Hidden Europe: unique experiences in Europe's cities
8920 · By Katie Shaw
Europe’s cities are treasure troves of culture, teeming with iconic, must-see sights to enthral even the most seasoned of tourists.Read more
Salzburg is famously renowned for its musical and cultural heritage, and known internationally as the setting for the classical film 'The Sound of Music'. Austria's fourth largest city and birthplace of Mozart, Salzburg lies at the northern boundary of the Austrian Alps, on the banks of the River Salzach. Up until 1816 Salzburg led a separate life to the rest of Austria existing as an independent city state ruled by a sequence of powerful Prince Archbishops. The Archbishops' influence turned Salzburg into the most Italianate city north of the Alps.
Spread out below the Hohensalzburg fortress, the churches, squares and alleyways of the city's beautiful Old Town are incredibly well-preserved, dominated by fabulous examples of baroque architecture, and are recognised as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Hohensalzburg Fortress dominates the city's skyline, built in 1077 by Prince Gebhard, offering breathtaking views of Salzburg and the Alps. The landmark is the biggest and most fully-preserved fortification in Europe having gradually expanded with the construction of the ring walls and towers in 1462. In 1515 Cardinal Matthäus Lang, who was later Archbishop of Salzburg documented the Reisszug line, a private funicular providing goods access to the fortress, believed to date back to 1495. The line still exists and is believed to be the oldest recorded freight line in the world. In the 1930s the fortress was used as a prison to hold Italian prisoners during World War I. It was refurbished in the 20th century and is now a popular visitor destination.
The presence of Mozart is everywhere in Salzburg. The Mozart family lived at Getreidegasse 9, from 1747 to 1773, and it was here that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on 27th January 1756.