The birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the setting for the movie The Sound of Music, Salzburg is well known around the world. There's much more to Austria's fourth largest city than a renowned native son and a famous movie, however. Visitors could easily spend a week or two here and find plenty more to savor. This baroque gem of a city rests on the banks of the winding Salzach River, and it also enjoys access to the northern boundary of the sturdy Alps, making for quite the regal setting. Salzburg's Old Town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, much like in Vienna and Graz, so you can satisfy many hours exploring its streets, and trips to the outlying countryside reveal some of the best alpine views in the world. Salzburg Austria has commanding allure, there's no question about that, and all attempts should be made to include it in your Austria vacation itinerary.
The pristine mountain setting that characterizes Salzburg has no doubt impressed and captivated all those who have passed through over time. This capital city of the Austrian state of Land Salzburg was originally a Celtic settlement and then a Roman town named Juvavum. By the seventh century, Juvavum was all but in ruins, though salt mines in the area would rejuvenate interest. Around the year 700, Salzburg was founded at the site of Juvavum by Saint Rupert, who became a bishop under the Duke of Bavaria. The city took its name from the salt trade, which brought barges transporting the precious product on the Salzach River. The salt barges that passed through Salzburg were subject to a toll in the eighth century, which helped the city raise funds for its development. The power of the archbishops in Salzburg saw the city rise in glory and importance, and a fortress was erected on Festungsberg hill, which overlooks the city. Work on the Hohensalzburg Fortress began in 1077, and it was gradually expanded over the following centuries. It remains one of the top Salzburg attractions to this day.
Salzburg remained part of the Holy Roman Empire for quite some time, though in 1816, it became part of Austria after the Congress of Vienna. It was in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries that many of Salzburg's finest houses were built, and many have survived to this day along with the Salzburg Cathedral, or Salzburg Dom, which is a seventeenth century baroque masterpiece. This cathedral was where Mozart was baptized, helping to make it one of the more interesting Salzburg attractions. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg Austria in 1756, and though he was largely unappreciated by his hometown during his life, that's no longer the case today. His image can be found all over the city, and the world famous, summertime Salzburg Festival surely showcases some of his work. For more insight into Mozart's life, you can visit the Mozarts Geburtshaus, where young Mozart lived with his family from his birth until 1773. It's certainly one of the top Salzburg attractions, and it's understandably a featured stop on many guided Salzburg tours.
Other top Salzburg attractions include the seventeenth century Mirabell Palace, which has lovely gardens, and the Petersfriedhof or St. Peter's Cemetery. The Pertersfriedhof is regarded as one of the most charming cemeteries in the world, and many of Salzburg's past aristocratic families are buried here, including Mozart's sister Nannerl. Salzburg vacations can also see visitors taking in a few museums, including the New Residence, which is a great place to learn more about Salzburg's history. Many of the top Salzburg attractions can be visited for free once you purchase a Salzburg Card, which also awards you free public transportation and discounts on various Salzburg tours. It's really a great thing for those planning to spend some considerable time enjoying all that Salzburg travel has to offer.
Speaking of Salzburg tours, the ones that relate to the multiple Oscar-winning film The Sound of Music are among the favorites. Fans of the movie can hardly pass up the chance to dance and sing on the same hills that Julie Andrews graced back in 1965. One of the available tours is a bicycling tour, and besides taking in some of the locations for the film, you'll also enjoy general sightseeing on the side. Walking tours of Salzburg's Old Town are also a Salzburg travel favorite, and you can also entertain the idea of booking Salzburg tours that include such delights as the nearby lake country or the Bavarian Mountains in nearby Germany. Of course, the Salzburg music hero Mozart is also the focus of many Salzburg tours, which generally include his home with a range of other great Salzburg attractions. All Salzburg vacations should include at least one Salzburg tour, and it doesn't hurt to add a couple of them to the itinerary when visiting this outstanding city in the heart of Europe.
Many great Salzburg hotels await you, so book your Austria vacation today, and hop on over to the western side of the country to see what breathtaking Land Salzburg and its capital city have in store for their lucky visitors. There's no denying that Salzburg travel is a wonderful thing!