The Hohensalzburg Fortress, the chief landmark of Mozart's city, is the largest completely preserved fortress in central Europe. It was built in 1077, enlarged in 1500 and completed in 1681. It has the oldest organ in the world still in working condition. The fortress dominates the skyline and is well worth a few hours attention, if you are young and fit as I was back in 1970 you can make your way up on foot. The other more popular method is to use the Castle Lift.
October to April
Sunday to Saturday: 9:30 am to 5:00 pm
May to September
Sunday to Saturday: 9:00 am to 7:00 pm
Children (6-14): €4.40
Or with Lift included
Children (6-14): €6.30
Walking through a tunnel at Hohensalzburg fortress, was where I came across a lot of cannons lined up at open windows.
A peep through the window gave wonderful views of Salzburg, making it easy to imagine how well these cannon's could hit a target in the city.
As it happened, the Fortress has never come under fire, in fact, it was only during the Peasants War that a number of towns folk managed to get control of a cannon in the city itself, and fire upon the castle. The damage of this blast can still be seen today.
Because of the castle's lack of battle experience, it is one of the best preserved fortresses in Europe.
The Courtyard was where I found the Church which was dedicated to St. George, the protector of horses. A look at the outside, and I found some nice red marble reliefs and a sun dial painted on the wall.
It is in this courtyard, where modern day medieval fairs, etc are held.
We arrived at Hohensalzburg Fortress by Funicular.
The Fortress was built in the 11th century, some of it is over 900 years old. It is the largest unconquered fortress in Europe.
The construction of the Hohensalzburg Fortress began in 1077, the towers and ring walls were constructed in 1462.
Before heading into the Fortress itself, take time to have a look over the walls, because the view over Salzburg is fantastic!
OPEN DAILY... 9:30am-5pm ...January-April and October
Last entry 30 min. before closing.
ADMISSION....€10.50 for adults (€7.40 without funicular)
€6 for children aged 6-14 years (€4.20 without funicular), under 6s go free.
FREE WITH SALZBURG CARD
Hohensalzburg Castle is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe. It stands today as one of the best preserved castles in Europe.
Construction of the fortress began in 1077, the ring walls and towers were built in 1462.
In the 19th century, it was used as barracks, storage depot and dungeon before being abandoned as a military outpost in 1861.
You can’t miss it. The castle. Perched on top of a hill on the western side of the river, above the old town.
You can walk up, or take the funicular. The latter takes 11 seconds, or thereby. I have no knowledge of the walking route. To be fair to myself, I’d walk usually. Maybe even run. But I was just recovering from tendonitis in an Achilles tendon, so the fat boy route was doctor’s orders. She who must be obeyed... But seriously, rupturing an Achilles tendon would not have made for a fun visit.
It’s worth the entrance money for the views alone, but the rest is great too. We were there in mid april, just after Easter, so it was pretty quiet. I suspect it will be swarming with touroids in the main seasons, so maybe best to go first thing in the morning.
I’ll let the photos do the talking.
Of course it is a possibility to go up the Fortress by funicular, but if you have enough time and are not totally unfit, I would strongly advise you to walk up. You can soak in some views of the city and get to see some very interesting gates and constructions. It is quite a strenuous walk, but it's worth it, and you really get to feel how hard it was for enemies to try to capture the Fortress - and why they always failed!
The Fortress is situated 119m above the town, it was built in 1077 and further enlarged in the 12th century. More enlargements were made in the 15h century by Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach who fought a lot of wars. It was here that the archbishops took refuge from the Hungarian War and Peasants' War. The last addition was made in the 17th century.
The walk up starts near St. Peter's Cemetary at Festungsgasse.
Here are the opening hours:
January until April and October until December: 9.30am til 5.00pm, May until September: 9.00am til 7.00pm, December weekends and Easter: 9.30am til 6pm
Concerning disabilities, the website says: "For handicapped persons, the visit is difficult and only possible by prior arrangement (no facilities for handicapped persons)."
You can obtain your ticket at the entrance of the Fortress. The fee is 7,40€ for adults, 4,20€ for children and 16,90€ for a family.
The Fortress was like a little self-sufficient town in itself, so it had its own living rooms, pantries, stables, kitchens, schools, church and so on. There were also convicts working here, for example at the winches.
A very prominent place is the courtyard with its big linden tree. Here you also find a pretty cistern. There are tables and benches and it is a nice place to relax from exploring, having a little picnic.
You can walk around the many constructions, fortifications and walls and explore everything. The area is quite large, so bring some time! There is also a guided tour, but we found it more convenient to stroll around on our own.
There are public toilets and also a souvenir shop that is quite big, you can find both at the courtyard. If you follow the main walkway from here, you also find several restaurants and small artshops.
I really loved to discover all the little details of the Fortress, like wells and embrasures, and how the white walls looked against the blue sky as the sun was shining very bright. A beautiful excursion!
Even if the Fortress was not such a great sight on its own, I would advise you to come here, if only for the view on Salzburg! Absolutely spectacular!!! It is so beautiful, especially in sunshine, when you see the sun glittering on the towers and cupolas of the churches.
There are three main lookouts: One at the artillery bastions, from where you have a view of the eastern town and the Salzach, one at the foot of the belfry, from where you get the "postcard view" on the old town, the cathedral and so on, and one at the stables from where you have a beautiful view on some of the surrounding mountains. Don't forget to take your camera - and enjoy! :-)
The Georgskirche (Georg's Church) is the Fortress's religious building. It was built in 1501/02. The monument shows the Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach blessing the country, it is made of marble. The relief on the right above the entrance shows St. Christophorus. There are also thirteen marble reliefs inside the church which depict Jesus and the Apostles. The altar is from the 17th century and shows St. George, the dragon killer.
You can access the church from the courtyard, opposite of the bathrooms.
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