Eye-catcher and setting of the famous play “Jedermann”
Located in the centre of the festival city of Salzburg, every year Salzburg Cathedral serves as an impressive backdrop for the famous play “Jedermann”. The cathedral with its magnificent façade and mighty dome is the most important early baroque building north of the Alps and the biggest religious building in the city. The cathedral has a close traditional connection to the customs and traditions of the inhabitants of Salzburg – not only as great setting for the play “Jedermann” but also as fantastic location for the famous advent singers around Christmas time or for the traditional Christmas market in Salzburg. You can’t miss the mighty cathedral. As well as the Hohensalzburg fortress, Salzburg Cathedral is one of the most dominant points in the skyline of the city of Mozart. Inside the most important religious building in Salzburg there are seats for 900 people and it is open for visitors every day. For your upcoming visit we have collected the most important background information about the Salzburg Cathedral:
The history of the Salzburg Cathedral has a close connection to the absolutist rulers of the city: the Prince Archbishops. The cathedral was destroyed several times, rebuilt, enlarged and expanded. It bears witness to the economic, political and religious power of the Prince Archbishops of Salzburg and their princedom.
Bishop Virgil built the first cathedral in 767, who built a cathedral in the centre of the former Roman city Juvavum. In 1167 Salzburg was set on fire by the Counts of Plain, followers of the emperor Frederick Barbarossa, who burnt the down the cathedral to its base walls. Ten years later Archbishop Conrad III of Wittelsbach rebuilt the cathedral. This new building was more beautiful and more impressive than ever, making it the mightiest cathedral north of the Alps, its size even surpassing the emperor's cathedral in Speyer.
Another fire 400 years later in 1598 destroyed large sections of the Salzburg Cathedral, which gave Prince Archbishop Wolf-Dietrich the opportunity to completely tear down the cathedral and reconstruct it according to his own plans. The ruthless actions of the Archbishop destroyed valuable sculptures and the tombs of the former Archbishops. When he ploughed under the cemetery of the cathedral and threw away the bones of the dead, the people of Salzburg finally turned against their ruler. The ambitious plans of Wolf-Dietrich met a surprising end when he was captured and imprisoned in the tower of the Hohensalzburg fortress. His nephew and successor Markus Sittikus of Hohenems commissioned the master builder Santino Solari with the reconstruction of the cathedral. Under his guidance, Salzburg Cathedral became the first early baroque church north of the Alps. Prince Archbishop Paris Lodron inaugurated Salzburg Cathedral on 25th September 1628.
In 1944 a part of the cathedral were destroyed by a bomb attack. After a long renovation period the dome was re-consecrated in its former glory in 1959.
Numerous treasures can be seen inside Salzburg Cathedral: the baptismal font in which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptised, the gorgeous main organ, surrounded by angels playing instruments and crowned by Rupert and Virgil. The Prince Archbishops of Salzburg frequently invited their guest into the Knights Hall for concerts. There, the young Mozart also periodically played for his audience. The Prince Archbishop employed his father Leopold as Kapellmeister of the cathedral. In his capacity as court organist and concertmaster, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart composed numerous undying works of sacred music and performed them in Salzburg Cathedral. The excellent acoustics inspire attendees at the palace concerts in Salzburg even today.