FolkestoneJack's Tracks

Three days in Salzburg

Posted in Austria, Salzburg by folkestonejack on July 3, 2016

Over the past three days we have spent our time working our way through the many sights of Salzburg, armed with a 72 hour Salzburg card and a map. I am sure that there are endless blogposts about the city and its delights, so I will just share our top six sights and a few of the photographs that we took along the way.

Salzburg and the Salzach

Salzburg and the Salzach

The weather during our stay was rather mixed, with all the variations between blues skies and blazing sun to wet and cloudy. Thankfully, the compact nature of the old town in Salzburg made it easier to dash from one sight to the next during the heaviest rain.

Top 6

1. Hellbrunn Palace (Schloss Hellbrunn)

A tour of the trick fountains of Hellbrunn proved to be a marvellously fun way to start a hot summer day, especially as no-one escapes getting a little wet! The exhibition in the main house explains more about their creator, Markus Sittikus, and is really well presented.

Schloss Hellbrunn with the Festung Hohensalzburg in the distance

Schloss Hellbrunn with the Festung Hohensalzburg in the distance

It is astonishing to think that an entire palace and grounds such as this could be constructed for pleasure, rather than to be lived in. It could so easily have disappeared when pleasure gardens of this type fell out of fashion during the age of enlightenment. Indeed, many of the places that inspired Markus did not survive.

2. Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg)

The magnificent Salzburg Fortress dominates the city skyline and didn’t disappoint when we finally got around to making a visit. The fun began with the 52 second ride up to the fortress on the Festungsbahn, a funicular that first opened in 1892 and operated today with modern cars with panoramic windows. Remarkably it is not the oldest operational funicular on the site, that honour that goes to the Reißzug which has been used to transport goods into the fortress since the 15th century, making it the oldest funicular in the world.

Inside the Festung Hohensalzburg

Inside the Festung Hohensalzburg

There is plenty to amuse at the fortress. I found the marionette museum unexpectedly enjoyable but the the state apartments (the Golden Hall, Golden Room and the bedchamber of Prince Archbishop Keutschach) were the highlight for me. I spent ages absorbing the ornately decorated walls and ceilings before moving on to the fascinating fortress museum.

3. Petersfriedhof and catacombs

The early Christian chapels, cut into the Mönchsberg and accessed through a staircase from St. Peter’s Cemetery, offer a marked difference to the many elaborate churches of the city. The caves were originally described as a hermitage but are known today by the later, erroneous, label of catacombs!

The Gertraudenkapelle

The Gertraudenkapelle

4. Francisan Church (Franziskanerkirche)

Salzburg is a city packed full of churches and cathedrals to such a degree that you can hardly avoid stumbling upon one each time you turn a corner. However, the Francisan Church was my favourite for its mixture of architectural styles, the beautiful gothic rib-vaulting and the look of buildings inside the church.

A view of the ribbed vault in the gothic choir of the Franziskanerkirche

A view of the ribbed vault in the gothic choir of the Franziskanerkirche

5. The Folklore Museum (Volkskunde Museum)

The underrated Folklore Museum is located in the Monatsschlössl, a hunting lodge built by Markus Sittikus in 1615, located on a hillside overlooking Hellbrunn Palace. It’s a bit of a climb but well worth it for the views and the marvellous exhibits on display which include some beautiful cribs and wonderfully decorated bedroom furniture. Look out for the black squirrels on the climb up too!

The Volkskunde Museum

The Volkskunde Museum

6. Salzburg Museum in the Neue Residenz

The clever and innovative approach to telling the story of Salzburg in the Neue Residenz makes this museum a delight, even if we were rather weary by the time we entered! The stunning ceilings, treasures of Salzburg and displays about the history of the city. The early 17th century Goldegger Stube, a beautiful pine carved room from the Judenhof in Goldegg, was one highlight among many.

Naturally, there were plenty more churches in the mix and plenty of wonderful viewpoints. The views from the Mönchsberg, the Kapuzinerberg and alongside the Salzach are my recommendations.

Other places we visited included the Cathedral, Cathedral Excavations, DomQuartier Salzburg (including the Residenz), Mozart’s Residence, Museum of Modern Art – Mönchsberg, Panorama Museum and Salzburg Zoo.


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