Today, we will avoid crowds of tourists who besiege the historical center of Salzburg. Instead, we will go together for a walk to discover less known corners of this romantic city and find several places with a magnificent view of the panorama of Mozart’s birthplace. Our walk will take about 3 – 4 hours depending on our pace, the time needed for feasting our eyes or having some small refreshment.
We start on the eastern bank of the Salzach river, on the street Linzer Gasse with charming bourgeois houses. On the house No. 14, there is an impressive gate Franziskuspforte with the archbishop’s coat of arms and an image of Saint Francis.
Now we climb up Kapuzinerberg along well-preserved city walls dating back to the Thirty Years’ War.
There are eleven chapels of the Way of the Cross and two other chapels from the first half of the 18th century. We meet some other walkers. No wonder. This part is considered the green lungs of the city.
We are approaching Golgotha with three crosses. If you want to refresh your belief, you can continue to the Capuchin monastery attending such events like Our-Father-Weeks.
A short stop at the monument of Stefan Zweig, one of the most popular writers in the 1920s and 1930s. His eyes are fixed on his former home and the left hand supports his chin. Zweig left Austria and moved to Brazil where he and his wife, despairing at the future of Europe and its culture, were found dead of a barbiturate overdose in their house.
And here we have the first possibility to enjoy the view, from the height of 640 m.
Now we slowly start to descent along family houses and romantic gardens. People who did not have enough space for a garden at their houses built one on the roof…
Take the Imbergstiege stairway and continue along the walls of the old houses to the street Steingasse. Do not miss the house No. 31. Joseph Mohr was born here in 1792. You do not know him? Well, when you’ll sing “Silent Night, Holly Night” at next Christmas, just have a look who wrote the original lyrics 200 years ago!
The houses on this street are literally stuck to the rock of Kapuzinerberg. The abandoned small shop Tändlerei creates a feeling of nostalgia. It is not clear what they used to sell here. On the list from 1942, there are shops of Salzburg of any art but no Tändlerei. The shabby facade attracts street artists.
Now we are approaching the beautiful Art Nouveau bridge Mozartsteg from 1903, for pedestrians and cyclists. It is said that Georg Krimml, the owner of a café, donated money to build this bridge because he was jealous that the coffee houses on the other side of the river were much more visited.
As soon as the first warm sun rays start to reach the earth, local people and tourists love to sit on the green bank of the river. This is the “beach” of Salzburg. Look carefully if somebody is not washing a bull in the river! Did you know that people of Salzburg are called Stierwascher (Bullwashers)? According to a legend, it happened in the 16th century when the city was under a siege. The situation was desperate, there was no food, except for only one bull. People painted its brown coat with white stains and lead it up to the city walls. Next day they painted the bull in white and again showed it to their enemy thoroughly. The show repeated for several days. The enemy thought that it would be better to leave the city because its inhabitants still have a lot of food if they slaughter a new bull every day. After that people of Salzburg properly washed the bull in the river and the nickname was created!
Walking on the bridge, take a look at another one of the five city hills – at Mönchsberg (507 m high). This is where we are actually going today… But it just comes to my mind if the story about the coloured bull did not inspire a certain Austrian who, just 20 km from here, produces a product with this animal on the logo: the Red Bull…
Now we will continue through the most beautiful parts of the city. On Mozart’s square, there is a statue of the genius. Even both Mozart’s sons attended the unveiling ceremony in 1842. Today, birds land on the head of the famous son of Salzburg from time to time and street musicians present their skills at the marbled pedestal of the statue.
Stop at the magnificent fountain from the 17th century on Residenzplatz, a large square in the historic center. Look at the horses, giants, dolphins and Triton who shoots water into the air. This is the site where Nazis were burning books on April 30, 1938 – including the works of Stefan Zweig…
Do you know where you can order the genuine Viennese coffee? Of course, in Salzburg (if you ask people from Salzburg), namely at Tomaselli coffee house (on the left). Even Mozart used to enjoy his cup of coffee here because it is the oldest coffee house in the city. It was opened in 1703 and moved to this building on Alter Markt square in 1760.
Fans of music know Salzburg not only because Mozart was born here, but also because of the prominent festival of music and drama, held every summer since 1920 – Salzburger Festspiele – in this former riding academy carved into the rock face of Mönchsberg. The Great Festival Hall is 100 m wide – to enable Herbert von Karajan to present his opulent performances here. The very first one was Richard Strauss’ Der Rosenkavalier in 1962.
You can use a lift to get to Mönchsberg. Instead of that, we continue to the Toscanini-Hof and ascent the impressive stairway. Arturo Toscanini was a famous conductor conducting concerts and operas during the Salzburg Festival until 1937. The official name of the stairs wears the name of its architect Clemens Holzmeister.
Now we continue along the Herbert-Klein-Path. We have the old city on the left side and villas, former manor houses and meadows on the right.
Don’t miss a look at an open-air-organ under a small roof, in a height of 10 m on the eastern facade of the festival building. It is from 1938 but unfortunately doesn’t work anymore. We can also see the Capuchin monastery on the distant hill where we started our walk.
Just some steps further – a gorgeous view of the hill Festungsberg crowned by the massive fortress of Hohensalzburg.
I wonder, who is living in the houses here?
The name Mönchsberg is related to monks from the nearby St Peter’s Benedictine Abbey. We can see the fortification walls here as well.
This is something you probably would not expect here: a Buddhist stupa! You can join the others and walk clockwise around it or sit down and meditate. Who knows, you might find a new path of your life here, at the stupa of enlightenment which was erected by a Buddhist community in Salzburg.
And again a magnificent view of the whole Kapuzinerberg!
Did you remember the view from the bridge? Now we approach the building we saw from there. It is the Museum of Modern Art. You can also taste the famous local sweet speciality – Salzburger Nockerl – at the restaurant M32. Just don’t forget that one portion for four people is more than enough!
However, the best thing here is the perfect panoramic view of Salzburg – over all those towers, church spires and domes and other roofs and also the famous landmark of the city – the fortress of Hohensalzburg. Amazing!
Not even now we use the lift, but walk downwards passing this stone forest nymph. Who knows what secrets she is watching over?
We continue to a former monastery, founded for Augustinian hermits in 1605. Once, there was also a mill here, so the church is called Müllner Parish Church.
And it was here where monks started to brew beer in 1621. Today, beer is still brewed according to the traditional recipe and tapped from wooden barrels directly into stone jugs.
Augustiner Bräustübl is the largest brewery in Austria with the most traditional beer garden in Salzburg.
There are several large halls and an outdoor garden under old chestnut trees. It is also a tradition that you are allowed to bring your own food. Never mind if you didn’t take anything, there are also arcades which remind of market stalls. Here you can buy some simple food and snacks.
If you are really hungry (no wonder, after such a long walk), go to the near Augustiner Braugasthof Krimpelstätter with an excellent Austrian cuisine. I liked this soup, just the dumpling – big like a fist – was too big for me 🙂 .
Thank you that you stayed so long with me: Bon appetit and cheers!
Salzburg has a unique location. Its architectural jewels are surrounded by green hills which have provided both protection against attackers and an almost unlimited source for building material. Today, the hills are popular places to cool down and renew life energy. Sometimes you even think you are not in a city…
There are several possibilities for walks, our route included: Linzer Gasse – Stefan-Zweig-Weg – Kapuzinerberg – Steingasse – Mozartsteg – Mozartplatz – Residenzplatz – Alter Markt Platz – Max Reinhardt-Platz – Toscanini-Hof – Dr. Herbert-Klein-Weg – Karolinenhöhe – Museum der Moderne Mönchsberg – Müllner Kirche – Augustiner Bräustübl
You can find all information about Salzburg on the website: Salzburg.info
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Text: © Copyright Ingrid, Travelpotpourri
Fotos: © Copyright Ingrid, Travelpotpourri