houses and killed 550 inhabitants. Fifteen air strikes destroyed 46 percent of the city's buildings, especially those around Salzburg railway station. Although the town's bridges and the dome of the cathedral
were destroyed, much of its Baroque architecture remained intact. As a result, Salzburg is one of the few remaining examples of a town of its style. American troops
entered the city on 5 May 1945 and it became the centre of the American-occupied area in Austria
. Several displaced persons camps were established in Salzburg—among them Riedenburg, Camp Herzl (Franz-Josefs-Kaserne), Camp Mülln, Bet Bialik, Bet Trumpeldor, and New Palestine.
As of 2017 Salzburg had a GDP per capita of €46,100, which was greater than the average for Austria and for most European countries.
Salzburg is on the banks of the River Salzach
, at the northern boundary of the Alps
. The mountains to Salzburg's south contrast with the rolling plains to the north. The closest alpine peak, the 1,972‑metre-high Untersberg
, is less than 16 kilometres (10 miles) from the city centre. The Altstadt
, or "old town", is dominated by its baroque
towers and churches and the massive Hohensalzburg Fortress
. This area is flanked by two smaller hills, the Mönchsberg
, which offer green relief within the city. Salzburg is approximately 150 km (93 mi) east of Munich
, 281 km (175 mi) northwest of Ljubljana
, and 300 km (186 mi) west of Vienna
. Salzburg has about the same latitude of Seattle
Salzburg is part of the temperate
zone. The Köppen climate classification
specifies the climate as a humid continental
climate (Dfb), however, with the −3 °C (27 °F) isotherm for the coldest month, Salzburg can be classified as having four-season oceanic climate
with significant temperature differences between seasons. Due to the location at the northern rim of the Alps, the amount of precipitation is comparatively high, mainly in the summer months. The specific drizzle
is called Schnürlregen
in the local dialect. In winter and spring, pronounced foehn winds
Salzburg's official population significantly increased in 1935 when the city absorbed adjacent municipalities
. After World War II
, numerous refugees
found a new home in the city. New residential space was constructed for American soldiers of the postwar occupation, and could be used for refugees
when they left. Around 1950, Salzburg passed the mark of 100,000 citizens, and in 2016, it reached the mark of 150,000 citizens.
Romanesque and Gothic
Renaissance and baroque
Inspired by Vincenzo Scamozzi
, Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau
began to transform the medieval town to the architectural ideals of the late Renaissance
. Plans for a massive cathedral by Scamozzi failed to materialize upon the fall of the archbishop. A second cathedral planned by Santino Solari
rose as the first early Baroque
church in Salzburg. It served as an example for many other churches in Southern Germany
. Markus Sittikus
and Paris von Lodron
continued to rebuild the city with major projects such as Hellbrunn Palace
, the prince archbishop's residence, the university buildings, fortifications, and many other buildings. Giovanni Antonio Daria managed by order of Prince Archbishop Guido von Thun the construction of the residential well. Giovanni Gaspare Zuccalli
, by order of the same archbishop, created the Erhard and the Kajetan church in the south of the town. The city's redesign was completed with buildings designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach
, donated by Prince Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun.
After the era of Ernst von Thun, the city's expansion came to a halt, which is the reason why there are no churches built in the Rococo
style. Sigismund von Schrattenbach
continued with the construction of "Sigmundstor" and the statue of holy Maria on the cathedral square. With the fall and division of the former "Fürsterzbistum Salzburg" (Archbishopric) to Upper Austria
(Rupertigau) and Tyrol
(Zillertal Matrei) began a long period of urban stagnancy. This era didn't end before the period of promoterism (Gründerzeit
) brought new life into urban development. The builder dynasty Jakob Ceconi
and Carl Freiherr von Schwarz
filled major positions in shaping the city in this era.
Classical modernism and post-war modernism
Buildings of classical modernism
and in particular the post-war modernism are frequently encountered in Salzburg. Examples are the Zahnwurzen house (a house in the Linzergasse 22 in the right center of the old town), the "Lepi" (a public baths in Leopoldskron
) (built 1964) and the original 1957 constructed congress centre of Salzburg, which was replaced by a new building in 2001. An important and famous example of architecture of this era is the 1960 opening of the Großes Festspielhaus
by Clemens Holzmeister
Adding contemporary architecture
to Salzburg's old town without risking its UNESCO World Heritage status is problematic. Nevertheless, some new structures have been added: the Mozarteum
at the Baroque Mirabell Garden
(Architecture Robert Rechenauer),
the 2001 Congress House (Architecture: Freemasons), the 2011 Unipark Nonntal (Architecture: Storch Ehlers Partners), the 2001 "Makartsteg" bridge (Architecture: HALLE1), and the "Residential and Studio House" of the architects Christine
and Horst Lechner
in the middle of Salzburg's old town (winner of the architecture award of Salzburg 2010
Other examples of contemporary architecture lie outside the old town: the Faculty of Science building (Universität Salzburg – Architecture Willhelm Holzbauer
) built on the edge of free green space, the blob architecture
of Red Bull Hangar‑7
(Architecture: Volkmar Burgstaller
) at Salzburg Airport, home to Dietrich Mateschitz
's Flying Bulls and the Europark Shopping Centre. (Architecture: Massimiliano Fuksas
Districts of Salzburg
Salzburg has twenty-four urban districts and three extra-urban populations. Urban districts (Stadtteile):
Extra-urban populations (Landschaftsräume):
Gardens in Mirabell Palace, with Hohensalzburg Fortress in the distance
View of shoppers on Getreidegasse
, which is one of the oldest streets in Salzburg
Salzburg is a tourist
favourite, with the number of visitors outnumbering locals by a large margin in peak times. In addition to Mozart's birthplace noted above, other notable places include:
- Historic centre of the city of Salzburg, a World Heritage Site
- Baroque architecture, including many churches
- Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom)
- Franciscan Church (Franziskanerkirche)
- Holy Trinity Church (Dreifaltigkeitskirche)
- Nonnberg Abbey, a Benedictine monastery
- St Peter's Abbey with the Petersfriedhof
- Hohensalzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg), overlooking the Old Town, is one of the largest castles in Europe
- Mirabell Palace, with its wide gardens
- Salzburg Residenz, the magnificent former residence of the Prince-Archbishops
- Residenzgalerie, an art museum in the Salzburg Residenz
- Großes Festspielhaus
- House for Mozart
- Mozart's birthplace
- St. Sebastian's Church
- Sphaera (Salzburg) [de], a sculpture of a man on a golden sphere (Stephan Balkenhol, 2007)
Outside the Old Town
Greater Salzburg area
- Anif Castle, located south of the city in Anif
- Shrine of Our Lady of Maria Plain, a late Baroque church on the northern edge of Salzburg
- Salzburger Freilichtmuseum Großgmain, an open-air museum containing old farmhouses from all over the state assembled in an historic setting
- Schloss Klessheim, a palace and casino, formerly used by Adolf Hitler
- Berghof, Hitler's mountain retreat near Berchtesgaden
- Kehlsteinhaus, the only remnant of Hitler's Berghof
- Salzkammergut, an area of lakes east of the city
- Untersberg mountain, next to the city on the Austria–Germany border, with panoramic views of Salzburg and the surrounding Alps
- Skiing is an attraction during winter. Salzburg itself has no skiing facilities, but it acts as a gateway to skiing areas to the south. During the winter months its airport receives charter flights from around Europe.
- Salzburg Zoo, located south of the city in Anif
Salzburg is a centre of education and home to three universities, as well as several professional colleges and gymnasiums (high schools)
Universities and higher education institutions
- Saint Liutberga (died c. 870).
- The composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, born and raised in Salzburg when it was part of the Prince-Archbishopric of Salzburg within the Holy Roman Empire, was employed as musician at the archbishopal court from 1773 to 1781. His house of birth and residence are tourist attractions. His family is buried in a small church graveyard in the old town, and there are many monuments to "Wolferl" in the city.
- The composer Johann Michael Haydn, brother of the composer Joseph Haydn. His works were admired by Mozart and Schubert. He was also the teacher of Carl Maria von Weber and Anton Diabelli and is known for his sacred music.
- Christian Doppler, expert on acoustic theory, was born in Salzburg. He is most known for his discovery of the Doppler effect.
- Josef Mohr, born in Salzburg. Together with Franz Gruber, he composed and wrote the text for "Silent Night". As a priest in neighbouring Oberndorf he performed the song for the first time on Christmas Eve 1818.
- King Otto of Greece was born Prince Otto Friedrich Ludwig of Bavaria at the Palace of Mirabell, a few days before the city reverted from Bavarian to Austrian rule.
- Writer Stefan Zweig, lived in Salzburg for about 15 years, until 1934.
- Maria von Trapp (later Maria Trapp) and her family lived in Salzburg until they fled to the United States following the Nazi takeover.
- Salzburg is the birthplace of Hans Makart, a 19th-century Austrian painter-decorator and national celebrity. Makartplatz (Makart Square) is named in his honour.
- Writer Thomas Bernhard, raised in Salzburg and spent part of his life there.
- Herbert von Karajan, notable orchestral conductor. He was born in Salzburg and died in 1989 in neighbouring Anif.
- Roland Ratzenberger, Formula One driver, was born in Salzburg. He died in practice for the 1994 San Marino Grand Prix.
- Joseph Leutgeb, virtuoso on the French horn, was part of the archbishop's court.
- Paracelsus, Swiss physician, alchemist and astrologer of the German Renaissance, died in Salzburg.
- Klaus Ager, distinguished contemporary composer and Mozarteum professor, was born in Salzburg on 10 May 1946.
- Alex Jesaulenko, former Australian rules footballer for Carlton and Australian Football Hall of Fame member with "Legend" status was born in Salzburg on 2 August 1945.
- Georg Trakl, one of the most important voices in German literature was born in Salzburg.
- Theodor Herzl, worked in the courts in Salzburg during the year after he earned his law degree in 1884.
- Skydiver and BASE Jumper Felix Baumgartner, who set three world records during the Red Bull Stratos project on 14 October 2012.
- Hilda Crozzoli, Austria's first female architect and civil engineer.
is served by comprehensive rail connections, with frequent east–west trains serving Vienna
, and Zürich
, including daily high-speed ICE
services. North–south rail connections also serve popular destinations such as Venice
. The city acts as a hub for south-bound trains through the Alps into Italy
has scheduled flights to European cities such as Frankfurt
, and Zürich
, as well as Hamburg
. In addition to these, there are numerous charter flights.
In the main city, there is the Salzburg trolleybus system
and bus system with a total of more than 20 lines, and service every 10 minutes. Salzburg has an S-Bahn
system with four Lines (S1, S2, S3, S11), trains depart from the main station every 30 minutes, and they are part of the ÖBB
network. Suburb line number S1 reaches the world-famous Silent Night chapel in Oberndorf
in about 25 minutes.
Salzburg is the setting for the Austrian crime series Stockinger
In the 2010 film Knight & Day
, Salzburg serves as the backdrop for a large portion of the film.
is widely written and differs from Germany's standard variation only in some vocabulary and a few grammar points. Salzburg belongs to the region of Austro-Bavarian
dialects, in particular Central Bavarian
It is widely spoken by young and old alike although professors of linguistics from the Universität Salzburg, Irmgard Kaiser and Hannes Scheutz, have seen over the past few years a reduction in the number of dialect speakers in the city.
Although more and more school children are speaking standard German, Scheutz feels it has less to do with parental influence and more to do with media consumption.
After Red Bull had bought the SV Austria Salzburg and changed its name and team colors, some supporters of the club decided to leave and form a new club with the old name and old colors, wanting to preserve the traditions of their club. The reformed SV Austria Salzburg
was founded in 2005 and currently plays in the Erste Liga
, only one tier below the Bundesliga.
Salzburg is twinned with:
- Reims, Marne, Grand Est, France, since 1964
- Verona, Verona, Veneto, Italy, since 1973
- León, Nicaragua, since 1984
- Singida, Tanzania, since 1984
- Busseto, Parma, Emilia-Romagna, Italy, since 1988
- Vilnius, Lithuania, since 1989
- Dresden, Saxony, Germany, since 1991
- Kawasaki, Japan, since 1992
- Meran, South Tyrol, Trentino-Alto Adige/Südtirol, Italy, since 2000
- Shanghai, China, since 2004
- Jahrom, Iran, since 2019
Mozart's birthplace at Getreidegasse 9
View from Mirabellgarten at night
The famous fountain in Mirabell Gardens (seen in the "Do-Re-Mi" song from The Sound of Music)
The Sunset at the Staatsbrücke
Sigmund Haffner Gasse – Rathaus
Residential and studio house Lechner in the old town
The Salzburg basin
The fortress (background), Salzburg Cathedral (middle), the Salzach (foreground)
ÖBB rail connection to Salzburg in Innsbruck
Salzburg at night
A night time long exposure of Salzburg
Salzburg old town with a typical narrow alleyway
Salzburg Altstadt panorama
Salzburg panorama as seen from Hohensalzburg fortress
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