Salzburg means a lot of things to different people: the baroque city of the formerly powerful archbishops, where musical genius Wolfgang Amadé Mozart was born and worked, the picturesque historic city centre with the backdrop of mighty mountains in the south or the city of the world-renowned Salzburg Festival. Steeped in history yet modern, the city of Salzburg is now the centre of around 150,000 inhabitants’ lives, home to international businesses and a destination for guests from all around the world. Find out more about the history and the present of the city at Salzach River.
Like so many other places, the city of Salzburg has Roman roots as well. To this day, bases dating back to the first centuries are found during constructions or excavations. Iuvavum was an important settlement and became re-established as a monks’ and bishops’ city. The history of St. Peter’s Abbey, Nonnberg Abbey and Salzburg Cathedral dates back to the 7th century; Salzburg became an archbishop’s see in the late 8th century. Gold mining and salt trade made the city rich.
Sovereigns and archbishops at the same time: the rulers of the city of Salzburg
In its infancy, the residence of Salzburg’s archbishop can be pictured as a large farm and access yard. During the 11th century, the foundations for Hohensalzburg Castle were laid. It was constantly extended and enlarged by the archbishops. The rural bishop’s see gave way to a residence and the Gothic cathedral towered over the centre of the medieval city with its narrow alleys. The 17th century brought fundamental changes as Archbishop Wolf-Dietrich had the ambitious idea of renewing the city of Salzburg according to an idealistic plan.
Numerous houses in the historic city centre had to be demolished, and even the fire that destroyed the Gothic cathedral was attributed to Wolf-Friedrich. The old cathedral graveyard was shut down, the ruins blown up and the cloister burnished. This freed up space, allowing the winds of change to waft through the city. This was the beginning of the baroque residence city, which can still be seen to this day. Even though Wolf-Dietrich fell from grace and died in captivity, this didn’t put a the brakes on construction activities as his successor realised his visionary ideas.
The genius of the city of Salzburg: Wolfgang Amadé Mozart
Joannes Chrysostomus Wolfgangus Theophilus Mozart was born on 27 January 1756 at 8 pm as the son of the archbishop’s chamber musician, court composer and vice bandmaster Leopold Mozart and Anna Maria Pertl. Mozart’s Birthplace in Getreidegasse 9 remains a pilgrimage site of Mozart fans from all around the world to this day. Little Wolfgang was baptised in Salzburg Cathedral. He received music lessons at the tender age of four from his father, as did his sister “Nannerl”. The musical genius wrote his first composition at the age of five!
At age six, Wolfgang already performed in front of an audience, soon to be followed by his first concert tours, which would leave their mark on their Mozart family from there on. Little Wolfgang was inspired by these many impressions and wrote numerous pieces of music on his journeys. Debut performances in Salzburg led to his appointment as concertmaster of Salzburg’s court band. After falling out with the archbishop and further travelling, Mozart settled in Vienna and married Constanze Weber. The “rest” is history – and Mozart’s music lives on to this day.
It’s hardly comes as a surprise that its imposing history left a mark on the baroque city on the Salzach River. You'll stumble across the stony witnesses of the past at every step; the inner city with the cathedral, the castle and more than 90 churches and chapels is beyond compare. However, the past doesn’t weigh on the city, as Salzburg is now a modern centre for international art and culture, a popular student city and location of many international businesses. Beyond classic art, a young, creative and experimental cultural scene has since established itself. The historic city centre is not a museum, but rather a lively place for locals and guests meeting at the green market, in numerous shops and the traditional cafés.
Rustic inns, classy restaurants and the legendary cafés Tomaselli, Bazar and Fürst demonstrate Salzburg’s great culinary tradition. The “Salzburger Nockerl”, a fluffy desert, even became a popular song during the 1950s. We also shouldn’t fail to mention that genuine Salzburg Mozartkugeln come from Konditorei Fürst.
Get numerous tips for your holiday in the city of Salzburg at the reception of your four-star Hotel Wolf-Dietrich. The team is happy to get you tickets for concerts and theatre performances and book tables. The only thing missing now is your non-binding enquiry or online room reservation!