Looking for Mozart in Salzburg
Salzburg Travel Blog› entry 1 of 1 › view all entries
Our first night was spent at the gorgeous Hotel Bristol, of which you can read all of the gorgeous details in the review...centrally located across the way from Mozart's house, and within walking distance of the Mirabel gardens and palace, as well as the beautiful city of Salzburg, located across the river.
We started our journey by visiting the Mozart Museum, filled with mementos from his life. Sheet music, harpsichords, and beautiful pianos...
Being in the old part of the city, we navigated along the Salzach towards linzer gasse, similar to the famous getreidegasse. We were headed to the Kapuzinerberg Hill, passing a memorial plaque remembering the famous singer, Richard Mayr, the incomparable Lerchenau Ox in Richard Strauss' "Der Rosenkavalier" opera, who was born in 1877 in the very same building and known for the several Mozart opera characters he played.
Up the steep cobbled road to the top of the Kapuziner Berg, where the monastery is located, was such a beautiful sight. Below us were the sweeping views of the old and new parts of the city, the Salzach river that cuts it into two, and the imposing salzburg fortress.
Though the cozy chapel at the monastery is not a destination on its own, the weeping statues and stations of the cross are.
Following this jaunt, we crossed the bridge to newer part of the city, where we walked along the "getreidegasse," center of shopping - uniqueness displayed by the high and narrow houses all squeezed tightly together against the mountains. We stopped at the birthhouse of mozart, which housed a number of articles from his time, including clothing, portraits, and personal effects.
What a picture book this city is. Each building, unique and ancient in its design, each cafe and restaurant cozy and beautifully appointed. The cathedral is like all others in Europe...grand, imposing, and an awing testimony to faith. And though some residences on the main street are baroque, some date back to the 8th century. For example, St. Peter`s Abbey. An Abbey and Benedictine monastery, founded around 700 by St. Rupert. Romanesque in substance, later redesigned in the Baroque style, it wrapped aroud a courtyard, facing the cathedral.
Salzburg cathedral, however, though it be a shining exampe of early baroque architechture; it is quite young, the first church was built on this very site in the 8th century - and consequent churches were destroyed by warring invaders or fires.
Following the visit to the cathedral, we walked to the centuries old home of the monks who first settled here against the Moenchsberg. We came upon St. Peter's Cemetery with the hohensalzburg fortress as a backdrop. One of the oldest cemeteries in the world, and an introduction to the catacombs, it has existed since the time monks founded it in the 8th century.
Carved into the mountain, wrapped in secrecy and isolation, the monks had painted murals on its walls - but centuries of fading had worn them to almost nonexistence, thereby making one's imagination wonder... within the walls were chapels and prayer rooms, as well as the dark and narrow stone steps to the catacombs. 1200 years back into time, into the spooky and cold rooms where the sarcophagi lay like sentinels.
Following this we were off to the funicular, our ride to the top of the mountain, for our visit to the fortress. And what a beautiful sight that met our eyes once we were off. This fortress, the largest fully preserved fortress in central europe, was like a town unto itself. Built in 1077, it continued to grow as archbishops built and fortified. It remained unconquered by enemy troops.
We enjoyed some ice cream, then did all of the tours of the fortress, including the origins, subsequent building, layers of paint, battles fought, weapons and armory used, and refugees housed here.
There is always so much to write about, any city has its history and charms and delights. Enjoy the photographs and be enchanted.