This morning we left at 8 for our car journey to Salzburg! The drive took around 2.5 hours and was lovely, as the scenery was magnificent driving through Germany and into Austria.
First stop was the Salzburg Museum located on Mozart Square. This museum has only been on this site since 2007. The first level of the museum is regularly updated and was very modern. The artwork is influenced by men and women of Salzburg and includes valuable objects of art, aesthetic presentations, interesting facts and multimedia installations.
My favourite part of the museum was the permanent exhibition on the second floor which concentrated on Salzburg’s development in history, art and culture since the beginning of modern times. The information ranged from the absolute reign of the archbishops to painters in the Romantic period and their fascinating paintings of Salzburg’s world landscape to topical themes.
Also on this level were treasures from the archeological and medieval collections such as the Celtic jug, the helmet from Pass Lueg or the Gothic winged altar by the master of the “Virgo inter Virgine.”
After a quick stop to eat some lunch, we made our way to Salzburg Cathedral which is the earliest Italian style church to built north of the Alps. This cathedral was phenomenal to see. A place of worship stood on the ground where the cathedral stands during Rupert’s era, but new construction was undertaken by Virgil and Arno in the 8th century. In the 12th century Konrad III developed it into the biggest Romanesque Minster in German speaking regions.
The construction of the new cathedral commenced in 1612 after fire caused the nave’s vaulated ceiling to collapse in 1598 and it map subsequently torn down. Construction was finished in 1655.
Mozart, who was born in Salzburg, played the cathedral organ and was baptized in the nearly 700 year-old pewter font.
What I found most amazing about this cathedral was the crypt and additional smaller churches built below the main cathedral.
Our next stop was the house where Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born. This museum was really very good and I stood in the exact room where his mother gave birth to him which was amazing!
The Mozart family lived on the third floor of the “Hagenauer House” at Getreidegasse 9 for twenty-six years, from 1747 to 1773. Mozart was born here on January 27, 1756.
The museum in Mozart’s Birthplace was initially opened on June 15, 1880 and has since become a cultural venue that draws thousands of visitors from around the world to Salzburg each year.
The museum was incredibly large. Like the Salzburg Museum, this was a museum through which you could move at your own pace. We started in the original rooms, which contained historic instruments, documents, memorabilia and most of the portraits painted during Mozart’s lifetime. The famous exhibits included Mozart’s child violin, his concert violin, his clavichord, the harpsichord, portraits and letters from the Mozart family.
According to the Salzburg information website, the music instruments on display in Mozart’s Birthplace were passed on to the International Mozarteum Foundation by Mozart’s widow, Constanze Nissen and her sons Carl Thomas and Franz Xaver Wolfgang.
We next stopped at the Mozart Cafe for afternoon tea, where most of us ordered ‘Apfelstrudel und vannilesauce’, a traditional German (and I suppose Austrian) dessert. It was better than any Apple Strudel in Australia!
Our final stop for the day was at Hohensalzburg Fortress, the construction of which commenced in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhardt von Helffenstein.
A little bit of history: the most significant builder was Leonhard von Keutschach (1495-1519). He was forever in conflict with his people and preferred to live in the fortress which was very luxuriously adorned.
In order to get to the castle, we had to get into a train which at a very steep angle transports its passengers from the town to the inside of the castle walls.
We stopped for dinner at an Italian restaurant called La-Forchetta in Anger, a very small town very close to the German Austrian border. The food was phenomenal and all made fresh in front of you, then cooked in the wood oven.