On my second day in Salzburg, I bought a Salzburg Card and began sightseeing.
The first place I visited was the Mirabell Palace and Gardens.
The garden was featured in the 1965 film “The Sound of Music”, in which Maria and the Von Trapp childern danced around the Pegasus Fountain
Singing the song “Do Re Mi”
Also featured in the film is the oldest “Dwarf Garden” in Europe.
The Zwergelgarten was built about 1695. The dwarfs were made of Untersberg marble. Of original 28 dwarfs auctioned off in 1811, only 15 were retrieved and relocated to the Small Bastion Garden, also known as the “Water Bastion”.
Most sights in Salzburg are located in the old town, on the south side of the Salzach river.
The most visited is the Mozart Birthplace.
Leopold Mozart came to Salzburg from Augsburg, Germany, as a student. In 1747, he married Anna Maria Pertl from St. Gilgen near Salzburg. The couple moved into an apartment on the third floor of no. 9 Getreidegasse and lived there until 1773. The apartment comprised of four rooms and a private kitchen.
Leopold and Anna Maria had seven childern, only two survived. When Wolfgang was six years old, he began going on concert tours with his older sister Maria Anna Mozart, nicknamed “Nannerl”.
At the time, Salzburg was a church state reigned by archbishops. Both Wolfgang and his father Leopold are musicians and composers at the archbishop’s court. Leopold Mozart was Deputy Chapel Master, Wolfgang was a concert master and cathedral organist. The position suited Wolfgang well at first. He was a prolific composer even at young age. His five violin concertos were written during this period. But soon he became disenchanted due to the low salary and lack of respect – his place at the dinner table was below the valets, noted by the young Mozart to his father. He wanted out. His regisnation was initially rejected. But in June 1781, after another quarrel with Count Arco, the archbishop’s steward, he was thrown out literally “with a kick in the ass”.
Wolfgang only lived to 35 years old. During his final years only profiles of him were portrayed
The exhibit consists of 15 rooms which are filled with artifacts such as letters to his wife Constanze, handwritten sheet music, the clavichord with which Wolfgang composed the Magic Flute, even a lock of his hair.
It was around noon by the time I finished with the museum. I recalled a certain Bosna sausage stand nearby that I had wanted to check out. It’s located in a small courtyard behind one of the passageways off Getreidegasse. You could not have missed it, because there will for sure be a queue, manageable and mostly under the cover. I had the #2 with mustard and curry powder. The hotdog was good, although it’s not something I would go out of my way for.
After lunch, I started wandering, deviating from the tourist route. I stumbled upon a courtyard with a building of distinguishable façade, the sculpture of a woman in red dress set in the rockface of Mönchsberg (more on that later…) and a flight of stairs leading up to a viewpoint.
The courtyard was Toscaninihof, named after the Italian conductor Arturo Toscanini, who was an influential figure for the Salzburg Festival between 1934 and 1937. The Salzburg Festival Hall, located in the courtyard, appeared in The Sound of Music as the site of the Salzburg music festival from which the von Trapp family disappeared.
My aimless wander came to an end at the gate of the Hohensalzburg fortress.
The Hohensalzburg fortress on top of Festungsberg was built in the 11th century to defend the interests of the prince bishops. With an area of approximately 30,000 square meters, Hohensalzburg is one of the largest castle complexes in Europe. In case of an attack, the Granary, one of the oldest preserved buildings in the fortress, can hold enough grain to feed up to 300 people a year. Although the only time the fortress came close to under siege was during the German Peasants’ War in 1525, when a group of protesters tried to oust Prince-Archbishop Matthäus Lang, but failed to take the fortress.
The fortress consists of several wings and courtyards, including the Golden Hall, the prince’s chambers, the Chapel of Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach, a Marionette museum,
the Salzburg Bull – a wheel-driven barrel organ with 138 metal pipes, windchest and bellows that plays everyday from Palm Sunday to 31 October, at 7am, 11am and 6pm, right after the ringing of the Salzburg ‘Glockenspiel’ carillon at the New Residenz Palace. Each of the 12 months of the year has a dedicated melody by composers Johann Ernst Eberlin and Leopold Mozart.
And a 360 degree panoramic view of Salzburg
where an art installation by American visual artist Paul Wallach called “Down to the Ground” is revealed.
From the fortress, it was an easy downhill stroll back to the old town. Taking in another art display along the way.
The oversize golden sphere on Kapitelplatz Square is a 2007 work of art entitled ‘Sphaera’ by German artist Stefan Balkenhol. It depicts a male figure standing on top of a golden sphere with a neutral expression. Together with the “Woman in the Rock” at the Toscaninihof (pictured earler), they are the two exhibits Balkenhol made for the Salzburg Art Project (2002-2010). Neither figure tells us its story. They appear to reflect everyday reality, and yet remain emotionless and anonymous. Balkenhol’s art invokes a great range of interpretation. His sculptures move along the very thin line of recognition and doubt, proximity and distance. Source: Salzburg.info
For dinner, I wanted to try a Columbian restaurant called Bistro de Marquez. It was a small place with only three or four tables that were booked that evening. So I resorted to Johanneskeller, a former wine celler. The menu was traditional. By then I’ve already sampled most dishes of the region, so I had a hard time figuring out what to order. I knew I could not resisit a good bowl of the Rindsuppe (beef broth) with meat dumplings. That I did order, along with a venison stew, which was somewhat disappointing.
After dinner, on my walk back to the hotel I noticed a weather-proof kioski on the side of the street. What a brilliant idea that was! I could have had dinner there I later reflected 🙂
This concludes my first day of sightseeing in Salzburg.
Coming up next: Hellbrunn Palace