Our next stop was ResidenzPlatz where a beautiful fountain is sprouting water.
Designed by an Italian sculptor, I loved the way he had 4 snorting horses coming out the fountain centre, each with water streaming from their mouths. Giants carried the lower basin, and three dolphins balanced the scalloped upper basin, where a Triton stood holding a conch shell which also had water spouting from it.
It is considered the most beautiful in Salzburg, a reputation I would agree with.
This is considered to be the most beautiful fountain in all of Salzburg and I must agree that of all the beautiful fountains I have seen in Salzburg, this is indeed the one that impressed me most. It features horses, giants, dolphins and a little boy with a conch shell on the very top spouting water skywards.
The fountain is Baroque in design and is highly regarded all over the continent. It was designed and sculpted by an Itialian sculptor, Tommaso di Garone.
On the south side of the Cathedral is Kapitelplatz and behind it is the Neptune’s Fountain (Neptunbrunnen). It was built in 1732 by the sculptor Anton Pfaffinger and was one of the horse ponds of the Cathedral Quarter.
Amongst the strangest fountains in Salzburg are two built for the horses to be washed. At the north end of the old town near the end of Getreidegasse on the vonKarajanplatz is the famed Pferdeschwemme or horse pond (image 1) dating to 1695 by the Baroque master von Ehrlach and reserved for the archbishop's horses. The royal stables were next door. The central Baroque monument (image 2) documents the mythical taming of Pegasus by Bellerophon (The Horse Tamer). Flanking are frescoes(image 3) of rearing horses (perhaps nubile fillies) dating to 1732. At that time the balustrade and the rearing horses nearest the street were also added. Note to the left a vehicular tunnel named Sigmund's Gate, stated to be the oldest tunnel in Austria, carved out in 1764. In the immediately adjacent area is the 5 star Goldener Hirsch Hotel and several of Salzburg's poshest and most expensive restaurants.
A second horse fountain occupies the south extent of Kapitalplatz, otherwise bounded by the Salzburg Dom and St. Peter's Church. The entrance to the fortress funicular is to the right of this fountain as one faces it. Little is written about Kapitalplatz. In one corner, another incongruous statue is a large golden globe with a man standing on top (image 4) of it, no provenance available anywhere. The large horse pond (image 5) features the usual statuary and has ramps for the horses to enter for their washing. There is no real history available on this fountain either.
Exploring the narrow winding medieval alleys on the "wrong" side of Mozartplatz will lead to the quaint small Pfeiffergassaplatz with the famous bronze sculpture of Papagena, a figure from Mozart's "Magic Flute", variously titled as the bird catcher or the dream catcher.
This less travelled area is of interest for a number of interesting pubs, designer stores, and the church of St. Cajetan, the patron saint of the unemployed ( and therefore of particular signficance in the current economic turmoil ). For those with the time, this church apparently has a breathtaking altar. The biggest regret is not having spent more time in this area.
Medieval Salzburg is centered around 5 large squares, four surrounding the cathedral. The Domplatz at the front features a 1771 fountain by Johann Baptist Hegenauer, the Glorification of the Immaculata. Mary of course dominates the Baroque fountain, but the four figures at the base are far more interesting, particularly the devil with horns. The others represent wisdom, faith, and the church.
The Virgin faces away from the church to accomodate a clever visual illusion. Note in image 2, just to the right of Mary's shoulder, two angels on the upper level of the cathedral facade with a gold object, a crown, between them. It is stated that if one stands in just the right position under an archway leading to the market square, the angels appear to be placing the crown on Mary's head.
On the south side of the Dom on the Kapitelplatz you wil find Neptune's Fountain. This was one of the horse ponds of the Cathedral Chapter. The group of figures is a work from sculpton G R Donner and depicts Neptune n a horse of the sea accompanied by two water-sprouting Tritons
Schloss Hellbrunn's trick fountains are a great way to learn about the history of Salzburg and cool off on a hot day! Your tour guide takes you through the gardens and talks about the history of the palace...and then very slyly turns on the fountains. Depending on which trick you're at, water shoots out from the floor, behind statues, over doorways, from the ceiling, from the gardens, behind windows...it's great fun!
The fountains were built by the bishop Markus Sittikus in the 17th century as somewhat of a cruel joke to visitors to his court. There were 2 rules for visitors: they could not speak out of turn and they always had to smile...even while being drenched.
A choice of magnificent fountains and ponds may be found on various spots across the town, among them the famous Pferdeschwemme, that took us a long time to discover.
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