At the foothills of the Alps, on the banks of the Salzach River, Mozart’s hometown of Salzburg provides the magnificent integration of the old and new, the perfect combination of history and culture
Austria’s Salzburg is one of the most beautiful cities in Europe with its buildings reflecting Baroque architectural features and the magnificent integration of its old and new town. Known as the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and famous for its salt mines, Salzburg, contrary to its name – which literally means “Salt-Castle” – offers a truly sweet travel experience.
Salzburg, named after the salt which was the livelihood of the site’s first natives, is the fourth largest city in Austria. Salzburg, which has given me the impression of being well-preserved, is a very beautiful central European city with the magnificent walls of the Hohensalzburg Castle and the historical city center Altstadt – which translates to “Old Town” – which is on the UNESCO World Heritage List.
The city, which is also the hometown of Mozart, is also a favorite of classical music lovers with the annual Salzburg Festival.
As in many European cities, the city is divided into the old town and the new town. To the west of the city is the old city called Altstadt, while to the east is the new city with the train and bus stations.
For those who are wondering where to start to visit Salzburg, my first suggestion to you is Getreidegasse Street, which is the heart of the city.
There are colorful shops, souvenir shops, restaurants, cafes and stores of famous brands on this street, where the heart of Salzburg beats and you will witness crowds of people almost every hour of the day.
I think there is another wonderful detail that adds a completely different atmosphere to this street. The signs of all the shops on this street are made of wrought iron, which consists of very interesting figures. Even the well-known fast food restaurants have followed this rule and used signs suitable for the concept of the street. Therefore, do not be surprised to see the emblem of McDonald’s hanging from a swan in the air on this street. These colorful interesting signs are also the most photographed spots on this street.
Another important point that makes this street meaningful is that the house where Mozart was born, whose name you will see in many places in this city, is here. After mingling with the crowds on the street and enjoying it, you should definitely visit this place.
Mozarts Geburtshaus, or Mozart’s birthplace, one of the most visited museums in Austria and a stop for art lovers and Mozart fans, is located on Getreidegasse Street, which is one of the most important streets of the city.
Born in Salzburg in 1756, Mozart lived on the third floor of this house for nearly 30 years. Today, the house, which is open to visitors as a museum, contains the piano that Mozart started playing at the age of 4, his bottle, his cradle, his personal belongings and the real notes he wrote randomly.
You can see Mozart’s name in many places in Salzburg, from chocolates to the airport, from the festival to the university. The name of the famous musician is kept alive everywhere.
I mentioned that you can see Mozart’s name everywhere in Salzburg, right? So, as per that norm, Mozartplatz is the square where Mozart’s statue is located, as you can understand from the name. If you come across live music in this square, where there are cafes and restaurants, it becomes even more lively than it usually is.
This delightful square is also home to the Salzburg Museum, the Salzburg Cathedral and the government residence. If you wish, you can take a tour of Salzburg by carriage departing in front of the government residence. And wafer lovers, do not leave this square without stopping by the shop called Manner.
In the immediate vicinity of Mozartplatz, you will see the Residenzplatz square. The first thing that will catch your eye here is the huge statue with the figure of a man on a huge golden globe. This imposing, ostentatious statue must be one of the most modern structures you can see in Salzburg.
The golden globe in the sculpture called Man on Mozartkugel represents the Mozartkugel, or the Mozart chocolate, a small, round sugar confection made of pistachio, marzipan and nougat that is covered with dark chocolate, created in Salzburg and named after, of course, Mozart. There is also a huge chess statue next to the golden globe.
Obviously, the view of the castle you see when you raise your head here at this impressive square makes it worth visiting by itself. The Man on Mozartkugel below, the castle above, the lush green landscape surrounding the castle, and the 19th-century funicular that climbs the castle on the one hand, all together offer a pretty sight.
There are two ways to get to the historical Hohensalzburg Fortress – or the “High Salzburg Fortress” – which is the largest medieval castle in Europe that has survived to the present day. If you wish, you can use the 19th-century funicular from Residenplatz or walk up a steep path. The best thing about walking can be the view of Salzburg, which you will enjoy as you go up.
The history of Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of the most beautiful castles I have seen in Europe, dates back 900 years. Despite dozens of wars in Salzburg the castle has stood unconquered and undamaged throughout history, and you will not be able to get enough of watching Salzburg from the Festunberg summit in the castle. In addition, the snow-covered Alps that greet you in the castle, the green valleys and the Salzach River offer you an unforgettable view. However, as I mentioned above, you should definitely let the view of this wonderful medieval castle fascinate you from Residenplatz Square.
You will find Mirabell Palace Garden, one of the most beautiful baroque gardens in Europe, in different colors depending on the season. This garden, which wears all the colors in the summer season, will probably welcome you with a white cover if you go in the winter season. Apart from the enormous greenery and vegetation in the garden, you can find various different sculptures in the garden.
In Salzburg, you can also visit Mozart Wohnhaus, Salzburg Toy Museum and the salt mine Salzbergwerk Hallein. I also recommend that you do not return from Salzburg without eating schnitzel and crowning the delicious desserts you are sure to eat alongside each main dish with coffee.
Although it takes its name from the word salt, Salzburg is a truly sweet city.
While the fairy-tale atmosphere of this chocolate-scented city on the banks of the Salzach River is fascinating, you should be prepared for the tones of classical music that can rise from any corner. As you walk through the streets of this city, which can take you to the heights of peace, serenity and joy, the tunes that follow you will accompany your path.
Frankly, after writing this article, I felt that I very much missed the chocolate-scented, classical-music-sounding streets of Salzburg. With its medieval atmosphere, landscapes, colorful streets and historical squares, Salzburg adorns my dreams again, in summer and winter.