After a great nights sleep at the Hotel Sacher, we crossed the Salzach river into Salzburgs Altstadt (Old Town.) Initially, we turned into the Gstatteng to a have a quick look at the houses which are hollowed into the sheer cliff face of the Monchsberg. Whats amazing to a non-architect-type about these pastel coloured houses is that the cliff doesn't collapse through the roofs of the house.
Heading back towards the central Altstadt, we stopped at the Greek Catholic Church of St Mark (at the corner of Franz-Josef Kai and Gstatteng.) The interior is bright and airy in the Baroque-style. The Church of St Mark was built between 1699-1705 under the reign the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg Johann Ernst Graf Thun. The previous church on this site was built between 1616-1618 but was, however, destroyed by a mountain-slide in 1669. The Ursuline Nuns, to whome the Church was given over, comepleted their adjacent convent in 1720. However, the Nuns moved out of the convent in 1957. In 1973, the church was closed to the public as it was close to collapse. After an estimated USD2,000,000 restoration the church was stabilised. In 1999, the Church was put at the disposition of the Ukranian Greek Catholic Church.
Further into town, we visited the Church of St Blasius (Getreidegasse, 5013 Salzburg) which was originally constructed for the peoples hospital in 1327 and consecrated in 1350. The rather dark Gothic / Romanesque Church also boasts some Baroque elements. Of particular note are the tabernacle which dates from 1481, and an altarpiece by Paul Trodger dating from 1746 depicting the adoration of the Magi. The High Altar is after a design by Louis Grenler and dates from 1785 and the cruicifixion grouping is by Franz Hitzl. The stained glass dates from 1947/8 is from Albert Birkle.
The courtyard of the Speilzeugmuseum was playing home to a flea market. Which meant I could spend all of five minutes rummaging around some interesting old cameras and debating whether I wanted one or not. But then decided I'd got enough of them already. Of course I still wanted one - but left empty handed regardless. After the market we stopped for coffee directly opposite the horse trough (pictured) which is one of the more elaborate horse troughs I've seen in recent years. And who says we've had progress? There's no petrol stations like this now!
Heading towards the Collegial Church - a large Baroque structure by Fischer von Erlach - we encountered the market with an enjoyable assortment of local produce on offer. There were cheeses and, being German-speaking Europe, a selection of sausages. After perusing some of the stalls, we stopped at the stall of Schroffenbrennerei Grödig - a local producer of such delights as kirsch and various forms of fruit based liquor, a selection of which were open for tasting. The English-speaking stall-man was friendly as he chatted us through what he had to offer. Schroffenbrennerei Grödig are a local business and employ a septagenerian master who has, apparently, been with the firm for some decades. I've never met this master but, judging from the produce on offer, his palate is excellent. We knew were going to have some Cheese Fondue over the Christmas period - so snapped up a bottle of the very fine kirsch on offer and a bottle of Raspberry Liqour for good measure. The Raspberry liquor retains strong natural flavours of the fruit and (I don't know if I can use a wine word for this) has excellent finish. The kirsch was simply the best kirsch I've ever drunk - simply marvellous. (Additional - as suspected the kirsch really was a great accompaniment to our Swiss Cheese Fondue.)
After pottering around the quite convivial market, we entered Collegiate Church (Kollegienkirche) which dominates the market square. Designed by by Fischer von Erlach, the pre-eminent Austrian Baroque architect, the Collegiate Church (Kollegienkirche) boasts a distinctive convex façade is remicisent of a giant oriel window. The interior is bright and spacious and incorporates a high altar by Anton Pfaffinger (1740) with classical columns to represent the Seven Pillars of Wisdom. Johann Michael Rottmayr produced contributed the altar paintings. Interestingly, the Stations of the Cross (the Stations depict the Passion of Christ) adorn the spandrels through the aisles either side of the nave and one continues from where the other leaves off - quite a cohesive design.
After lunch at a local place, we headed to the Domkirche (Salzburg Cathedral) - which is one of the most fantastic pieces of Baroque style pieces of architecture in Central and Northern Europe . Commissioned by Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich, a patron of the Italian style of Baroque he became familiar with during a stay in Italy and Rome. Vincenzo Scamozzi was given the task of planning and designing the building. However, it wasn't until Markus Sitticus von Hohnems, Wolf Dietrichs successor, that construction on the cathedral actually commenced - only this time to a design by another Italian Santino Solari who substantially altered Scamozzis original plan. For a cathedral, construction was remarkably quickly lasting only from 1614 to completion in 1628.
Hohensalzburg, a furnicular ride up from the Domkirche, afford excellent views over Salzburg City and of the Domkirche. On their own, the vistas over the Altstadt of Salzburg and the clear visibility that the height gives you of the large structures such as the Cathedral are well worth the effort.
The Schloss (Castle), one of the largest and most well preserved medieval castle complexes in Europe covering 33,000 square meters and over 50 buildings. The State Apartments contained in the Castle are elaborate and include some of the original decorations and stoves. Recent discoveries such as a Romanesque arch which seems to have been bricked up and plastered over sometime later. The Castle is also is home to a rather dry collection of armourments and uniforms.
After an enjoyable dose of Gulasch at the Resch & Lieblich (Toscanihof 1) we strolled back to the luxurious Hotel Sacher where we were treated to a wonderful view of Salzburg by night (pictured.) Seriously, the Hotel Sacher is a wonderful place to put your feet up on the comfy beds / pillows etc. Marvellous.
Salzburg - St Sebastiankirche - Brief notes on and about the St Sebastian Kirche in Salzburg
Austria - recommended places to stay - Recommended hotels in Vienna, Salzburg and Bregenz
Salzburg / Bregenz - accomodation summary - Comments on our hotels during a trip to Bregenz and Salzburg
Glonn - grotto near the Bavarian village of Glonn - Grotto on the hill near Glonn in the Bavarian countryside
Munich - Frauenkirche - The Frauenkirche in Munich seen from the tower of the Rathaus
Munich - Staatskanzlei - Detail of the exterior of the Staatskanzlei in Munich
Dachau - a visit to the concentration camp - Travelogue from a weekend trip to Dachau, Bavaria
Munich - cuppola of the Theatine Church - Interior of the Baroque cuppola of the Theatine Church in central Munich
Munich - Theatine Church interior - Detail of the Baroque interior of the Theatine Church in central Munich
Dachau - Schloss Dachau - Historical notes on Schloss Dachau near Münich, Germany
Mark Sukhija is a travel and wine blogger, photographer, tourism researcher, hat-touting, white-shirt-wearing, New Zealand fantatic and eclipse chaser. Aside from at least annual visits to New Zealand, Mark has seen eclipses in South Australia (2002), Libya (2006), China (2009) and Queensland (2012). After twelve years in Switzerland, Mark moved back to London in 2012. You can follow Mark on Twitter or Facebook