Salzburg monuments

Salzburg´s Cathedral

Salzburg´s Cathedral

Salzburg's Cathedral is probably the city's most significant piece of church architecture and its ecclesiastical center. With its magnificent façade and mighty dome it represents the most impressive early Baroque edifice north of the Alps. Its origin is closely connected to the ecclesiastical principality's demeanour and growth. Destroyed by fire and rebuilt, enlarged and expanded, it bears witness to the power and independence of Salzburg's archbishops.

The first cathedral was built on this site by Bishop Virgil who came to Salzburg in 767 and built a cathedral on the site of the former Roman Juvavum. On September 24, 774 the cathedral was consecrated to St. Virgil and St. Rupert. The city was set on fire in 1167 by the Counts of Plain, followers of the emperor Friedrick Barbarossa, also destroying the cathedral. The cathedral was rebuilt ten years later under the rule of Archbishop Conrad III of Wittelsbach and became more beautiful, more magnificent and more impressive than ever, making it the mightiest Romaneque cathedral north of the Alps, its size even surpassing the emperor's cathedral in Speyer.

400 years later another fire raged and destroyed large sections of the cathedral on December 11, 1598. This afforded Archbishop Wolf Dietrich the opportunity to tear down the damaged cathedral and to make plans for its reconstruction. The Salzburg residents were extremely outraged at the archbishop's ruthless actions. Not only were valuable sculptures and gravestones of the archbishops destroyed but the cathedral cemetery plowed under and the bones of the dead dumped on the debris. After Wolf Dietrich's death the architect Santino Solari was commissioned by Archbishop Markus Sittikus to rebuild the Cathedral, which became the first early Baroque church north of the Alps. Markus Sittikus did not live to see the festive consecration of the Cathedral by Archbishop Paris Lodron during the chaos of the Thirty Years' War on September 25, 1628. Through Paris Lodron's clever diplomacy, the heavily fortified city escaped most of the hardships of the Thirty Years' War so that the consecration of the Cathedral became the largest and most pompous festival that Salzburg ever experienced. The centuries of sovereign rule by the Salzburg prince bishops was ended by the Napoleonic Wars.

In 1944 the dome and part of the chancel were destroyed during a bomb attack. The necessary renovations were carried out and the Cathedral consecrated in its former magnificence in 1959. The three years found in the gates to the Cathedral are in memory of the three consecrations: "774", "1628" and "1959". Four statues are located in front of the main façade: the apostles Peter and Paul with keys and sword as well as the two patron saints Rupert and Virgil with a salt box and a model of the church. The two escutcheons on the gable ornament refer to the two church builders, Markus Sittikus and Paris Lodron. Among the precious objects to be found in Salzburg's Cathedral are the baptismal font in which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptised, the majestic main organ, surrounded by angels playing instruments and crowned by Rupert and Virgil, as well as the magnificent Cathedral portals made by Scheider-Manzell, Mataré and Manzú. In his capacity as the court organist and concert master, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed numerous undying works of sacred music for Salzburg.


St. Peter`s Abbey

St. Peter`s Abbey

The Frankish missionary Rupert (Hroudbert) came to Salzburg around 700 and founded St. Peter's Church and a monastery on the soil of what was once the Roman Juvavum. It remains the oldest continuously active monastery on German soil.

Salzburg was designated an archbishopric under Archbishop Arno, a friend of the Emperor Charlemagne. The church and its buildings were destroyed by fire in May 1127; from 1130 to 1143 Abbot Balderich had a three-naved Romanesque basilica built. The church and the church district were subject to numerous adaptations in the years to follow. One of Salzburg's oldest Gothic buildings was built in 1319, the St. Veits Chapel. The magnificent Romanesque portal was built around 1240. The transformation to the Rokoko style took place in the 18th century under the energetic and art-loving abbot, Beda Seeauer. During the first half of the 20th century Archabbot Petrus Klotz founded the Collegium Benedictinum with façade frescoes done by Anton Faistauer.

The interior of the church still gives a clear impression of the Romanesque style. The Rokoko decoration of the church is reflected in the large number of altars. Several of the altar paintings are the work of Martin Johann Schmidt, also called "Kremser-Schmidt", one of the most famous devotive and altar painters of the 18th century. Two gigantic Renaissance bronze candlesticks dating back to 1609 were donated by Archbishop Wolf Dietrich. In one of the chapels located on the right side aisle are the memorial of Johann Michael Haydn, a marble plaque in memory of Mozart's sister Nannerl and the tomb of Hans Werner von Raitenau, Wolf Dietrich's father.

Prominent personalities belonged to the monastic community of St. Peter. The scholarship and the fervor of these medieval monks are reflected in a multitude of works. A masterpiece of the prevailing architecture was the construction of the Alm Canal, which involved digging a tunnel through the Mönchsberg. Many of the monks were employed as teachers after the founding of the University in 1622; music and theater were avidly fostered in St. Peter's. In 1769 thirteen-year-old Mozart composed the "Dominicus Mass" for Abbot Hagenauer and in 1783 personally directed his famous Mass in C-minor. In 1782 Johann Michael Haydn composed the "Rupert Mass" for St. Peter's.


Hohensalzburg Fortress

Hohensalzburg Fortress

Hohensalzburg Fortress, built in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard, considerably enlarged by Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach (1495-1519), largest, fully-preserved fortress in central Europe. The medieval princes' apartments and the Fortress Museum are of particular interest. Since 1892 the fortress can easily be reached by funicular railway departing from the Festungsgasse.

The more than 900-year-old citadel dates back to the investiture controversy between emperor and pope over the right to appoint the bishop. As a faithful servant of the pope, Archbishop Gerhard von Salzburg had the strongholds of Hohensalzburg, Hohenwerfen and Friesach built on his sovereign territory in 1077. Expansion of Gebhart's fortifications were temporarily completed under Konrad I (1160 - 1147).

During the 15th and 16th centuries, during the turmoil of the so-called Hungarian War and the Peasants' War in which the province of Salzburg was involved, the archbishops took refuge behind the battlements of the fortress. It was during this period that the main building was enlarged and the arsenal and the granary erected. Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach (1495 - 1519) enlarged the fortress and its exterior has remained substantially unaltered since then. The fortress' interior was richly decorated: intricate Gothic wood-carvings and ornamental paintings decorate the Golden Hall and the Golden Chamber. 58 insignia and coats of arms with the beetroot are commemorative of Leonhard von Keutschach. The fortress' symbol, the lion, holds the beetroot in its paws. One of the last extensive modifications was the addition of the great Kuenberg bastion.

During its long history the Hohensalzburg Fortress has always remained unconquered by enemy troops.


Mozart Square

Mozart Square

The square is dominated by the statue of Mozart by Ludwig Schwanthaler, ceremoniously unveiled on September 5, 1842 in the presence of Mozart's sons. Mozart's widow, Constanze von Nissen, did not live to see the unveiling. She died on March 6th of the same year in the house at Mozartplatz 8. A plaque was placed on the house in her memory.

"Michl march, Mozart is here!" This was the local vernacular when the site for the erection of the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart monument was being discussed. The two squares coming into consideration were the Hannibalplatz in front of Mozart's Residence (today's Makart Square) and the Michaelsplatz (today's Mozart Square), whose fountain with the Baroque statue of St. Michael had to give way to the Mozart monument."

The Bavarian king, Ludwig I, was an important promotor. He personally contributed a significant amount of money and also donated the marble pedestal, now owned by the Carolino Augusteum Museum. Originally, the monument was to have been unveiled in 1841 but a valuable Roman mosaic tile floor was discovered during excavation work:

"hic habitat [felicitas], nihil intret mali"

(Hier wohnt [das Glück], nichts Schlimmes trete ein), which postponed the unveiling until September 1842.
Today the so-called "Antretter House", located on Mozart Square 4, accommodates the Salzburg University's Institute of Music. The county chancellor and royal war councillor Johann Ernst von Antretter and his wife Maria Anna Elisabeth bought the house in September 1765. The Antretter family was closely acquainted with the Mozart family, e.g. Cajetan, one of the Antretter's sons and the Mozarts were members of the Bölzl infantry and one of the Antretter daughters was a member of Nannerl Mozart's "scholars". The Antretter family also commissioned Mozart to compose the "Antretter Serenade" K. 185. Numerous letters and diary entries document the friendship between the two families. The attractive building, built between the 16th and 18th centuries, is well worth seeing.

The "Schaffner House" on the adjacent Waagplatz is the birthplace of the poet Georg Trakl.


Mozart`s Birthplace

Mozart`s Birthplace

n Getreidegasse no. 9, is where the Leopold Mozart family lived from 1747 to 1773. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born here on January 27, 1756. Today the rooms once occupied by the Mozart family house a museum. The most famous exhibits include Mozart's childhood violin, his concert violin, his clavichord, the pianoforte, portraits and correspondence of the Mozart family.

The International Mozart Foundation first set up a museum in Mozart's birthplace, Getreidegasse 9, on June 15, 1880. During the last few decades the museum was systematically renovated by the International Mozarteum Foundation and has become a cultural site attracting thousands of visitors from around the world to Salzburg year after year.

The Mozart family lived on the third floor of the "Hagenauer House" for 26 years. The house was named after its owner and Mozart's friend, the merchant and grocer Johann Lorenz Hagenauer (1712 - 1792), and consisted of a kitchen, a small chamber, a living room, bedroom and study.   On exhibit in the historical rooms are manuscripts (facsimiles), documents and souvenirs, the original portraits of the family members such as the 1789 unfinished oil painting by Mozart's brother-in-law, Joseph Lange of "Mozart at the Piano" and the historical instruments (Mozart's concert piano, clavichord, Mozart's concert and child's violin, viola) that were acquired from Mozart's widow, Constanze Nissen (1762 - 1842) and her sons, Carl Thomas (1784 - 1858) and Franz Xaver Wolfgang (1791 - 1844) by the International Mozarteum Foundation.

In 1994 the Mozart Residence was carefully renovated and reorganized by the Viennese architect, Prof. Elsa Prochazka, according to state of the art museum technology to protect the exhibits from damage.

In 1985 the apartment of Mozart's neighbor, Babette von Moll, the aunt of the famous Salzburg geologist and natural scientist, Karl Ehrembert von Moll (1760 - 1838) located in the rear part of the house facing University Square, was redecorated with private funds into a "commoner's apartment in Salzburg in Mozart's time". In addition to furniture and everyday utensils three themes are documented: "Mozart and the University of Salzburg", "Mozart's friendship to Salzburg families" and "Sacred music and reverence of the saints".

The second floor is dedicated to the theme "Mozart at the Theater". Numerous diorams (miniature stages) illustrate the history of the reception of Mozart's operas. Stage sets from the late 18th to the 20th century display the many different interpretations of Mozart's works. Since 1981, the International Mozarteum Foundation has presented different "Mozart" exhibitions on the first floor of Mozart's Birthplace each year.




The medieval bishops' residence was given today's magnificent early Baroque appearance at the end of the 16th century. Open to the public: the State Rooms of the Residenz - formerly used by Salzburg's prince archbishops as reception rooms and living quarters - as well as the Residenz Gallery with its fabulous collection of paintings by European artists of the 16th - 19th centuries. The building referred to as the New Building of the Residenz is located across from the Residenz.

Salzburg's Residenz, situated in the heart of the city, is an extensive complex of buildings, containing some 180 rooms and three spacious courtyards. Here the the prince archbishops of Salzburg held court and controlled the destiny of their country up to the 19th century. The prince archbishops continued to add on to their palace for centuries. The building sustained substantial structural changes under Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau (1587 - 1612). The Residenz, used to entertain the important guests of the prince archbishops for many centuries, continues to serve in that function. In recent decades it has seen crowned heads, political leaders and prominent figureheads. In 1867 Emperor Franz Josef I and his wife Elisabeth welcomed the French Emperor Napoleon III and his wife Eugénie for an official visit over a period of several days at the former archiepiscopal court.

Today the Residenz is the venue for official receptions, meetings and international conventions. The Residenz is entered from Residenz Square through a large marble portal bearing the coat of arms of the prince archbishops Wolf Dietrich, Paris Lodron and Franz Anton Harrachs. The wide main staircase leads up to the Carabinierisaal. This hall was built around 1600 under Wolf Dietrich and is named after the prince archbishop's bodyguards. The hall was not only used by the bodyguards but also as a theater and banquet hall.

The adjoining state rooms, used by the former prince bishops for court ceremonies, were redecorated under Johann Lukas von Hildebrandt at the beginning of the 18th century. The ceiling frescoes are the work of Michael Rottmayr and Martino Altomonte.

The prince bishops often invited guests to a concert performance in the Rittersaal. Young Mozart also played regularly at the Salzburg Residenz. At that time his father was in the archbishop's service as the director of the cathedral orchestra. Today concerts (Salzburg Palace Concerts) are still performed in this hall because of its excellent acoustics. On May 1,1816 Emperor Franz I administered the oath of allegiance to the Salzburg trades in this room. That was the beginning of Salzburg's affiliation to Austria. His fourth wife, Caroline Auguste, came to Salzburg during the summer for almost thirty years and stayed at the Residenz. She was also one of the greatest promoters of Salzburg's Carolino Augusteum Museum which was named after her.

Other halls in the Residenz are the Conference Room or Ratszimmer (Councillors' Room), where Mozart performed his first court concert at the age of six, the Antecamera, the Audience Hall, the most magnificent hall of the Residenz and the most dominating of the archiepiscopal state rooms, symbolizing the power and the magnitude of the ecclesiastical and secular principality and its absolutistic administration. Also noteworthy are the Arbeitszimmer (Study), the Schreibzimmer and Schatullenzimmer (Writing Room and Privy Room), the Bedroom, the Gallery (cornerstone for the present-day Residence Gallery), the Throne Room, the White Hall or Markus Sittikus Hall, the Green Room and the Emperor's Hall, formerly called the Emperor's Chamber, adorned by portraits of the kings and emperors of the Habsburg Dynasty. A corrider directly connects the Emperor's Hall with the mighty late Gothic choir of the Franciscan Church. Wolf Dietrich used this corrider to reach the private apartments of the Residenz where his mistress, Salome Alt, and the children lived.

Today, several characteristic sections of the archiepiscopal palace are part of Salzburg' s Paris Lodron University. The so-called Toscana Wing to the north is the seat of the University of Salzburg's Faculty for Jurisprudence. During the renovation of the Toscana Wing important structures were unearthed and significant archeological findings discovered, providing scientists with valuable information about Medieval Salzburg.


St. Peter's Cemetery

St. Peter's Cemetery

St. Peter's Cemetery with its unique backdrop is one of the oldest and most charming cemeteries in the world. It serves as the final resting place for many notable personalities, artists, scholars and merchants:

Santino Solari (architect and builder of Salzburg Cathedral), Nannerl Mozart (Mozart's sister), Lorenz Hagenauer (the Mozart family's friend and landlord), Michael Haydn (composer and Joseph Haydn's younger brother), Paul Hofhaimer (organist and composer), Sigmund Haffner (benefactor and mayor, friend of the Mozart family, Mozart's "Haffner Serenade" and "Haffner Symphony"), Richard Mayr (opera singer and the first "Ochs von Lerchenau" in the "Rosenkavalier" at the Salzburg Festival), Harry Collins (last commander of the American occupation forces who later lived in Salzburg, honorary citizen of the city).



The so-called "catacombs" hewn out of the Mönchsberg rock are one of the special attractions at St. Peter's Cemetery (open all year) and probably of early Christian origin. St. Gertrude's Chapel and the Maximus Chapel are especially worth seeing.


Hellbrunn - Palace and Trick Fountains

In 1612, only a few months after ascending the throne, Salzburg's Prince Archbishop Markus Sittikus von Hohenems commissioned a country residence to be built at the foot of the well-watered Hellbrunn Mountain. A lover of Italian art and culture, Markus Sittikus commissioned the famous Cathedral architect, Santino Solari, to design a "villa suburbana", a summer residence matching the elegance and spaciousness of the magnificent Italian architecture with which he was so obsessed. Within a relatively short period of time an architectural masterpiece was created just south of the city that remains one of the most magnificent Renaissance buildings north of the Alps: the Lustschloss ("pleasure palace") of Hellbrunn with its spacious park and its unique Wasserspiele (trick fountains).

Water was the central theme in the palace's design. The numerous sources in Hellbrunn Mountain gave the estate effervescent life. Hidden in the shade of bushes and trees or jetting out from unexpected hiding places - the world-famous Wasserspiele have been the main attraction at Hellbrunn for almost 400 years. 

Hellbrunn only served the archbishops as a residence in exceptional cases. With its magnificent ballrooms, the enchanting gardens and the unique trick fountains, the palace was primarily used as the site of luxurious celebrations and festivities, spectacular events and cultural highlights.

The spacious park was redecorated around 1730 according to plans by the inspector of the royal gardens, Franz Anton Danreiter, and adapted to the "new" style of the age. The mythical and historical statues date back to the beginning of the 17th century. A statue of Empress Elisabeth, sculpted by Edmund von Hellmer, which had formerly stood in front of the old "Hotel Europe" at the Empress Elisabeth Railway Station (today's central railway station) was placed in the so-called English Park.

Markus Sittikus had the natural stone quarry in Hellbrunn transformed into a stage, creating the "Steintheater" (Stone Theater), the oldest open-air stage in Europe.

Today the Hellbrunner "Monatsschlösschen", originally called Waldems and built in 1615 for Archbishop Markus Sittikus, as its name suggests, within the record time of only a month, houses the folklore museum of Salzburg's Carolino Augusteum Museum. The manor, idyllically situated overlooking Hellbrunn Park, houses a collection of regional folklore with objects of popular customs and piety, furnishings, popular medicine and a number of beautiful Trachten (traditional costumes) worn in the Salzburg valley regions. Visitors originally came to Hellbrunn for excursions, hunts and elegant receptions. Today they come for meetings, seminars and glamorous social events. And perhaps the reason that the palace has become a popular venue for international events is that it was built for that very purpose almost 400 years ago!


Mirabell Palace

Mirabell Palace

In 1606 Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau had a palace built outside the town walls for Salome Alt which he called "Altenau". Salome Alt was the daughter of the prominent merchant and councillor, Wilhelm Alt, and the prince archbishop's mistress. She bore him 15 children, of which 10 survived. Salome Alt had no political significance. After Wolf Dietrich's death - he was forced to abdicate in 1612 and was held captive in the Fortress until his death - Altenau was re-named "Mirabell" by his successor, Markus Sittikus von Hohenems (1612 - 1619). Prince Archbishop Paris Lodron (1619 - 1653) included the palace and gardens in his extended ring of fortifications. He spent much of his leisure time at Mirabell which he loved and where he died on December 15, 1653.

Prince Archbishop Franz Anton von Harrach had the palace remodeled extensively from 1721 to 1727 by the famous Baroque architect, Lukas von Hildebrandt, who combined the individual parts of the building to form a homogeneous palace. The palace was heavily damaged by the disastrous town fire on April 30, 1818, destroying the frescoes painted by Johann Michael Rottmayr and Gaetano Fanti. Fortunately, the great marble staircase leading into the palace and the Marble Hall remained undamaged.

Peter de Nobile, court architect and director of the school of architecture in Vienna, gave the palace its present unassuming, neo-classical appearance. Details such as the scroll work around the windows, the chapiters and the stucco work are the reminders of its former splendor. The stairway by Lukas von Hildebrandt is one of the palace's great masterpieces. White marble putti (cherubs) adorn the lavishly embellished marble balustrade; the figures in the niches are the work of the famous sculptor, Georg Raphael Donner (1726) and among the most beautiful creations of the European Baroque era.

Today the Marble Hall, formerly the prince archbishop's banquet hall where Mozart's father Leopold and his children Wolfgang and Nannerl once played their instruments, is acknowledged to be one of the "most beautiful wedding halls in the world". The Marble Hall also serves as an elegant venue for conferences, awards ceremonies and exquisite concerts (Salzburg Palace Concerts).

Famous personalities have stayed at Mirabell Palace: three years before the great fire on July 1, 1815, just after Salzburg was transferred to Bavaria, Prince Otto of Bavaria, later to become the King of Greece, was born in Mirabell Palace.

One year later Salzburg became "Austrian" again and Mirabell Palace became the summer residence of the emperor. Archbishop Cardinal Maximilian Josef von Tarnóczy lived in the palace for 12 years, from 1851 to 1863. The legendary Capuchin monk, Joachim Haspinger, loyal companion and comrade in arms of the Tyrolese patriot, Andreas Hofer, was a guest of the emperor from September 4, 1854 to January 12, 1858 at Mirabell Palace, where he died; a commemorative plaque was placed in the palace courtyard. Today the Palace accommodates the office of Salzburg's Bürgermeister (mayor) and the municipal administration.