Top historic sites in Salzburg

Salzburg Residenz

For centuries the Archbishops of Salzburg resided at the Salzburg Residenz and used the palace to present and represent their political status. Today the Salzburg Residenz palace is a museum and one of the most impressive attractions in the city. The earliest recorded reference to the bishop"s palace was in a document dated 1232. Construction began under Archbishop Konrad I. In the 16th century, several changes and ...
Founded: 1596 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Historic Centre of Salzburg

Salzburg"s Old Town (Altstadt) is internationally renowned for its baroque architecture and is one of the best-preserved city centers north of the Alps. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Salzburg is an outstanding example of an ecclesiastical city-state, peculiar to the Holy Roman Empire, from Prussia to Italy. Most disappeared as political and administrative units in the early 19th century and ...
Founded: | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg Cathedral

Salzburg"s Cathedral is probably the city"s most significant piece of church architecture and its ecclesiastical center. With its magnificent façade and mighty dome it represents the most impressive early Baroque edifice north of the Alps. The cathedral origin is closely connected to the ecclesiastical principality"s demeanour and growth. Destroyed by fire and rebuilt, enlarged and expanded, it bear ...
Founded: 774 AD | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Hohensalzburg Castle

Hohensalzburg Castle is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. Construction of the fortress began in 1077 under Archbishop Gebhard von Helfenstein. In the Holy Roman Empire, the archbishops of Salzburg were already powerful political figures and they expanded the castle to protect their interests. Gebhard"s conflict with Emperor Henry IV during the Investiture Controversy influenced the expansion of the castl ...
Founded: 1077 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg Museum

The magnificent New Residence (Neuen Residenz) on Mozart Square has housed the Salzburg Museum since the summer of 2007. Salzburg Museum is the museum of artistic and cultural history for the city and region. The museum"s fully new concept blends valuable objects of art, aesthetic presentations, interesting facts and multimedia installations into a harmonious whole. The Salzburg Museum was founded in 1834 when a sma ...
Founded: | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Franciscan Church

The Franciscan Church (Franziskanerkirche) is one of the oldest churches in Salzburg. The first church on this site was built in the eighth century during the time of Saint Virgil, who may have used it for baptisms. A document from 1139 mentions a parish church on this site. That church was destroyed by fire in 1167, together with five other churches, including the cathedral. Starting in 1208, the central nave of the chur ...
Founded: 1208 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

St Peter's Abbey

St Peter's Abbey is a Benedictine monastery and former cathedral in Salzburg. It is considered one of the oldest monasteries in the German-speaking area, and in fact the oldest with a continuous history. St Peter's Abbey was founded in 696 by Saint Rupert at the site of a Late Antique church stemming from the first Christianization in the area. Likewise the establishment of the monastery was meant to forward the missionar ...
Founded: 696 AD | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Mozart's Birthplace

Salzburg’s Wunderkind – Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart – was born in what is known as the Hagenauer House at no. 9 Getreidegasse on the 27th January 1756. He lived there with his sister Nannerl and his parents until 1773. Mozart’s Geburtshaus now houses a museum open all year round. Mozart’s Geburtshaus guides guests through the original rooms in which the Mozart family lived and presents a range of artefacts, includi ...
Founded: 1756 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Petersfriedhof

The Petersfriedhof or St. Peter"s Cemetery is - together with the burial site at Nonnberg Abbey - the oldest cemetery in Salzburg. It is one of Salzburg"s most popular tourist attractions. Its origins date back to about 700, when the adjacent St. Peter"s Abbey 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 ...
Founded: 700 AD | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Collegiate Church

The Kollegienkirche was built between 1694 and 1707 for the local Benedictine university founded in 1622. The university was disbanded in 1810 but reopened in 1962 as part of the University of Salzburg. Certainly the largest and best Salzburg church designed by Erlach (who also built the Holy Trinity Church and renovated the Franciscan Church), the Collegiate Church is also one of the most celebrated Baroque churches in ...
Founded: 1694-1707 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Mirabell Palace

Mirabell Palace with its gardens is part of the Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg UNESCO World Heritage Site. The palace was built about 1606 on the shore of the Salzach river north of the medieval city walls, at the behest of Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau. The Archbishop suffered from gout and had a stroke the year before; to evade the narrow streets of the city, he decided to erect a pleasure palace for ...
Founded: 1606 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Holy Trinity Church

The Holy Trinity Church was built in the years 1694–1702. Authority of the church and the seminary was the founder Prince Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun. The church, together with the same time build St. John's Church (hospital church) the first building designed by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach in Salzburg. He used as models various religious buildings in Rome—especially Francesco Borromini's Church Sant'Agnes ...
Founded: 1694-1702 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Mozart's Residence

In 1773, after the house in which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart had been born became too small, the entire Mozart family moved across the river to the Tanzmeisterhaus on the square then known as Hannibalplatz. The building now accommodates a museum showing the various stations of the lives of the Mozart family. The building is now commonly known as Mozarts Wohnhaus and no-one knows where Hannibalplatz is as its latter-day name ...
Founded: 1617 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Hellbrunn Palace

Between 1612 and 1615, Salzburg’s prince-archbishop Markus Sittikus commissioned the building of a summer residence at the foot of Hellbrunn mountain, a location already abundant in naturally flowing waters. Based on Italian models and in a relatively short period of time, an architectural jewel had been created, still reckoned amongst the most magnificent Renaissance buildings north of the Alps. Hellbrunn was only ...
Founded: 1612-1619 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

St. Mark's Church

St. Mark"s Church (Markuskirche) near the Klaus Gate at the foot of the Mönchsberg is a masterpiece of baroque architecture: the cornerstone for the Ursuline Convent church was laid in 1699. A smaller church located on the same site was destroyed by a disastrous rockfall from the Mönchsberg thirty years before. At the time of its construction, raising a building on the small strip of land between the Mö ...
Founded: 1699 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Nonnberg Abbey

Nonnberg Abbey is a Benedictine monastery in Salzburg founded ca. 714 by Saint Rupert of Salzburg. It is the oldest women's religious house in the German-speaking world. Its first abbess was Saint Erentrudis of Salzburg, who was either a niece or a sister of Saint Rupert. The abbey was independent of the founding house from 987 and was re-built in about 1000. This building was largely destroyed in a fire of 1423. Reconst ...
Founded: ca. 714 AD | Location: Salzburg, Austria

St. Cajetan Church

In 1591 Archbishop Wolf Dietrich purchased a hospital and church in today"s Kai District to establish a seminary. It was to be managed by an order of Theatine monks, founded by St. Cajetan and Pietro Caraffa in 1524. The order was brought to Salzburg in 1685 to found a new mission. Shortly thereafter a decision was reached to build a church and abbey in the Kai District at the very same location. Gaspare Zugalli was ...
Founded: 1685-1696 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Franziskischlössl

The Franziskischlössl ('Francis′ Castle') is a defence tower that was part of the 17th century city walls of Salzburg. It was built by the cathedral architect, Santino Solari, from 1622-1629. The Franziskischlössl is situated at the most exposed point of Mount Kapuzinerberg, home to an inn and a very popular hiking trip destination.
Founded: 1622-1629 | Location: Salzburg, Austria

Anif Palace

Anif Palace is located beside an artificial pond in Anif on the southern edge of Salzburg, Austria. The palace was once the seat of the bishops of Chiemsee, and then later was used as a court until the 19th century. It was remodeled between 1838 and 1848 in the neo-Gothic style. Anif is most famous for its use in several movies, including The Sound of Music. Its origins cannot be exactly dated but there is a document fro ...
Founded: 1520 | Location: Anif, Austria

Schloss Klessheim

Schloss Klessheim is a Baroque palace designed and constructed by Austrian architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach for Prince-Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun in 1700. It became the summer residence of the Archbishops of Salzburg. Influenced by the north Italian Mannerist style, Fischer von Erlach worked on the palace, which was called Lustschloss Favorita, between 1700 and 1709. Construction was interrupted followi ...
Founded: 1700-1709 | Location: Wals-Siezenheim, Austria

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Porta Nigra

The Porta Nigra (Latin for black gate) is the largest Roman city gate north of the Alps. It is designated as part of the Roman Monuments, Cathedral of St. Peter and Church of Our Lady in Trier UNESCO World Heritage Site. The name Porta Nigra originated in the Middle Ages due to the darkened colour of its stone; the original Roman name has not been preserved. Locals commonly refer to the Porta Nigra simply as Porta.

The Porta Nigra was built in grey sandstone between 186 and 200 AD. The original gate consisted of two four-storied towers, projecting as near semicircles on the outer side. A narrow courtyard separated the two gate openings on either side. For unknown reasons, however, the construction of the gate remained unfinished. For example, the stones at the northern (outer) side of the gate were never abraded, and the protruding stones would have made it impossible to install movable gates. Nonetheless, the gate was used for several centuries until the end of the Roman era in Trier.

In Roman times, the Porta Nigra was part of a system of four city gates, one of which stood at each side of the roughly rectangular Roman city. The Porta Nigra guarded the northern entry to the Roman city, while the Porta Alba (White Gate) was built in the east, the Porta Media (Middle Gate) in the south, and the Porta Inclyta (Famous Gate) in the west, next to the Roman bridge across the Moselle. The gates stood at the ends of the two main streets of the Roman Trier, one of which led north-south and the other east-west. Of these gates, only the Porta Nigra still exists today.

In the early Middle Ages the Roman city gates were no longer used for their original function and their stones were taken and reused for other buildings. Also iron and lead braces were broken out of the walls of the Porta Nigra for reuse. Traces of this destruction are still clearly visible on the north side of the gate.

After 1028, the Greek monk Simeon lived as a hermit in the ruins of the Porta Nigra. After his death (1035) and sanctification, the Simeonstift monastery was built next to the Porta Nigra to honor him. Saving it from further destruction, the Porta Nigra was transformed into a church: The inner court of the gate was roofed and intermediate ceilings were inserted. The two middle storeys of the former gate were converted into church naves: the upper storey being for the monks and the lower storey for the general public. The ground floor with the large gates was sealed, and a large outside staircase was constructed alongside the south side (the town side) of the gate, up to the lower storey of the church. A small staircase led further up to the upper storey. The church rooms were accessible through former windows of the western tower of the Porta Nigra that were enlarged to become entrance doors (still visible today). The top floor of the western tower was used as church tower, the eastern tower was leveled, and an apse added at its east side. An additional gate - the much smaller Simeon Gate - was built adjacent to the East side of the Porta Nigra and served as a city gate in medieval times.

In 1802 Napoleon Bonaparte dissolved the church in the Porta Nigra and the monastery beside it, along with the vast majority of Trier"s numerous churches and monasteries. On his visit to Trier in 1804, Napoleon ordered that the Porta Nigra be converted back to its Roman form. Only the apse was kept; but the eastern tower was not rebuilt to its original height. Local legend has it that Napoleon originally wanted to completely tear down the church, but locals convinced him that the church had actually been a Gaulish festival hall before being turned into a church. Another version of the story is that they told him about its Roman origins, persuading him to convert the gate back to its original form.

In 1986 the Porta Nigra was designated a World Heritage Site, along with other Roman monuments in Trier and its surroundings. The modern appearance of the Porta Nigra goes back almost unchanged to the reconstruction ordered by Napoleon. At the south side of the Porta Nigra, remains of Roman columns line the last 100 m of the street leading to the gate. Positioned where they had stood in Roman times, they give a slight impression of the aspect of the original Roman street that was lined with colonnades. The Porta Nigra, including the upper floors, is open to visitors.