The Hohensalzburg Fortress (Salzburg Fortress) was built in the 11th century by Archbishop Gebhard and is the largest unconquered fortress in Europe. The castle is 150 meters wide and 250 meters long, and the oldest part is over 900 years old.
The construction of the Hohensalzburg Fortress began in 1077 and the original design represented a bailey (a type of castle) with a wooden wall. The archbishops of Salzburg were powerful political figures, and the further expansion of the castle served to protect their interests. The expansion was also influenced by the Investiture Controversy, the most important conflict between the state and church in Medieval Europe. The towers and ring walls were constructed under Burkhard II of Weißpriach in 1462. A further expansion of the castle took place under Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach.
The Hohensalzburg Fortress was chosen to be the main motif for a commemorative coin, the Nonnberg Abbey, which was minted in 2006. This coin was the first one from the series "Great Abbeys of Austria”. It features the Benedictine convent of the Nonnberg Abbey. The Kajetaner church and the castle are depicted on the background. Back in 1977, the Mint released another coin to commemorate the 900th anniversary of the Hohensalzburg Fortress.
During different historic periods, the Hohensalzburg Fortress functioned as a prison, residence, and fortress. It is a must-see attraction and is open all year round. Numerous museums and imposing architecture await the visitors of the fortress. The World of Marionettes is one of them and showcases unique exhibitions of marionettes from various parts of the world. Other landmarks are the fortress’s tavern (Burgschenke), the Fortress restaurant, and the historical castle hall (historische Burgsaal). Concerts are performed in the Golden Hall of the fortress every year.
Tourists enjoy the elegant apartments that were once the home of archbishops and their courts. The intricate ironwork and coffered ceilings are worth seeing. Another item on display is porcelain stove from the 16th century, found in the Golden Room.
Housed in the fortress, the Burgmuseum features a collection of medieval art. Prints and plans that trace the growth of Salzburg are displayed, together with Gothic artifacts and instruments of torture. The Salzburg Bull (Salzburger Stier) represents an open-air barrel organ which was constructed in 1502. It plays melodies from Haydn and Mozart every day after the glockenspiel chimes. The Rainermuseum features armor and arms exhibits. Dating from 1501, the St. George's Chapel has preserved reliefs of the Apostles, made from marble. Those who are not interested in the Hohensalzburg Fortress may go to the terrace to enjoy a panoramic view of the Alps.
To get to the Hohensalzburg Fortress, tourists can hike up the lane or paths that lead to the fortress or walk from Kapitelplatz or Mönchsberg. The funicular from Festungsgasse is another option and is found at the station behind the Salzburg cathedral. Advance tickets to the museum can also be purchased, and the funicular ride is included in the price.
View from the Hohensalzburg over beautiful Salzburg
View from the city and Salzach River
The Houses in the fortress
View from Hohensalzburg over the city
The church in the Fortress
Hohensalzburg Fortress funicular
Where is Hohensalzburg Fortress: Mönchsberg 34
How to get to Hohensalzburg Fortress: By foot, or Funicular station is on the Festungsgasse, train departs every 10 minutes
Opening Hours: Courtyards
15 March to 14 June: 9 am to 6 pm
15 June to 14 September: 8.30 am to 8 pm
15 September to 14 March: 9 am to 5 pm
Salzburg Panorama from Hohensalzburg Fortress
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