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Salzburg - Birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

"The hills are alive with the sound of....."

Lying near the Austrian/German border Salzburg is more commonly associated with the 1965 movie The Sound of Music.

But Salzburg has much more to offer than lederhosen-clad males and singing nuns running across field-tops.

Encircled by mountains and straddling the river of Salzach, the beautiful Austrian city of Salzburg has a dramatic setting that matches its own baroque splendour.

Being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Salzburg has developed an incredibly rich musical life that would no doubt have made the great composer proud.

Every summer the Salzburg Festival brings thousands of musicians, artists and of course tourists into the city lifting its otherwise relaxed stature to one of busy excitement.

Salzburg has embraced the cosmopolitan lifestyle of modern Europe with fine dining and boutique shops while retaining its older cultural heritage of medieval buildings, squares and marketplaces.

Top 5 things to do in Salzburg

Hohensalzburg Castle

Hohensalzburg Castle is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe.

Construction of the basic fortress began in 1077 commissioned by the Archbishops of Salzburg.

The castle was gradually expanded during the following centuries with the ring walls and towers being built in 1462.

The only time that the fortress came under siege was in 1525, when a group of miners, farmers and townspeople tried to oust Prince Archbishop Cardinal Matthäus Lang, but failed to take the castle.

The castle was abandoned as a military outpost in 1861 and lay disused until a refurbishment programme was started in the late 19th century.

Today the castle is one of the best preserved in Europe and a major tourist attraction.

Walking up from the town will take you around 30 minutes otherwise you can jump on the funicular which runs approximately every 10minutes from downtown Salzburg.

Mozart Birthplace Museum

The Mozart family lived on the third floor of the "Hagenauer House" at Getreidegasse 9 for twenty-six years, from 1747 to 1773.

Mozart himself was born here in 1756 and the building was turned into a museum dedicated to the famous composer in 1880.

Remodeled and enlarged over the decades it has become a cultural venue that draws thousands of visitors from around the world to Salzburg each year.

The museum rooms contain historic instruments, documents, memorabilia and portraits of the composer including the unfinished oil painting "Mozart at the Piano" painted by Mozart's brother-in-law, Joseph Lange, in 1789.

The famous exhibits include Mozart's child violin, his concert violin, his clavichord, the harpsichord, portraits and letters from the Mozart family.

Guided tours are only available with prior arrangement and the building is not accessible by wheelchair.

Mirabell Palace/Gardens

Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau had Altenau Palace built in 1606 as a token of his love for Salome Alt.

After Wolf Dietrich's death, the palace was renamed "Mirabell" ('beautiful view') by his successor, Markus Sitticus von Hohenems.

The castle and grounds were more or less rebuilt in its now famous baroque style between 1721 and 1727 by Prince Archbishop Franz Anton Harrach.

During the great fire of Salzburg in 1818, the Mirabell Palace was seriously damaged and re-built once again.

The inside of the palace has elaborately decorated rooms most famous for its excessive use of marble including the Marble Hall and the Marble Staircase.

The gardens extend outwards from the front of the palace ending at the Pegasus Fountain, surrounded by four groups of statues symbolising the four elements; earth, air, fire and water.

Residenz Palace

The Old Residenze Palace was the official medieval residence of the Prince Archbishops of Salzburg until it was secularised and became part of Austria in 1816.

Built in a baroque style in the 16th century, it lies in the historic centre of Salzburg between Domplatz and Residenzplatz.

The complex of buildings has more than 180 rooms and halls and like most palaces this one has had many additions and redesigns over the years.

Today the State rooms where the archbishops conducted business are open to the public and they impress with their stunning and ornate decoration and design.

The Audience Hall, the throne room, the Imperial Hall are amongst the most impressive of the state rooms and the Residenz Gallery is well worth a visit having a magnificent collection of paintings from the period 16th to 19th centuries

Open daily from 10am until 5pm. Closed for the two weeks before Easter.


Getreidegasse is Salzburg’s most decorative, busiest and famous street.

As you wander down the long, cobbled street you will see shops offering clothing, jewelry, local produce, art work, shoes, accessories, interior design objects, books and more.

The high, narrow buildings that stand shoulder to shoulder were often lived in by the merchants who sold their wares close by and if you look closely, you can often see the date of the building's construction, and even the names of previous owners, painted under the roof eaves.

This is also one of Salzburg's most expensive areas and the street is lined with expensive boutiques and top restaurants although it does transform at night when small street stalls appear selling souvenirs and street food.

Walking along the street you will eventually come to No. 9 Getreidegasse, Mozart's birthplace (see above).

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Other Places To Visit

If you have some extra time in the city, some other worthwhile places to visit are:

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