Rewind to May, please…. After we left Mirabell Gardens, we spent the next few hours experiencing Salzburg. You see Callie and I posing in front of the Salzach river with the Salzburger Dom at right and the Hohensalzburg Castle looming in the background. Also a very cool door – I aspire to have a door such as this one day (but in shades of purple and green)
It is a beautiful city which is also amazingly well-preserved: from the plaster work on outdoor archways to the statues around each corner. Music is very important to life in Salzbury and I liked the statue of the violinist. In fact, this was the birthplace of Mozart – you can see the photo of his home (yellow) below. Rumor is that he hated Salzburg and was in Vienna as much as possible, but that doesn’t stop the tourist industry from milking the Mozart connection as much as possible! We stopped in a few churches, as usual. Below you can see the Holy Trinity Church or Dreifaltigkeitskirche. I was amazed by the woodwork…
As we were heading to another sight, we passed a small church. The priest was just coming out and offered to show us around. He was actually an American who had been living in Austria for about 30 years. It was quite a beautiful Protestant church and he told us how all the protestants had been, at one point, chased out of Austria and were now happy to return. He also made some lame attempts to convert us. He asked Zander who the man in the stained glass was (Zander guessed “Jesus???” Lucky for him he was right) We realized soon it was actually an Evangelical Church and made our escape.
Then we reached the amazing main cathedral of the town Salzburger Dom. The outside was not particularly embellished but the thing is massive. I found it interesting to see the doors to the cathedral flanked by musicians… We heard music everywhere in this city.
The first cathedral was consecrated in this spot in 774 and was a central place of worship for almost 1000 years. It was destroyed by fire in 1628 and rebuilt by the citizenry. Then on October 16, 1944 aerial bombs destroyed the dome. It was not fully restored until 1959 and the doors show a more modern influence. Inside, though, the baroque masterpiece was preserved and we got some amazing photographs….
The kids, for whatever reason, were talking a lot about Grammie this particular day and, when they saw the candles, really wanted to light one for her. It is quite incredible to me, actually, how much strong feeling they hold in their heart for their Grammie. We actually ended up doing two… and Griffin was so proud to be able to do his all on his own.
The church has been destroyed and rebuilt so many times it was very interesting to go to the crypt underneath. We could see the different roots of the many hundreds of years… Another reason this was an interesting crypt was that, for whatever reason, they decided to put a modern art installation down there. There was a repeating loop of tape (saying something I couldn’t understand in German) and lots of little macabre sculptures backlit by candles. Bizarre to say the least
We wandered through the town some more, heading up the hill towards Hohensalzburg Castle, one of the biggest medieval castles in Europe. We saw many many amazing fountains in Salzburg. I especially like it when there is a mixture of formal sculpture and ‘natural’ rock like the red and gold number below. I first fell in love with that in Rome when I saw the Trevi fountain. I’m sure there is some sort of architectural term for that, but I don’t know what it is. We passed these paintings of saints stuck into the side of the mountain on the way to the castle. There is also an abbey in Salzburg and my guess would be that pilgrims, weary from their journey, could stop and pray at this little spot. I wonder if all the rock faces used to be littered with them. I didn’t like it – seems like antique graffiti if you ask me.
We decided, since there was time to spare, to go inside the castle – and I am glad we did because it was only here that I at last found proof that, yes, indeed, Salzburg was the ancestral home of The Sound of Music. Exhibits 1 to 3 are as follows… 1. The Sound of Music sign 2. The Sound of Music Puppet head thing and 3. An artistic rendition of Edelweiss….
There was lots of other awesome stuff in the castle too – but I am so sick of blogging about this town I’m about to puke, which is really a shame since it was a lovely place. And a big place – covering 33000 square meters of land! Of course, that size is small potatoes compared to the Citadel in our home town of Besancon which is more than three times as big at over 110 000 square meters. Take that Salzburg! OK, we’ve established it’s no Besancon, but it is lovely…
Lovely walls, lovely views of the city below
Lovely doors that I adored….
Lovely Folterwerkzeuge (torture devices). These would have been in use until around 1800 – so for about 700 of the castles 900 year history. For all those years, no one could be executed without a complete confession. So they got them any way they could. Spiked stocks, masks of shame or, a new one, the wheel of death… They rolled the wheel with the big blade on it over people to crush them – what a way to go.
Lovely Franziskanerkirche (Guess they repented there in the down times between torture) Or maybe they played around with the lovely puppets (marionettes are another huge Salzburg tradition) or had a lovely dinner at the Burg Taverne (pig head anyone???)
Lovely interactivity for children – great museum for kids…. they even had a kids version of the audio guide – of course, my kids couldn’t get it to work – but that’s not all that important.
And, of course, the lovely trash chute. It was amazing how steep this thing was!
I feel like Salzburg deserves a better blog, and this isn’t even getting an edit as it usually does from my wonderful spouse since he is in America. Well, I guess that sometimes you just have to move on….. I need to go to the next blog, and we needed to head for Vienna….