Top historic sites in Salzburg

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

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 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

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

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

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

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 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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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. 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

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

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

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

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Königstein Fortress

Königstein Fortress is located on the left bank of the River Elbe. It is one of the largest hilltop fortifications in Europe. The 9.5 hectare rock plateau rises 240 metres above the Elbe and has over 50 buildings, some over 400 years old, that bear witness to the military and civilian life in the fortress. The rampart run of the fortress is 1,800 metres long with walls up to 42 metres high and steep sandstone faces. In the centre of the site is a 152.5 metre deep well, which is the deepest in Saxony and second deepest well in Europe.

The fortress, which for centuries was used as a state prison, is still intact and is now one of Saxony's foremost tourist attractions, with 700,000 visitors per year.

By far the oldest written record of a castle on the Königstein is found in a deed by King Wenceslas I of Bohemia dating to the year 1233. It is probable that there had been a stone castle on the Königstein as early as the 12th century. The oldest surviving structure today is the castle chapel built at the turn of the 13th century. In the years 1563 to 1569 the 152.5 metre deep well was bored into the rock within the castle - until that point the garrison of the Königstein had to obtain water from cisterns and by collecting rainwater.

Between 1589 and 1591/97 Prince-Elector Christian I of Saxony and his successor had the castle developed into the strongest fortification in Saxony. The hill was now surrounded with high walls. Buildings were erected, including the Gatehouse (Torhaus), the Streichwehr, the Old Barracks (Alte Kaserne), the Christiansburg (Friedrichsburg) and the Old Armoury (Altes Zeughaus). The second construction period followed from 1619 to 1681, during which the John George Bastion was built. The third construction period is seen as the time from 1694 to 1756, which included the expansion of the Old Barracks. From 1722 to 1725, at the behest of August the Strong, coopers under Böttger built the enormous Königstein Wine Barrel, the greatest wine barrel in the world, in the cellar of the Magdalenenburg which had a capacity of 249,838 litres. It cost 8,230 thalers, 18 groschen and 9 pfennigs. The butt, which was once completely filled with country wine from the Meißen vineyards, had to be removed again in 1818 due to its poor condition. Because of Böttger, Königstein Fortress is also the site where European porcelain started.

Even after the expansion during those periods of time there continued to be modifications and additions on the extensive plateau. The Treasury (Schatzhaus) was built from 1854 to 1855. After the fortress had been incorporated in 1871 into the fortification system of the new German Empire, battery ramparts were constructed from 1870 to 1895 with eight firing points, that were to have provided all-round defence for the fortress in case of an attack that, in the event, never came. This was at this time that the last major building work was done on the fortress.

Because Königstein Fortress was regarded as unconquerable, the Saxon monarchs retreated to it from Wittenberg and later Dresden during times of crisis and also deposited the state treasure and many works of art from the famous Zwinger here; it was also used as a country retreat due to its lovely surroundings.

The fortress played an important role in the History of Saxony, albeit less as a result of military action. The Saxon Dukes and Prince-Electors used the fortress primarily as a secure refuge during times of war, as a hunting lodge and maison de plaisance, but also as a dreaded state prison. Its actual military significance was rather marginal.

Since 1955 the fortress has been an open-air, military history museum of high touristic value.