Thursday, September 12, 2013


We work up early this morning after a very good nights sleep, and I was almost afraid to look out the window to check the weather.  It was sunny and beautiful though, so we were excited and ready to explore Salzburg.

We had breakfast at our hotel, which was included in the room rate.  It was a very nice spread with quite a variety, even an espresso machine!

After breakfast we consulted our map, and set out along Rainerstrausse, a big avenue leading to the Salzach River.

A small park along Rainierstrausse, with a strange sculpture--looks like an alien life-form!

Pretty street along the way:

 Pretty pink bank building right along the river:

 View down the Salzach River, from the bridge:

After we crossed the river, we came to this big church, The Dom.  The church was establish in 774, rebuilt in 1626 after a fire, and then the main dome was bombed in 1944.  The dome was rebuilt after the war, and completed in it's current state in 1959.  Quite a history!

The interior was stunning:

One of the "must sees" on our list was the medieval castle complex and fortress, the Fortress  Hohensalzburg.  The fortress sits high on a hill overlooking Salzburg, and dates back to the 11th century.  It is one of the largest fortresses in Europe.

There is a funicular from the base of the hill up to the lower entrance, so we decided to save our legs (and my knee!) and ride up instead of walking.  It was a quick quick ride up that hill--much faster than walking.

View from the city looking up at the Fortress:

Exterior of the fortress as we were entering:

 Once we entered the fortress itself, I was surprised to find it was like a small village, with a few narrow, winding lanes.  There were many separate buildings, such as stables, salt store houses and chapels.  We wandered around fortress before our tour started, enjoying the interesting architecture and beautiful views from the many ramparts.

"Village" scenes from around the fortress:

Included in our admission price was a group audio tour of some interior portions of the fortress and castle.  Only with this tour were we allowed to climb the look out tower--and you know how we love to climb towers!

 As we climbed the look out tower, we toured the "torture chamber" rooms on the lower levels.  Some of the original "devices" were still attached to the walls.  Kinda creepy!


After our look around the "torture" chamber, we continued our climb up the many steep and winding steps to the top of the look out tower.  The views were incredible!

View down into one of the little lanes in the fortress from the look out tower:

 View over Salzburg from the top of the look out tower:

Here we are on top:

After our 45 minute tour, we continued to explore other areas of the fortress, including remains of an old Roman church that was just discovered in the late 1990's.

There were several amazing doors in the fortress--and you know how I like doors!  Here are my favorites:

 I loved this huge old door, with a little door in it:

Beautiful old iron door--we saw many throughout the fortress with this same design:

 Entrance to a small chapel in the fortress:

Cistern well, 1502

 Old cannon from the fortress, 1645:

 Leaving the fortress, walking along the wall:

After our visit up on the hill, we rode the funicular back down, and decided after all that climbing that it was time for a little "sit down" and a snack.  We wandered down a few of the pretty narrow streets:

And came to a market square lined with restaurants and interesting vendors. 

Archway entrance into the square:

We found a nice sidewalk cafe with a great view:
We each ordered what we thought was a bowl of that delicious goulash soup--but we were surprised with this yummy dish.  (So much for our German skills!) It was goulash--as in beef stewed in a paprika gravy, served with a dumpling.  It was melt-in-your-mouth tender, and we both ate every bite!  And the beer was great, too!


After lunch we walked past this pretty church and decided to have a look.  We rarely pass by a church without taking a look inside!

This is the Kollengienkirche, from about 1710:

 Beautiful Baroque interior:

I snapped this picture of David as he was getting ready to take a picture straight up into the dome.  I LOVE it!

Next on our list was a stroll down the Getreidegasse, an interesting and historic "shopping street" lined with old shops and, unfortunately, too many new upscale shops also!  It was still a pretty street, and we popped into a few shops to look around, and explored several small side alleys.


I loved the intricate wrought iron signs that hang above each shop. Each sign illustrates the profession or business of the shop, an old tradition that was used in the days when most people couldn't read! 

A few of the pretty signs:

Obviously a shoe shop:

Salzburg is also the birthplace of Mozart, and you'll find reminders everywhere.  I especially enjoyed hearing the street musicians all over Old Town, each playing their "version" of Mozart--most of them very good!  

House where Mozart was born, and lived his early childhood years:

Statue of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart in the Mozartplatz:

Even Mozart Rubber Duckies with his own miniature violin!

After all this wandering around, it was now almost 5 p.m.,  and we still had a couple more sights to see on our list for the day.  As we walked out of the old town area towards the river, we saw this beautiful old stone house.  It was one of my favorites--I like the "sturdiness" of it, and the real cornerstones instead of painted cornerstones.  The stone walls are very thick--I'd guess at least 18inches.  The small carved plaque above the door gave the date: 1620.

As we crossed a foot bridge to the other side, we looked up and saw this remnant of the old city wall:

We walked along for several blocks, and came to our next stop, Mirabella Gardens, which surrounds Mirabella Palace.  The palace was built in the 1600's, and rebuilt in the mid 1800's after a fire.  Today it houses Salzburg city offices.  Pretty grand place to report to work each day!

Entrance to the Mirabella Gardens.  We were in for a treat!

Fountain in the entrance courtyard:

Beautiful statue in the garden, and you can see the fortress on the hill in the distance:

The landscaping and flowers were just breathtaking!  The red and pink flowers are begonias:

Beautiful statues and small garden:

Looking towards Mirabella Palace:

A pretty statue down a quiet lane of tall hedges:

This little "theatre" and stage were tucked away behind some tall hedges.  The stage floor was inlaid marble!

A quite and peaceful retreat:

The beautiful Pegasus statue and fountain. A scene from "The Sound Of Music" was filmed here--with Maria and the children dancing around the fountain singing "Do Re Mi".

There is a small garden near the Pegasus Fountain called "The Dwarf Garden", certainly not a very politically correct title now!  In 1715 Prince Harrach created a large garden filled with statues modeled after dwarfs who lived in the court and served as entertainers to royalty.  The garden was dismantled in the 1820's by Prince Ludwig of Bavaria out of concern for his pregnant wife.  He was fearful that the statues would affect his unborn child!  The statues were sold at auction, and forgotten for over a century.  In 1921 a Salzburg historical society convinced the city government to place 9 of the remaining statues back in the garden.

 Entrance to the Dwarf Garden:

A few of our favorites:

Walking up from the Mirabella Palace to the upper garden and park exit--two pretty unicorn statues guard the gated entrance:

A pretty garden and statue right above the unicorn statues:

One last look down into the amazing Mirabella Gardens:

We'd spent almost two hours strolling around the garden, and now we were ready to call it a day.  We'd walked many miles and climbed lots of steps, and enjoyed every minute of it.

Dinner tonight?  Just a late snack in our room--a couple of sausages we picked up in the market (pepper and pistacio coated!), a very good Bavarian blue cheese, crusty bread and a few strawberries for dessert.  Yummy!

Good night from Salzburg!

Tomorrow:  No definite plans, just more wandering and exploring this beautiful city....


  1. Incredible . . You explored a year's worth of beauty in one day. I think I would have been on sensory overload. Love the signage and doors. Thanks for allowing us to be a part of this wonderful journey. (The torture devices were quite a contrast to all the beauty. Kind of sad, really.....)

  2. Beautiful, beautiful. Loved the view of the city as well as the gardens.

  3. The colors of the gardens are incredible. Again, wonderful pictures narration, thank you so much......