April 30, 2012 Salzburg

We have a lot to accomplish in Salzburg today. We start out early for a visit to the Bishop-Prince’s residence in Residenz Square.

Residenz Square

The rulers of Salzburg were both bishops and princes in charge of one’s religious and secular lives. But no ascetic life for them! They lived in splendor in the Residenz.

No vow of poverty here!

Usually the palace is closed on Mondays except for the last Monday of the month. And that’s today. We think it has kept the crowds down. We buy our tickets which also provide an audio tour.

Sarah and John listen to the audio guide

Sarah learns about the bishop-princes

We learn about the various bishop-princes and the international, German, and religious balance of power through the ages. How hard it must be to learn history here. First, there’s so much of it and then it’s just not straight forward. In the United States you learn that there was discovery, settlement, colonies, Revolution, Constitution, Civil War, boom times, bust times, imperialism, two World Wars, and the last 70 years. The end. Just in Salzburg you would have to learn about local history, German history, Austrian history, European history, and world history for well over 1000 years. We take a break on the terrace and try to make sense of it all.

Sarah and John discuss history

After viewing the Residenz and the art gallery upstairs, it’s off to Cathedral Square to see the Salzburg Cathedral.

Salzburg Cathedral

Dedicated to Saints Rupert and Saint Virgil (new saints to us), consecrated in 774, renovated in 1628 and rebuilt in part after being bombed in 1944, the cathedral has ancient origins but is decorated in the Baroque style. We enjoy walking through identifying various saints and wondering about others. There is a very exciting St. Florian putting out a fire on the altar. We really need to create an app so that we can access all our information better.
Cathedral interior
St. Florian putting out a fire

Time for lunch! Off we go in search of something to eat. We settle on the Zipfer Bierstube. We have beer. In an effort to control myself, I have a small one.

My beer is on the right

Lunch is pretty meh. Sarah and I get a plate of three spreads with salad, pretzel and dark bread. Sounds good but it was so-so. Pretzel was not fresh. John has what looks like a Denny’s grand slam.


Grand slam!

Thus fortified, we make our way up the mountain by funicular to the Festung Hohensalzburg, the big fortress overlooking the city.

Festung Hohensalzburg

Another audio tour and some great views. Built and enlarged by various bishop-princes, it was never breached by invaders only surrendered to Napoleon.

View of old and modern Salzburg from the fortress

View in the other direction - Alps!

Next, Mozart. This is a town obsessed with Mozart. There is Mozart kitsch everywhere. We view the apartment where he was born. Read the letters sent back and forth between his sister, father and later his wife and him. Mozart spent a lot of time on the road. He has an immense body of work considering that he died at 35. Of course, he did begin composing and performing at five years old. We succumb to Mozart memorabilia and buy some stuff.

Where Mozart's mom made breakfast

Dinner tonight at the K & K is not stellar. Only John has made an excellent choice of venison. We are beginning to pine for California cuisine.

John's venison dinner

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