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 Mönchsberg and the precipitous banks of the Salzach was a masterly performance.
Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun called on the renowned architect, Fischer von Erlach, who was also commissioned to design other churches in Salzburg. The church was consecrated in 1705 but the construction of the convent took another two decades. It served as the seat for the Ursuline Order until 1957. Today the former St. Ursuline Church, consecrated to St. Mark the Evangelist, is known by its original name again.
Three saints adorn the church's pediment: St. Mark the Evangelist in the center with St. Augustine and St. Ursula on either side. Visitors are usually stunned by the unexpected richness of the church's interior: elaborate stucco, colorful frescoes by the Tyrolean painter, Christoph Anton Mayr, and the cupola with portrayals of St. Ursula in heaven. The saints on the façade can also be found inside the church. The altar furniture and pews are embellished with fine woodcarving.References:
Augustusburg Palace represents one of the first examples of Rococo creations in Germany. For the Cologne elector and archbishop Clemens August of the House of Wittelsbach it was the favourite residence. In 1725 the Westphalian architect Johann Conrad Schlaun was commissioned by Clemens August to begin the construction of the palace on the ruins of a medieval moated castle.
In 1728, the Bavarian court architect François de Cuvilliés took over and made the palace into one of the most glorious residences of its time. Until its completion in 1768, numerous outstanding artists of European renown contributed to its beauty. A prime example of the calibre of artists employed here is Balthasar Neumann, who created the design for the magnificent staircase, an enchanting creation full of dynamism and elegance. The magical interplay of architecture, sculpture, painting and garden design made the Brühl Palaces a masterpiece of German Rococo.
UNESCO honoured history and present of the Rococo Palaces by inscribing Augustusburg Palace – together with Falkenlust Palace and their extensive gardens – on the World Heritage List in 1984. From 1949 onwards, Augustusburg Palace was used for representative purposes by the German Federal President and the Federal Government for many decades.
In 1728, Dominique Girard designed the palace gardens according to French models. Owing to constant renovation and care, it is today one of the most authentic examples of 18th century garden design in Europe. Next to the Baroque gardens, Peter Joseph Lenné redesigned the forested areas based on English landscaping models. Today it is a wonderful place to have a walk.