The Judengasse is a narrow roadway which in the 12th century was known as "The alley of the Jew's."
It was home to the Jewish community from 1248 up until their expulsion in 1498. The Jewish School at no15 was first documented in 1377. Sadly, persecution of the Jews and mass executions took place. Many who could, left, and others have stayed behind living their lives in Salzburg.
So not only was this narrow old lane full of history, but now one of the most popular, exclusive shopping area's in Salzburg's Old City.
I enjoyed my stroll along here amongst quite a few other people, most of us doing the same, looking in the Shop windows! Prices in these shops are high!
Look out for no 3 which has a striking façade, the only art nouveau portal in Salzburg, and no 13 is where the Composer,Heinrich Biber, lived from 1672 to 1684.
The Waagplatz has quite a bit of history. The name comes from the public scales set up on the square used to weigh grain during the Middle Ages when it was used as a Bread and a Hay Market.
Some historical events and buildings in the Waagplatz are number 1, Waagplatz, where between the years 1328 to 1407, public executions took place in front of this building. It was in this square where the 1st tavern was opened around 1500, only to be burnt down in 1635. The building has a large mural named "Sowings and Harvest" by Karl Reisenbichler (1928) on the side facing Waagplatz.
The Schafferhaus at Waagplatz 1a and 2 with its two courtyard wings, was built during the 16th century, and has three-storied arcades, and is worth seeing. The Waaghaus at Waagplatz 3 was the oldest courthouse in Salzburg prior to 1328 and is where the scales were kept, resulting in the square being named Waagplatz.
Salzburg's Old Town, known as Altstadt, has a beautiful Alpine setting which has been not only home to Mozart but also the setting for the Sound of Music. The city center has retained it graceful Baroque architecture by avoiding the conflict of the 30 Years War and by suffer only minor damage during WWII. Because it still holds much of its old world charm, Salzburg's Old Town is one of only 8 UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Austria. The Old Town is a district of Salzburg and building activities are strictly regulated in order to preserve the ancient buildings.
The Salzburg Festival is world famous. There had been several religious and cultural festivals over the centuries, but in the 19th century the desire for a new festival developed out of the admiration for Mozart's music and of the desire to promote Salzburg again, as the city did not feel recognized enough. The Salzburg Festival was then founded in 1917 by Franz Schakl, Richard Strauss, Max Reinhardt, Hugo von Hofmannsthal and Alfred Roller. The idea was to have the city as a stage and to include its scenery, and to give the citizens of Salzburg a share in the festival. The first festival was started in 1920 with Hofmannsthal's "Jedermann" staged in front of the cathedral - this is still the highlight of every festival season. Today, the festival is Salzburg's favourite season, many people come here to see plays and opera stagings, and to enjoy the festive and joyful atmosphere.
We were here during festival season as well, although that was an accident (we did not check the times because we did not think of it). A negative aspect of being here during that time is that the city is even more crowded then, but on the other hand it is nice to see all the fancy people, even celebreties, who are on their way to stagings in the evening. There is an expectant atmosphere all over the town which is very exciting. The festival is held every summer.
The Großes Festspiel (Great Festive Hall) is the main festival building. It seats 2371 people and was built from 1956 and 1960. It is located in Hofstallgasse (Royal Stable Alley) and it is here where the limousines of High Society arrive and spectators and photographers hang around and watch. The façade is still that of the old Royal Stable.
Opposite of that building, there is the Haus für Mozart (House for Mozart), it is located in the old Winter Riding School which was reconstructed in 1925/26. It houses 1327 people and was again reconstructed in 2006. Until then it was called "Kleines Feststpielhaus" (Small Festival House).
From here, you also have a great view of the Fortress with the tower of St. Peter in front!
I was happy using my guidebook and sightseeing on my own but one tour I would recommend is the one-hour guided walking tour around Salzburg's historic centre. It's bookable through the Tourist Office and runs twice a day (in November), once in the morning and once in the afternoon.
Our guide was very pleasant and very knowledgeable and took us to the main places of interest in the City, telling us some interesting historic facts, some of which are not mentioned in the guidebooks.
Residence Square (Residenzplatz) is the largest square in the Old Town.
It connects the two Residences, and borders the Cathedral.
In the middle of the square stands the 15m Residence Fountain (Residenzbrunnen), created by Tommaso di Garona between 1656 and 1661.
The City Hall on the Kranzlmarkt is a plain building from the 15th century. Only the figure of Justice over the entrance portal tells of its purpose. Hans Waldburger made it in 1617.
The building got its Rococo façade in 1772.
Cathedral Square (Domplatz) is another large square in the Old Town.
In the middle of it there is the Virgin’s Column (Mariensäule), built by the Hagenauer brothers in 1771. The figures on the base personify wisdom, the Church, the angels and the Devil.
When the world-famous Salzburg Festival is on, you will find that music lovers head for the Hofstallgasse. This is the street where the three main festival theaters are located. The street takes its name from the court stables that once was located here.
The festival complex consists of the Kleines Festspielhaus which was built in 1937 and nowadays are used mainly for productions of Mozart operas and chamber concerts. Then there is the Grosses Festspielhaus which was built into the solid rock of the Mýnchsberg and opened in 1960.
The theaters are linked by tunnels leading to a spacious underground garage in the Mýnchsberg. If you want to see the inside of the halls, it's best to go to a performance, but guided tours are given and group tours can be booked on request.
The thought to ride in one of this around town does cross our mind even though it expensive but suddenly its raining so we just feast our stomach instead. Its sure look romantic for lover though. Maybe you could ride in one of these if you visit Salzburg.
Salzburg's Old Town, on the south bank of the river, is a wonderful place to see Baroque churches, plazas, courtyards and fountains. We strolled the narrow pedestrian only streets on our first evening. Lots of interesting things to see and tons of restaurants. We were surprised all the shops were closed at 6PM
Salzburg altstadt ( south side of river ) and neustadt ( north side of river ) are fascinating and picturesque from one end to the other. The pedestrian bridge located in the very center of the core city offers excellent panoramic views of the city. One of the best full views of Hohensalzburg fortress awaits you from this vantage point, even when the conditions for photography are far from ideal. Also shown in this photo are the Salzburg dom ( cathedral ), the Franciscan church, the Collegiate church, the riverfront promenade, and many masterfully crafted Baroque and Rokoko buildings.
If you like your photos to be a little unusual, make sure you take one of the shopsigns in Getreidegasse, the main shopping drag in the old town. Take a shot up the street when and catch all the signs, even a Medieval MacDonalds.
There are few greater pleasures on the road than wandering along the streets of the Alstadt in Salzburg - Ah! We wish we were there now! This part of Salzburg is a place that will stay with you in your mind long after you leave. It is beautifully quaint and yet completely sophisticated! It is a true treasure.
I'm sure you might agree with me that you should really only visit Salzburg in winter, when it looks as lovely as this :-)
Temperatures are bearable in January, cold but not "oh-my-god-it's-bloody-freezing" kind of cold :-)
The Salzach quays is a lovely walking path and the scenery is stunning.