Friday, September 13, 2013


I guess yesterday was our one lucky weather day for Salzburg, as we woke this morning to heavy cloud cover and a light mist.

After breakfast at our hotel we hit the streets.   Destination: Old Town, again.  There were a couple of places we missed yesterday, so our plan was to visit them this morning, and spend our afternoon wandering in a new area.  Well, you know what they say about the best laid plans...........

We decided to walk a new route instead of down the same avenue, so we walked an extra two blocks over from our usual street.  That might have been our first mistake......

To make a looooong story short, we got quite lost and ended up walking at least 5 miles out of our way, and it wasn't even an interesting 5 miles!  And to top that--it had started to rain quite hard.  We did manage to keep our sense of humor, although I'll admit to one of my minor "travel meltdowns".   David is a very patient man and the perfect travel partner for me!

When we finally found "Old Town" and The Abbey Church of St Peter, I remarked to David: "This better be worth it"---and it was!

The Abbey was founded by St. Rupert, who is believed to be  buried inside, in 669 A.D.  The present church building was built in the Romanesque style in the 13th century, and then completely renovated in Baroque style in the 17th and 18th centuries.  Mozart often directed the orchestra and choir here, and debuted his Mass in C Minor in The Abbey.

The Abbey of St. Peter:

Dedication to St. Peter, on the front of the bell tower:

Ornate and beautiful entrance.  Of course, I loved this door:

Looking towards the altar:


 Detail on ceiling, these ceiling paintings were  beautifully done.  I love the colors.  The plaster work was amazing. 

Looking back toward the pipe organ:

Looking up into the dome:

After we enjoyed the beautiful interior of St. Peter's, we were definitely ready for a late lunch.  We had read about a very special restaurant located in the same courtyard at the church.  It's the oldest restaurant in Europe, founded in 803 A.D., and the oldest areas of the restaurant are carved back into the rock hillside.  After the morning we'd had, we thought a nice lunch was just what we needed, and we decided it was our belated 44th anniversary celebration!

Entrance to St Peters Stiftskeller Restaurant:

Established in 803 A.D.

Inner courtyard:

Our small, cozy dining room.  It was really quite elegant, but hard to get a good photo:

 Interesting and unusual table setting, it was actually very pretty:

First course: flavored butters served with assorted bread.  I have no idea why the small baked potato was included, but we ate it!

Angus beef with au jus, snow peas and spaetzel:

Saddle of Suckling Pig Cordon Bleu with baby potatoes and wild cranberries sauce:

Dessert: A Chocolate Cherry Medley
Cherry sherbet, layered bitter sweet chocolate, molten chocolate cake with cherry filling, cherry and chili ice cream.  And an espresso, of course!  The cake was our favorite.

The food was very good, nicely presented and the service was extraordinary.  We lingered over our delicious lunch, enjoying the beautiful and historic surroundings almost as much as the food.  It was a real treat for us, we don't "dine" out often!

After we finished our lunch, we went upstairs to use the "facilities", they were quite lovely, also!  We peeked into several small private dining rooms along the hall, and then came to the main dining room--it's very ornate, with beautiful detail on the ceiling and several stained glass windows.  In the evenings dinner concerts are held, featuring classical music performed by local musicians.

The very elegant upstairs dining room:

Unfortunately,  the rain had NOT stopped while we were enjoying our lovely long lunch.  So back out into the rain we went, umbrellas up!  We'd read about the interesting cemetery behind St. Peters, so walked through the archway and into the cemetery. 

You can see the fortress through the mist, way up on the hill:

There were grave stones and markers dating from early 1700's to the present day.  

There were also several family crypts and small chapels:

Many pretty tombstones were set into the side of the abbey, I'm guessing they were taken from the original church during a renovation?

The very oldest part of the graveyard is the "catacomb" area, which set high up on to the mountain. There are tunnels and rooms carved into the rock face of the cliff.  This area of the graveyard dates to 

Stair way carved into the rock:

A small landing about halfway up:

The steps are very worn and uneven, and marble from old tombstones were used as the top of some of the steps--we could still see the inscriptions:

A small chapel:

Looking down into the cemetery behind St. Peters, you can the pretty flowers and hedges around the graves.

View of the pretty church domes from one of the small windows cut into the walls of the stairway:

We walked back down from the catacombs, and walked around the pretty old stone block church that is right behind the much larger St. Peters.  I couldn't find any information about it, though:

The date above the entry--1491.  David remarked that was the year before Columbus sailed for America! 

Beautiful carved stone arch and door:

The church was locked, but I could peek through the key hole to see the pretty stained glass windows:

After our stroll through the cemetery, we were very near the Residenz Salzburg, the city palace of the archbishops of Salzburg.  The original palace was built in the 1500's,  and reconstructed in the late 1700's, with many renovations along the way.  It is a very large complex, half of which is used by the University of Salzburg as offices.

The well preserved and maintained state rooms are open to visitors, so we took an audio guided tour through several interesting rooms.  The design of the rooms vary--from renaissance to baroque to classical!  Quite an interesting mix--and they were all beautiful.

Here are a few pictures from around the palace:

This was my favorite room:

The inlaid parquet floors were wonderful:

These chairs are part of the original furnishings from the early 1800's--the original upholstery is still beautiful.

Pretty red bedroom in the private living quarters area:

A small private chapel in the corner of the red bedroom:

When we came out of the Residenz it was STILL raining and a bit chilly.  After our busy day, and considering our extra 5 mile "scenic detour" this morning, I decided I was just not up to another long, wet walk back to our hotel.  I spotted a taxi stand in the square, and we "wimped out" and rode back to the hotel.  We stopped by the supermarket near our hotel and picked up dinner: bread and cheese.

We've really enjoyed pretty Salzburg--it's full of very interesting historic sights, and we think our 2 day visit was just right.

We spent the evening in our room, packing up and getting ready for tomorrows train ride to Vienna.  We're hoping the weather improves--keep your fingers crossed!

1 comment:

  1. Wow, the Abbey is amazing. Loved all of the pictures and the tour of the city. Nice to be able to have a belated celebration of your anniversary and enjoyblunch in such a eautiful, historic restaurant. The food and desserts all looked very tasty.