top of page


Adorable Chick

HIGHLIGHTS OF EUROPE diary : Day 11 - 25th April 2016

Salzburg, home town of the International composer Mozart, is an Austrian city known for its rich musical heritage. It is more popularly known for the English movie THE SOUND OF MUSIC, part of which was shot here. It lies on the German border. River Salzach snakes itself into the city splitting it into two parts, the old (Alstadt) and new (Neustadt), which lie on either side of it. The entire city enjoys beautiful views of the eastern alps.

We were in Hallien that morning , visiting the salt mine. A little after lunch we took a bus from Hallien, running northward, to reach Salzburg. A bus outside the Salzburg station dropped us off at the Old town area - Morzartplatz 5.

From the bus stop, we walked inside, around 10 minutes to get to the foot of the HOHENSALZBURG fortress. The Salzburg fortress sits on top of the Festungsberg hill. It is one of the largest medieval castle in the whole of Europe. It houses an array of museums and also has a restaurant. We managed to get a picture of the glorious fortress, at the foot hill, before taking the Festungsbahn funicular to reach the fortress entrance on the top. It lies at an altitude of 500 metres. The fortress became a tourist area only in the late 19th century. It was cold, around 9 degrees, as we got to the funicular. We purchased our return tickets and rode to the top. The fortress was massive. The stunning views of the city from that height with the river Salzach flowing through, left us thunderstruck.

Tidy Desk

We couldn't take the internal tour of the castle residence. We, however, visited the puppet museum there, referred to as the MARIONETTE THEATRE. The theatre displays a short summary of the Salzburg history using marionettes. The audio and video backgrounds were befitting. This was a small tour that didn't last much. We were unable to take more photos.

We took a walk along the inside corridors of the fortress. We found a WATER WELL like structure and were intrigued by its architecture. The circular structure was closed. There were two black, wooden, pillar like structures, moored on its top, which were connected to each other by a vertical piece of carved wood.

The structure was indeed a CISTERN. The last archbishop of Salzburg was known for his authoritative system of ruling. The people therefore didn't favour him much, which he was well aware. He was the one responsible for turning the HOHENSALZBURG fortress into a residence , for purposes of self-defence. He constantly feared an attack from his subordinates. The construction of the Cistern was therefore initiated by him, to help store rain water. This, he thought, would ensure uninterrupted water supply in case of any siege. As feared, he indeed got attacked later, and was stuck in the fortress for around 3 months, unable to get out. The stored water came of great use during that period.

On our way to the fortress, we crossed the Salzburg Cathedral, lying on the southern borders of the Kapitelplatz. The cathedral's architecture was eye catching, especially the top portion of its facade. We didn't have enough time to take a tour inside the cathedral. A market fair was on a roll, at the square. We looked around the shops for souvenirs. The Neptune fountain was another attraction there. An artist had displayed his unique works of art, which caught our attention. You can find a few pictures of it in the first gallery.

Then there was the "SPHAERA". This golden globe, placed on a black metal tripod, with a sculpted man standing on the top, adorns the centre of the Kapitelplatz. It was built by a German architect. Though the reason behind its design is unknown, it probably signifies "common man", going by the neutral expression on the human sculpture on it. Why the golden globe ? may be it was just a bizarre experimental design. The entire structure is about nine metres high. The fortress view from this point is always amazing.

We headed for a street walk after our fortress visit. We stuck mainly to the old town. The vibrant streets kept us up and active, even in the cold. We soon reached the famous MOZARTS GEBURTSHAUS. The bright yellow building with white bordered windows, garnished on its side with a lengthy Austrian RED & WHITE flag that hangs from its terrace, is the birth house of Mozart. He was born in the 18th century and spent most of his youth here. His family is said to lived here for more than 25 years. The house has now turned into a museum displaying all original rooms of yesteryears. A tour completing the entire museum could easily last for an hour. Visitors from all over the world and Mozart fans do not fail to visit this place. The surrounding streets are lively, with loads of shops and restaurants all worth a try. We stopped for some hot coffee in one of the restaurants .

We then got on our way to reach the bus stop. A bus soon arrived and dropped us back at the railway station. We took a direct train to Zell am see from here. This was end of day 11 of our six country, Europe trip.