Salzburg: Mozart & The Sound of Music

September 28, 2012  •  Leave a Comment

From our ship's mooring at the city of Linz on the Danube, we traveled more than two hours by motor coach to a much anticipated day in the city of Salzburg.  At a rest stop on the way to Salzburg, we enjoyed this breathtaking view of a serene Apline lake with the Alps in the background. 

Salzburg is located at the northern boundary of the Alps on the banks of the Salzach River.  The city of Salzburg is among the oldest and most significant spiritual and cultural centers of Austria. The central, historical area of the city is dominated by Baroque towers and monumental churches.

Evidence of human life in the Salzburg area dates back to the Neolithic Age.  The community was captured by the Romans in 15 BC, named Juvavum and eventually elevated to a municipium, the second-highest class of a Roman city.

The town was ravaged by fire in 1167 and a major rebuilding of the Salzburg cathedral was necessary. Subsequent medieval fires led the burghers to replace their wooden houses with substantial stone buildings. With the advent of the Gothic period around 1300, ecclesiastical and lay proprietors vied in embellishing their town. The Gothic art of Salzburg was well known and many famous artists lived and worked there in the 15th and 16th centuries.

Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, appointed Archbishop in 1587, remodeled the entire City, directing his attentions in particular to the residence and the cathedral. Salzburg escaped the ravages of the Thirty Years’ war in the first half of the 16th century, partly because of the new defenses added by Archbishop Paris Lodron and partly because of the Archbishop’s clever policy of neutrality. He was responsible for the foundation of the university in 1622.

Salzburg's architecture was enhanced in the late 17th century with the advent of the Baroque style which was used for a number of notable buildings and a series of monumental fountains that grace the squares of the city. This period also saw a flowering of the town as a cultural centre of the Enlightenment. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg in 1756 and lived there until driven away by the Archbishop of the time, Hieronvmus Count Colloredo.

The Habsburg dynasty annexed Salzburg  in 1805 but during 1810-1815, it once again belonged to Bavaria. After this brief interlude, it became part of Austria once and for all and in 1848, it even became the capital of the crown lands and the province of the same name. Along with a series of economic developments, the opening of the 'Westbahnstrecke' (1860), which is the main railroad through Austria ensured that Salzburg saw its fortune improve and it was given its own statue in 1869.  In the 19th century, tourism also became a focus of attention, and the famous

Salzburg Festival was founded. The Mozart Academy of Music and the University gave the city with a cultural tradition for which it is still known.

Salzburg suffered nearly 50% destruction from aerial bombardment in World War II. The Sound of Music which tells the story of the von Trapp family's narrow and inspiring escape from the Nazis was filmed in and around Salzburg.   From 1945-1955 Salzburg became the headquarters for US-troops stationed in Austria after the downfall of the Third Reich. Since then, Salzburg has often been termed the 'secret capital' of Austria. American Troops did not leave until 1955, when the Treaty of Austria was signed. By 1959, the Cathedral had been rebuilt and blessed and the University of Salzburg re-opened three years later.

 

We enjoyed a delicious lunch atop the castle or garrison overlooking Salzburg.  Among the entrees offered was an delicious weiner sneitzel to complement the great view of beautifully restored midevil SaFurst Chocolates Mozart lzburg.

We came to Austria with a request to bring home Mozart candy which we found out originated in Salzburg.   Our guide directed us to the Furst chocolate shop in the old city for original, authentic Mozart candy.  Our search was successful as seen in the photo on the left.  Mozart candy is a chocolate candy shell filled with candy and liquor.  Available with many variations of fillings, each piece is individually foil wrapped and sells for about $3.  The shop keeper considerately packed our purchases in an insulated bag to prevent the candy from melting during our travels.  Most of our purchase arrived safely in the US and where it was enjoyed.  I think the missing pieces were enjoyed enroute!


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