LOCATION – SALZBURG, AUSTRIA
Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the home of the Von Trapp family from the ‘Sound of Music’, is a city dominated by churches, castles and palaces. This combination is music to my ears photographically, so I certainly didn’t need anything else to convince me to visit!
My wife and I decided to travel during winter, as both the call of snow covered landscapes and festive Christmas markets were too big a drawcard to resist!
- Leica M-P240
- 35mm Summilux 1.4 FLE
- 21mm Super Elmar
- B&W UV Filter
- B&W 0.9 3 Stop ND Filter
The city is divided by the Salzach River, with the medieval and baroque buildings of Alstadt (Old City) on the left bank, facing the 19th-century Neustadt (New City) on its right. The Alstadt is the birthplace of famed composer Mozart in 1756. The house is located in Getreidegasse, Salzburg’s most attractive and most visited shopping street with its high and narrow homes and romantic courtyards.
Salzburg’s most imposing landmark is the 900-year-old Höhensalzburg, central Europe’s largest intact fortress. Dating from 1077 A.D., the fortress offers fantastic views of the city and mountains below.
Not only are the views from the fortress amazing and well worth the visit in itself. But the castle grounds and the beautiful stone buildings are well worth a tour close up too.
For many centuries, Salzburg was governed by prince-archbishops who were both the spiritual and worldly rulers of the city. The DomQuartier Salzburg was the home and center of that power. One of the most interesting and spectacular tours I had taken, each room was beautifully preserved and decorated.
The DomQuartier is very large, the entire complex is made up of the splendid state rooms of the Residence, The Dom Cathedral, a magnificent Early-Baroque cathedral and finally the Benedictine Monastery of St. Peter and its beautiful graveyard of ornate headstones.
The Dom Cathedral however is not the only beautiful church in Salzburg. Both St. Peter’s Abbey and Franziskanerkirche are just as impressive. St Peters Abbey and its graveyard are wonderful and very unique. It is also the site of Salzburg’s oldest bakery, first documented back to the 12th century. The monastery built a flour mill and an original wood-fired oven that still makes the sour-dough bread on sale today.
Franziskanerkirche is one of the oldest in Salzburg. With the first church on this site built in the eighth century. Documents from 1139 mention a Parish church on this site. The church was destroyed in a fire in 1167 and was rebuilt in 1208 and continued to be changed and renovated many times between 1450, 1635 and again restored in 1866.
Another highlight is Schloss Mirabell, the palace made famous around the world by Maria and her family in the film ‘The Sound of Music’. The gardens are particularly beautiful in the spring and summer and offer wonderful view of the fortress behind them.
In the Middle Ages, a fortified tower was located on the right back on the river looking over the city. Many of the towers and walls still remain and is now home to the Kapuzinerberg monastery built in 1594. Its surrounded by small parks and hiking trails with some of the best views over the rooftops of Salzburg.
However, even with all these amazing landmarks and sites to visit, my favorite part of the trip was just exploring the charming tiny streets and along the beautiful river. The first night we stayed in Salzburg it snowed on and off, so I wanted to get up early for sunrise knowing the weather was due to clear up.
For me, this was one of the best days of photography I’ve had. It started off very cold and foggy, but the snow covered the ground and hung from the tress which made for some beautiful photos. I walked up the river and came across a small park where I was able to photograph some people busily on their way to work between the trees.
I was also able to capture the sun breaking over the amazing grand homes along the river and behind the fortress itself. Everything came together that day. Interesting people, snow, landscapes and buildings and great weather and light. It’s days like this where I love this hobby. There is no way I would have gotten up early for sunrise without it, and therefore no way I would have experienced this wonderful city in this way.