More picturesque areas in Salzburg you need to see!

Walking treasures of Salzburg, Austria…

The historic town of Salzburg, Austria, bore the brunt of a massive plague epidemic and two world wars. Nearly half of its magnificent buildings were destroyed, but miraculously, much of the famous Baroque architecture remained unscathed. The town of today, as we see it, is its second avatar….almost rebuilt from scratch. More picturesque areas in Salzburg you need to see include the Dom Quartier and the Hohensalzburg fortress. (Read the first part of this story here). 

Dazzle your eyes at the DomQuartier

If the tightly-woven streets were a hide-and-seek delight, the expansive DomQuartier is a luxurious feast. The town’s former power centre is the epitome of scale and baroque grandeur. Take in the magnificence of Residenzplatz, where a splendid forecourt showcases the Salzburg Cathedral, St. Peter’s Abbey and residences of the prince-archbishops, who ruled the city until the 1800s. The monumental central baroque fountain, Residenzbrunnen flaunts fine details…four sea horses at the base surround a central rock, over which four men held up a bowl on top of which stood three dolphins carrying another bowl, where Triton was holding the shell of a snail at the top. Fine veils of water spew from the top and the mouth of the sea horses, make calming, splashing sounds.

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Venture through one of the arcade arches leading into Kapitelplatz (Chapter Square) to find a surprising show-stopper…Sphaera, a 2007 sculpture by German artist Stephan Balkenhol. The gleaming nine-metre-high gold orb is crowned by the statue of an ordinary man in a white shirt and black trousers…completely expressionless, staring into the distance. At its base, is a giant chessboard painted onto the ground. Go on, challenge yourself to a game of strategy with the knee-high pawns.

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Head to the huge 17th-century church with its twin green domes and delicate carved pristine exterior. Does it look like it was completed in just 14 years? Entering the three bronze entrance portals representing faith, love and hope, stand inside the magnificent edifice with a capacity of over 10,000. Washed in glorious white and sepia tones, vertical whites accented with darker lines…like a period movie. Stucco-rich marble columns, ornate frescoes and elaborate murals, baroque scrolls, dancing cupids and gold leaf…the opulence and harmony of the 330-feet long and 230-feet tall cathedral can be deeply moving. Sitting in the pews, study the five organs, including one with 4000 pipes…possibly the greatest organ-power of any church in Europe. The mighty frescoed dome designed by Florentine Mascagni is overhead, Mozart is playing the organ, and the glorious surround-sound is reverberating through your ears. Wake up, its only a daydream!

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Hide, huddle, hang out in Hohensalzburg

Salzburg’s acropolis, the Hohensalzburg fortress-castle towering grimly from 400 feet on the Festungsberg cliff top is visible from almost everywhere. Since it was opened to the public in the 1860s by Emperor Franz Josef, one of Europe’s mightiest castles continues to be the star attraction of Salzburg. Riding up in the 110-year old funicular, you realise how steep the incline is. No wonder the largest preserved medieval fortress in Central Europe founded way back in 1077, has always stayed a siege-proof haven. No one even attempted an attack on the town for a thousand years, until Napoleon stopped by…that’s when Salzburg wisely surrendered without a fight. Inside the protective plain white Romanesque walls, its like an authentic medieval village. Blacksmiths and breweries, knights and tradesmen occupied this stony area once…they’re long gone, but the ancient lime trees still rustle in the peaceful silence.

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Negotiate the dark staircases and dank hallways where fire-torches would have guided the way. The rugged, brooding exterior gives no clue to the unexpected lavishness inside. Gothic-style rooms with intricate wood paneling and elaborate door frames. A glittering Golden Room with its wooden beams and gold star-studded deep blue ceiling. A smaller Golden Chamber, even more richly decorated with carved benches depicting vines, grapes, and animal figures. And the Marionette Museum, with exquisite crafted displays and stage settings of traditional puppets with tiny movable hands and detailed costumes. Some dangle from strings, others are stuck on walls…all stared blankly into space…solemn, grim, fearful, ominous. Fit your face into the life-size cutouts, attempt some amateur puppetry.

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Climb 100 tiny steps to a gorgeous lookout post and lap up commanding views of the town dominated by the Salzburg Dom with its green dome and green capped towers, the curving Salzach river, the Northern Alps beyond and vast unending plains in the south. Archers would have stood at these ledges and fired arrows at approaching invaders. Turret shadows, canyon outlines and slivers of light stream through criss-cross iron bars of a formidable medieval window. There’s a strange sense of security within the sturdy confines of the mighty castle. Do you feel it?

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A population of 1,50,000 and over eight million sightseers prowl these cobbled lanes each year…touristy as it gets, yet utterly enjoyable. Enjoying the new and old of this musical mecca with its magnificent scenery, and rich history, Salzburg is a symphony and you will hum its music fondly forever!

 

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44 thoughts on “More picturesque areas in Salzburg you need to see!

  1. Last winter we were about to go to Salzburg to ski, but we chose to go to Innsbruck instead. It was a very hard decision because both towns are so beautiful. Then by checking the price of the flight we made our mind 🙂 I still want to go to Salzburg, maybe in Autumn

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I recently read a post about how magical Salzburg looks during the winter and I can see from your photos that it looks just a fairytaleísh when the snow hasn’t covered it. I’ve not yet been but it is on my list, I would love to go up to the castle, and yes I think my eyes would get dazzled in the domquartier with those tightly woven streets, and even the Cathedral looks like a spectacle – I have to go 😀

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  3. Austria! In the process of applying for student exchange program from my university now. If everything goes well I’ll be spending a half-year in this wonderful country. So looking forward to that. You photos and descriptions just made me excited more than ever.

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  4. Indeed beautifully captured! I really love the pictures of the cathedrals and the other architectures also in Salzburg. I love how detailed the designs from the cathedrals and how the infrastructures are well maintained that was once inhabited by the persons from the medieval period. Thanks for sharing the gorgeous pictures from Salzburg!

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  5. For a moment I thought it was a real person on top of the golden ball, not a statue! I love the mixture of modern and historical architecture, it was a shame that so much was destroyed during the wars but the city certainly has recovered well!

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  6. I’m a big historical building fan, I always find the details so elaborate and pretty. I do love the fact that the city has successfully blended the modern and the new architecture.

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  7. One of my coworkers is heading to Salzburg this week and your pictures give me such a image of how the trip will go for him. He will love all of the history and the views. The artictures is so quintessential. I love the ideal of visiting Mozart’s birth town.

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  8. Such intricate carvings on those arches in the cathedral. I could spend hours just trying to figure out each of those. Even the castle looks amazing. This is a treat for heritage and architecture lovers. And the fact that this is Mozart’s town adds more poetry to those carvings.

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  9. I’ve been to Salzburg twice, first a student on a field trip, and second time with my husband (then boyfriend) about 8 years ago. There were some tourists back then, but I feel Salzburg has underwent a tourist boom in the last few years! Especially with Instagram, where symmetric Baroque residential architecture became Instagrammers dream! 🙂 I think we visited the Hohensalzburg as students, but I don’t remember this beautiful wood paneled chamber. Eh, students! 🙂 I’ll have to revisit!

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  10. Once again you have put Salzburg on my radar! I love the way you describe the places, it really makes it feel as though the reader is right there along with you. The way you described the ‘commanding views of the town dominated by the Salzburg Dom’ It was really beautiful

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  11. Oh my goodness, when I saw the photo of the Sphere my first thought was “how did he get there??” :))) I thought it was a real person! Salzburg has been on my list for awhile now. I’m afraid I’ll be singing The Sound of Music non-stop when I finally get to go 🙂

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  12. I really really want to go to Salzburg it has been on my bucketlist forever and you have now made me want to pack my bags and go there even more. Hohensalzburg fortress-castle wow how amazing it the view up there and from down blow of the castle. Definitely pinning this for when I go

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  13. We visites Salzburg several times, but that was many many years ago! In 2013, we even joked around that we’d move to Salzburg one day! Haha.. Did you get to try the world’s best Schnecke in Salzburg? And all the Mozart Kugel too of course!

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  14. The details in that dome! And how magestic is that castle on a hill! I’ve always said that I think Vienna is grander than Paris, and judging by your pictures, maybe it’s just Austria in general! That’s crazy that the Hohensalzburg fortress has been siege-proof since 1077! It must just exude history from within.

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  15. This looks exciting .. The workmanship behind the architecture is amazing .. When I visit such places with a history I often wonder how it would have been to be living there in an olden era …Great article and the photos just highlight the grandeur of the place!

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  16. My eyes will actually dazzle in the Domquartier with those tightly woven streets. The intricate designs in the Cathedral are just so pretty. I can stare them for hours. Salzburg is super charming. Would love to visit and see it in person.

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