Residenz and Residenzplatz, Salzburg
In the heart of the Old Town, the Residence Square and its resplendent fountain is a great open area to gain some perspective on the city and to take a break from wandering the seemingly endless narrow cobblestone streets that crisscross the city. Italian sculptor, Tommaso di Garone, is responsible for the Baroque masterpiece that is the fountain while the square itself is the work of Italian architect, Vincenzo Scamozzi.
The best way to reach Salzburg is here
"Hey look, it's the Prince-Archbishops Palace! Gee, these guys sure lived in opulent luxury, didn't they?" (with their fancy tapestries, painted ceilings, elaborate fireplaces, sculpted doorways and all the rest ...)
As it turns out, however, apart from this humble abode they also had a magnificent country seat that goes by the name of Castle Hellbrun. So that is where we went after we'd left the town of Salzburg behind us.
The White room, and as you guessed, it is white. Even though all white, I found it quite a striking room. Once again, beautiful stucco work and chandeliers and a painting from the classical period of Archduke Ferdinand of Tuscany, elector prince of Salzburg.
The Throne Room is larger, being able to fit up to 100 people. It is mainly used for banquets in conjunction with the White Room for cocktails.
The Audience Room is mainly used for banquets or receptions. The Audience Room is quite impressive as is known as the most magnificent and ornate of all the halls of the Residenz.
Another lovely ceiling fresco, Brussels tapestries and a standing astronomic pendulum clock, more antique furniture and a beautiful floor, no wonder it takes the prize!
The Ante Camera is the next room we came across. It is not overly large, but is considered to be one of the most important and magnificent rooms of the Residenz. It's next to the Conference room, so is often used for cocktails prior to Dinner in the adjoining Audience Room.
There are several valuable tapestries, Venetian mirrors, ceiling paintings and a baroque clock from 1728. In the corner, is a beautiful stove.
The Conference Room, is a room that is often being used. The Princes used the room for entertainment purposes for centuries. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart playing for the Prince regularly in the State Rooms of the Residenz, his violin concerto, K. 219 in A minor, was first performed in the Conference Room on December 20, 1775.
The Conference room is still being used for Cocktails, Receptions and Concerts are also held here. The adjoining rooms (the Ante Camera and the Audience Room) are often used after the concert event. This room has more lovely frescoes, surrounded by some wonderful stucco work.
The Domgang OR Cathedral passage, is a smallish area which can hold 40 -60 people, depending whether a Banquet, Concert or Reception is being held in here.
It is used for special events too, and has lovely furniture and views from the windows. For me, it was the ceilings that stole the show! They were very ornate, and although, all white, I thought they were wonderful!
I am now inside the residenz and have been told PHOTO'S ARE ALLOWED!
I am very happy about that, also the free audio guide for the 8 staterooms of the 2nd floor. This takes 45mins, but I took a lot longer than that to have a look around here.
The first room I entered was Carabinieri Hall, named after the bodyguard of the archbishop. . Wow! It was huge, obviously about to be used for something as the 'gold" chairs were all set out on the floor. It is the largest hall in the Residenz and is on the 1st floor.
At one end of the hall is a two-arm marble staircase leading to the higher marble portal leading into the Imperial Hall. I looked up, and there was a marvellous large ceiling fresco, painted in 1689. This, and the other frescoes in this room, represent four elements. Looking carefully, you can see the sea god Neptune commanding the wind [water & air], then another fresco depicts a Boar hunt taking place (earth), another is of a Vulcano (fire).
The stucco work in this Hall is beautiful, easily seen by natural light coming through the large arched windows. One great Hall!
I nearly missed going inside here! I would have been so disappointed if I had!
First, let me tell you a little history.....
For me, this building is very old, as it dates back to 1232. Over the years, changes and additions have been made, so the finished product that I saw, is just how it was in 1586.
This Bishops Residenz, built in Baroque style, contains 180 rooms and has 3 courtyards. It is where the Archbishops of Salzburg held court and controlled the destiny of their country up to the 19th century. During the 19th Century, is was used as home for some of the Austrian Royals.
The south wing, contains a large staircase and the Carabinieri-Saal, a connecting section linking to the Franziskanerkirche and the large courtyard.
Inside, I saw the State Rooms of the Residenz which were formerly used by Salzburg's prince archbishops as reception rooms and living quarters, magnificent rooms, worthy of these important people!
Usually, the rooms are open to the Public, that is, unless some State business is being held in one of the rooms. We used our Salzburg card for free admission.
OPENING HOURS...Daily 10 am-5pm ...last entrance 30 min. before closing
Closed: March 19 - April 14 and August 3-26. Subject to change without notice!
No tours during special events.
Tour with audio guide in 7 languages.
Handicapped: elevator, restroom wheelchair-friendly.
ADMISSION IN 2012....
Combined ticket: State Rooms and Gallery
Adults € 9.00 ...Children (6-14 years) € 3.00 ....Families € 20.50
FREE WITH SALZBURG CARD
Come with me for a journey through the Residenz in my next few tips, then you can make up your own mind if you wish to visit or not!
Now we move onto ResidenzPlatz which adjoins Mozartplatz. Lots more pavement, and a beautiful fountain is surrounded by the New Residence with its carillon, the Cathedral, the Old Residence and a lot of shops.
I read 55 medieval buildings were torn down to make room for the square. A shame, or was it necessary seeing there are 5 squares in Salzburg?
Evidently, they hold music events, sports, live concerts and New Year's Eve parties here. There was nothing happening when I was there, but if you come in September, St. Rupert's Fair is held here, and so is the Christmas market during the Advent season.
What was here, were Horse & Carriages lined up to take tourist's for rides. I don't know the cost, just want to let you know, this is where you find them.
We went for broke and visited the main Residenz and the Gallery. That’s probably because both were included on our Salzburg Card deal (see Customs tip).
As usual with these religious palaces I’m most impressed by the opulence and grandeur which they cloaked themselves in, starkly contrasting with the teachings of the Bible. But then I was brought up Scottish Protestant.
The “masters” exhibition in the Gallery seemed strangely lacking in masterpieces. A Rubens. One other by a famous painter. The rest of the artists were unknown. Pleasant to visit nonetheless.
The New Residence Building(Neue Residenz) is situated opposite the Old residence Building in Marienplatz. The 35 bells, cast Melchior de Haze (1688/89) in Antwerp, were originally meant for bell tower in Breda, unfortunately destroy by fire. As you walk toward it notice the huge Glockenspiel Bell Tower sitting on top of New Residenz. If you are lucky enough to be there at 7am, 11am, or 6pm you will get to hear the towers 35, 17th century bells ring a tune set to match the current month. The depiction of an upside down flaming heart surrounding the solar system that sits on top of the tower is said by locals to "symbolize God's love for all of creation."
The Residenzplatz is located in the historic center ('Altstadt') of Salzburg, close to the Salzburg Cathedral (Dom), the 'Mozartplatz', and the Hohensalzburg Castle.
The square is bordered by the 'Alte Residenz' to the west, the 'Neue Residenz' to the east, the Salzburg Cathedral (Dom) to the south and historic private houses ('Bürgerhäuser') to the north.
Residenzbrunnen: In the middle of the square sits a grand baroque fountain, or 'Residenzbrunnen'. The fountain was executed by Tomasso di Garona between 1656 to 1661. It is made of marble, and it is considered the largest baroque fountain of Middle Europe.
This place is the present cultural center of the city.
It contains a rich collection of paintings and furniture of different styles.
You can marvel at wonderful fountains in the courtyard.
The square is always full of people and street performers.
Here is some contact data:
+43 0662 84 04 51 0
The Gallery on the third floor of the Old Residence houses an important collection of the 16th-19th-century European paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Titian and others.
daily from 10am-5pm (closed on Monday, except Mozart Week and festival season)
Free with the Salzburg Card!