Saturday, October 13, 2012

Salzburg, Austria

We had put a lot of thought in deciding where our second day trip from Munich was going to take place. The two choices boiled down to Innsbruck or Salzburg, Austria. Innsbruck is known for the amazing beauty of the Alps surrounding the city, but after some research (and not so nice weather) we decided that Salzburg had more to see and do.

The 1.5 hour drive from Munich took us to Salzburg, which is known for being the birthplace of Mozart and for being the setting for The Sound of Music. After arriving, we first walked through the Mirabell Gardens on our way to the Old Town. The gardens are well maintained, with bright red flowers blooming in circular patterns, human sculptures in dynamic poses, and water trickling from fountains. The space seemed to direct everyone's line of vision to Hohensalzburg Fortress perched high ahead of us.

Next we went to Mozart Wohnhaus which is a house that Mozart resided in. The house isn't very large and the items on display are sparse (namely one piano, a few paintings, and a couple of letters) but we learned a lot about his work from the audio guides.

The outside - no pictures were allowed inside.

We crossed the river and headed over to Mozart Gerburtshaus, which is Mozart's birthplace and where he spent the first 17 years of his life. A history and background of himself, his family, and his talent were written on the walls of the museum, giving us some insight into him as a family man and composer. The museum also contained a few artifacts and relics belonging to him and his family.

Crossing the river

The outside

Next, we strolled around the crowded Old Town, wandering through the streets that seemed to remain untouched since Mozart traipsed through them. The architecture is beautiful and the cobblestone streets are full of cozy cafes, shops, lanterns, and churches.

Playing the violin with a marionette.

After lunch we made our way to our last stop of the day, the Salzburg Fortress (Festung Hohensalzburg). The fortress is around 900 years old and is one of the best preserved castles in Europe. We took the fast funicular up while we stared out at the city before us. Once we were out of the funicular we were welcomed with stunning views of Salzburg below us.
The funicular

View from the funicular.

Once inside, the fortress has many points of interest including small museums and exhibitions with access to some rooms that were once occupied by military and church figures.

In the marionette museum

A canon's vantage point

A church within the castle grounds

We had a nice day in Salzburg and enjoyed our time there. We learned a lot about Mozart's life and about some of the history in this beautiful city. With some areas of the city looking so unchanged and with classical music playing in the streets, we felt transported back to another time.


  1. I'm so glad you chose Salzburg! I'm partial, because I've lived there, but I think it is one of the most beautiful small cities and full of so much character. Your pictures were a nice treat until we can get there!

  2. Salzberg is a beautiful city! I got the impression by looking at the pictures that Salzberg is a very formal, but also an elegant city. The buildings are absolutely gorgeous, but I did not feel any warmth, rather it seemed to me to reflect a real sense of order and discipline. So many of the buildings were stark white or an off-white color. It was refreshing to learn that there was an Old Town which had cobblestoned streets with quaint shops and cafes. (I loved the bright yellow building!) I also really liked the marionette museum! It reminded me of the movie "The Sound of Music" (which you mentioned was filmed in Salzberg). In one scene in the movie, the Von Trapp children put on a play with marionettes! There are many countries in Europe that I would love to visit, and Austria is definitely one of them!