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Make the most of this beautiful city.
The posts below will give you ideas of how to spend you time in Salzburg and the surrounding area.
May 16, 2018
by Nigel Ringrose
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May 17, 2018
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April 16, 2019
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April 25, 2019
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Free, Friendly and Impartial Guide to Salzburg. Make the most of this beautiful city.
If you have more time in Salzburg there are some wonderful sights to see within an hour of the city using public transport. The Salzburg Lake District, Bavarian Alps and other wonderful places are waiting to be discovered.
These posts will give you ideas of how to spend you time in Salzburg and the surrounding area.
Visiting the Christmas Markets? Encountered a Krampus? Read on ..
This square was used in the “I Have Confidence” sequence and is now traffic free. It has a magnificent view of the Fortress.
The square is where all the cathedral and monestary administration buildings are.
From Kapitalplatz head up the little street that leads to the Funicular to the Fortress. As you look at the Fortress, this is in the top right of the square. Keep going past the funicular and the Stieglkeller (great for lunch in the beer garden) until you reach where the road meets the main path around the Fortress. Go straight ahead and the Abbey is a few minutes away. Go under the arch to see the gate used in the film.
The final Sound of Music location is the foot bridge over the River Salzach. This was used in the sequence where Maria takes the children on the picnic in the mountains. There are good views down the river and of the Fortress. On the opposite bank to the Old Town you will see the Kapuziner Monestary that was also featured briefly in the film.
The Mozartsteg was built in 1903 to connect the Steingasse area to Mozartplatz. Up until 1920 it was privately owned and you can see the Toll Booth on the Mozartplatz side of the bridge. This is now a tiny coffee shop.
This is the last location on the tour. You can either head back into the Old Town for some well earned refreshment, or turn left at the end of the bridge and make your way back to Mirabell Gardens.
Thanks very much for using the Tour. Enjoy the rest of your stay in Salzburg.
The Horse Fountain was used in the “I Have Confidence” sequence when Maria was on her way to the Von Trapp’s house. Set in the middle of Residenzplatz it is surrounded by the Residenz Museum, the Cathedral and the New Residenz.
Built between 1656 and 1661 by Tomasso di Garona and is made of marble. It is considered to be the largest baroque fountain in Central Europe.
Also in Residenzplatz you will see the Cathedral (“Dom”), the Residenz and the Neue Residenz with it’s Carillon tower.
The final Sound of Music location is the bridge over the River Salzach. This was used in the sequence where Maria takes the children on a picnic.
From the Horse Fountain make your way past the New Residenz Museum and the statue of Mozart. Turn left towards the River and the bridge is in front of you. There are lovely views from the Bridge and you will see the Kapuziner Monestary that was also featured briefly in the film.
The next site on the Sound of Music Location Tour is a moderate uphill walk from Kapitalplatz. The less able may decide to miss this from the itinerary. However, the views of Salzburg and the surrounding mountains are worth the effort. Although filming was not allowed in the Abbey you can see the main gate used in the film. This was also used in the scene where the children came to see Maria to ask her to come back.
The existing Abbey dates from 1464 but is built on the foundations of a much older church. You can go inside and see the Abbey Church and the small garden.
We will now return to the centre of the Old Town and visit the horse fountain. This features in the Sound of Music as part of the “I Have Confidence” sequence.
From the Abbey go back the way you came until you see a big flight of steps descending into the town. Go down the steps and follow the road ahead towards the Cathedral. After you have gone around the bend in the road you will see a road on the left called Kapitelgasse. Walk down this road towards the Cathedral and back into Kapitelplatz.
You will recognise this square from the “I Have Confidence” in the Sound of Music sequence except now it is traffic free!
To the left of the Cathedral (Dom) you will see the arches that lead past the front of the Cathedral and into Residenzplatz. Here you will find the Horse Fountain.
St Peter’s Cemetery was the inspiration for the scene in the Sound of Music where the family are hiding in the Abbey’s cemetery. The scenes in the film were actually filmed on a studio set in America but it is well worth a visit. Here you will see the graves of Haydn and Mozart’s sister, Nannerl.
To reach it head towards the massive tower of St Peter’s church. The entrance to the cemetery is between the church and the Stiftskeller Sainkt Peter restaurant. It is claimed to be the oldest restaurant in Europe. It has been serving food since 803!
The origins of the cemetery date back to about 700. The adjacent St. Peter’s Abbey (Stift St. Peter) was established by Saint Rupert of Salzburg. The abbey’s cemetery, probably at the site of an even earlier burial place, was first mentioned in an 1139 deed. The oldest tombstone dates to 1288.
In the church there are two chapels. The Maximuskapelle and the Gertraudenkapelle consecrated in 1178 under the Salzburg Archbishop Conrad of Wittelsbach. The chapel is dedicated to the assassinated Archbishop Thomas Becket of Canterbury. In the centre of the cemetery is the the Margarethenkapelle (Margaret Chapel). It was built in 1491.
Also in the cemetery are ancient catacombs carved into the rock of the hill. These may stem from the Early Christian days of Severinus of Noricum during the Migration Period. The catacombs are open each day with a small entrance fee payable.
We are now going to head towards Nonnberg Abbey. This is where Maria was a postulate in the Sound of Music and also in real life! Leave the cemetery by the exit nearest the fortress and out on to Kapitalplatz. You will have a fantastic view of the fortress towering over the town.
From Kapitalplatz make your way up the street on the right towards the Fortress. Follow the street past the entrance to the Funicular railway and passing the StiglKeller Restaurant. If you fancy a break, this has wonderful views of the city from the beer garden terrace.
Keep on this street, Festungsgasse, and follow the signs to the Abbey. When you reach the Abbey carry on round under the arch and you will see the entrance to the Abbey on your right. The public are allowed into the courtyard garden and the chapel.
The Rock Riding School is incorporated into the Haus Fur Mozart concert halls and unfortunately is not visible from the road. However you can see the entrance to it around the corner beneath the stone steps. The little square in front of the entrance was used for the scene where Lisl is spurned by Rolf after he had joined the Hitler Youth.
A guided tour of the concert halls is available to see this stunning venue. Tickets are available from the Shop at the front of the Haus Fur Mozart, This have to be bought on the day and are available at 2pm
Archbishop Johan Ernst von Thun built the Rock Riding School in 1693. It is actually in the quarry used to provide the conglomerate rock for the new Salzburg Cathedral. It was used as the Archbishop’s summer riding school with the audience in the 96 arcade spaces. Since 1926 it has been used for performances of the Salzburger Festspiele with the audience arcades providing a dramatic backdrop.
The next location on the Sound of Music Tour is through the arch opposite the Rock Riding School. This takes you into the precincts of St Peter’s Monastery. Go through the second arch and you will see St Peter’s Church with its massive tower. Go through the passage way to the right of the chuch. This leads into the Cemetery.
This one of the many locations used in the Sound of Music during the song “I Have Confidence”.
Dating back to 1693 the Horse Pond was used to wash the horses from the Archbishop’s stables. These used to stand on the site which is now the Festival Halls. Travellers would also use it to clean their horses before entering the city. The central statue is called the Horse Tamer and was made by Michael Bernhard Mandl.
Next to the Horsepond is the tunnel through the Monschberg and Sigmund’s Gate. This is considered to be the oldest street tunnel in Austria
From here, walk towards the fortress past the Haus fur Mozart, the splendid Festival Hall. This is the the main venue for the famous Salzburg Festival in August.
At the end of the Haus fur Mozart on the right you will find the entrance to the Rock Riding School. This iconic location was used in the Sound of Music for the Festival scenes.
This is one of the locations in the Sound of Music where Maria teaches the children the Do-Re-Me song. The Terrace offers a panoramic view of the Old Town and surrounding area. Known locally as the Winkler Terrace as the Museum of Modern Art (Museum der Moderne) occupies the site of the former Cafe Winkler.
To your left you can see the rest of Salzburg across the River Salzach and the famous Hotel Sacher. The hill in the foreground is the Kapuzinerberg. The Kapuziner Monestery appeared briefly in the film when Max was in the car with the Captain.
Dominating the Old Town is the fortress and just to the left of it you can see the red dome of Nonnberg Abbey. This is where Maria was a postulate both in the film and in real life. Although filming was not allowed inside the Abbey, the outside was used in many scenes. You can see the main gate when Maria is leaving the Abbey and also when the children came to visit her.
The Fortress itself dates from the 11th Century and was enlarged over the next 400 years. The Fortress is well worth a visit with amazing views both over the city and down the Salzach valley to to the mountains. There is a funicular railway that takes you into the Fortress. This can be found in Kapitalplatz behind the Dom. If you are feeling energetic you can walk up but this is quite a steep climb.
The hill that forms the backdrop to the City is called the Monschberg. There are lovely walks here with views over both the City and the Mountains further down the valley. If you want to take advantage of the peace and quiet you can actually walk from here, past the Fortress and on to Nonnberg Abbey.
When you have finished admiring the view, head back down in the lift. Turn right coming out of the lift entrance and following the road you will come to the Horse Pond. The next Sound of Music Tour location.
There are several ways into the gardens but the tour starts from the Markartplatz entrance. This is next to the Hotel Bristol and opposite from Mozart’s Wohnhaus. You will see immediately the two statues that Maria and the Children imitated during the Do-Re-Me sequence. If you have entered by another route then these can be found at the Fortress end of the gardens.
From the statues go into the garden towards the Palace (Schloss Mirabell). Immediately turn left and head towards the side of the garden and you will come to the covered walk through which the children cycled. This leads you towards the Pegasus Fountain in front of the famous Do-Re-Me steps on the left side of the Palace. On the way you will also see the main fountain in the centre of the garden used in the same sequence.
At the Pegaus Fountain you will see steps up through the wall. These lead through to the Gnome Garden.
The palace (Schloss) was originally built in 1606 and was redesigned during the 1720’s. It is currently used by Salzburg’s mayor and the municipal council. The Marble Hall is considered to be one of the most beautiful wedding halls in the world. It was formerly the prince-archbishops’ ballroom and concert venue for Leopold Mozart and his children Wolfgang and Nannerl,
The famous Mirabell Gardens were redesigned around 1690 and then completely remodelled around 1730. The Pegasus Fountain, a work by Kaspar Gras from Innsbruck, was installed in 1913. The four groups of statues around the fountain were sculpted by Ottavio Mosto (1690) and symbolize the 4 elements: fire, air, earth and water.
To get to the next Sound of Music location, turn left at the top of the steps and follow the path towards the river. Cross the main road (Schwarzestrasse) and head towards the footbridge over the river where there are beautiful views of the city and the fortress. Over the bridge, turn left and walk down the river path back towards the Old Town. About 100m before the next footbridge, take the path on your right, cross the road and go up Museumplaz. Past the Haus der Natur museum you will see the entrance to the Monschberg Lift directly under the Museum der Moderne on the hill. Take the lift (for a small fee) up into the Museum entrance and walk out onto the Winkler Terrace used in the opening sequence of Do-Re-Me in the Sound of Music.