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The city of Salzburg is forever associated with its most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The house on Getreidegasse, in which Mozart was born on January 27, 1756, is no doubt one of the city's biggest crowd-pullers. The mansion now houses the Mozart Museum, which provides visitors with a fascinating insight into the life and times of one of the world's greatest composers. Objects on display include Mozart's violins, harpsichord and piano, as well as many other objects of memorabilia.
Salzburg's Getreidegasse is the most famous street in the city, therefore the most crowded. If you are really interested in getting a view of the charming old houses, try to visit early, preferably before 10 in the morning - pretty portals and wonderful courtyards can only be seen and appreciated then. The Getreidegasse is famous for its wrought-iron signs, dating from the 16th to the 19th centuries - the design of the signs dates back to the Middle Ages! It is worth taking a second look at the houses because they are adorned with dates, symbols or the names of their owners, so they often tell their own history.
A historical building which now functions as a spectacular museum, Mozart's Residence (Mozarts Wohnhaus) preserves the rich legacy of the composer's life and work. Before Mozart and his family moved in, it was famously referred to as the 'Dance Master's House', as it was then occupied by Lorenz Spöckner, a dancer who hosted classes for court nobles. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart lived in this wonderful house on Makartplatz 8 for just seven years, from 1773 to 1780. The building was destroyed in World War II and rebuilt in 1996. Today, it is one of the most important Mozart museums in Salzburg. The rooms on the first floor not only preserve myriad memorabilia belonging to the Mozart family, but also his revered fortepiano. The building hosts riveting concerts and exhibitions showcasing the storied life of its world-famous inhabitant.
The perfect place to come on a rainy day, this museum was founded in 1834 and named after Caroline Auguste, wife of Emperor Franz I. Now shifted to a new and modern location and spanning 3 floors and a basement, the museum highlights the cultural history of Salzburg from the prehistoric era through to the present day. Each floor is dedicated to a particular theme and the basement is used for temporary exhibits.
Among the largest of Salzburg's magnificent churches, the splendid Salzburg Cathedral serves as the backdrop for the annual Jedermann Festival. The first church to be erected on the site dates back to the latter part of the 8th-century and was dedicated to St. Virgil and St. Rupert. The building that we see today is the third avatar of the original structure and was erected sometime between 1620 to 1628 by the acclaimed architect Santino Solari. The church witnessed its moment of glory when it was consecrated by Archbishop Paris Lodron during the tense spell of the Thirty Years' War. The cathedral can be seen from many points in the city, which makes it an unmissable sight in Salzburg.
It takes at least half a day to visit this museum in the center of Salzburg. On rainy days it gets very crowded, which can be a problem as the corridors are really narrow and some lead directly through the exhibition rooms. More than 80 rooms display exhibits including a reptile collection, an aquarium and an outer-space show. Some of the objects seem a bit old-fashioned in times of multimedia. But this place is really worth a visit, especially with children. If feeling exhausted after your visit you can grab a snack in the café on top.
Whatever the season, visitors fancy taking a pleasant walk through the magical gardens surrounding Schloss Mirabell, a fantastic palace erected by Archbishop Wolf Dietrich in 1606. The park contains a stunning array of fountains, statues, balustrades, and trees, and presents a kaleidoscope of colors which more often than not blows breaths away. Everyday life seems to melt into the background when faced with mythical figures like Helena and Paris, Hercules and Antaeus, Persephone, Hades, Kronos, and Bacchus. The legendary song 'Do-Re-Mi' from the film Sound of Music was shot here in the year 1965.
The undefeated Hohensalzburg Fortress is the defining feature of Salzburg's skyline, towering high above the Old Town on its lofty perch atop the Mönchsberg. Originally constructed in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard, the castle was expanded over the years, taking its current form in the year 1500 under the guidance of Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach. Built to monumental proportions, the castle is one of Europe's largest Medieval structures, its sprawling embrace a cornucopia of Medieval artistic and architectural riches. The State Rooms and Princely Chambers are the most lavishly adorned, closely followed by the Chapel of Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach. Today, the castle houses the Museum of the Rainer Regiment, the Fortress Museum and the Marionette Museum, and hosts the annual Salzburg Fortress Concerts amid the mount's ancient trees. Multimedia displays and interactive experiences bring the Medieval Era alive at the Hohensalzburg Fortress, historic Salzburg's crowning glory.
In 1610, Santino Solari, the architect of the Salzburger Dom, was appointed to build a pleasure palace on the southern outskirts of the city. The result was this magnificent early baroque building, which is set in an equally magnificent park. The park, a stunning amalgamation of serene woods, verdant hills, and picturesque pathways, is now extremely popular with both tourists and locals. The Wasserspiele Hellbrunn is also located near the site and is a feast for the senses.