Below you will find information about the top sights in the Old Town of Salzburg, Austria. Please also visit our pages with an Introduction to Salzburg and Sights Across the River and the Sound of Music.
Top Sights in the Old Town of Salzburg
This massive castle sits 400 feet above the old town. It was originally built for the ruling prince archbishop. Construction began in 1077 and was not finished until 1681. Today, this is the largest completely preserved castle in central Europe. You can visit the castle exterior for wonderful views over Salzburg, with the Alps visible on a clear day. Interior audio guided tours are included in the entrance fee that will explain in detail the medieval princes' apartments and the castle museum. But the real highlight is the view from the top of the tower. To reach the castle you can take a funicular, originally built in 1892 from Festungsgasse. There is a restaurant and tavern with outdoor service during the summer months. Classical music events are often held in the elegant staterooms in the evenings.
Residenzgalerie Salzburg (Residenz State Rooms)
This opulent palace was built by Wolf Dietrich after he felt that the Price Archbishops no longer needed the heavy fortifications of the Hohensalzburg Fortress. Today there are several state rooms that can be toured as well as an art gallery which includes an audio guide. The child prodigy Mozart often played in these staterooms while he was in Salzburg. The Residenz fountain dates from the 17th century and is one of the largest baroque fountains north of the Alps. Again a reminder of Wolf Dietrich's time in Rome.
The Glockenspiel on Mozartplatz has 35 bells that chime at the times listed above. The tunes are changed monthly to reflect the season. This is a great free mini concert, but it can be enjoyed even more while sipping a coffee drink at one of the many street cafes, or a holding a warm mug of glühwein as you stroll the outdoor Christmas Markets.
This cathedral is considered the most perfect Renaissance building in the Germanic countries. It boasts a world famous 4,000 pipe organ. The original Roman church that stood here dates to 774. Another church was built on this spot in 1181 and survived until 1598 when a fire destroyed it. The current church was built in 1628. Its dome was bombed and destroyed in WWII, but was restored in 1959. The bronze doors were also added at that time and express the themes of Faith, Hope and Love. This is the church where Mozart was baptized. In the lower levels you can tour the excavations of the past buildings. If you are lucky enough to attend a Sunday morning Mass (at 10:00 and 11:30) you'll get a great opportunity to hear the famous organ!
Mozart's Geburtshaus (Birth house)
Mozart was born here on January 27, 1756. By the age of 4 he was writing original music, and by the age of 6 he was a child prodigy performing for the royal family in Vienna. When he was not touring he lived in this house until the age of 17. There are 3 floors of exhibits including the family apartment and some of his instruments.
St. Peters Church and Cemetery
This church dates back to 696, but a remodel in the 17th century gives it a baroque style. The west side doors date from 1240. Outside the church is a cemetery where aristocrats and people of influence are buried (Mozart's sister). This church and cemetery were used as the abbey in The Sound of Music film.
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