Salzburg, the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, is dominated by churches, castles and palaces. Its picturesque old town is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
Salzburg is dominated by the picturesque fortress of Hohensalzburg, on the southeastern summit of the Mönchsberg. Accessible by a 20-minute walk from the Old Town center or via a funicular railway, the original castle was built in 1077.
The Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom) is famous for its long and dramatic history. Mozart was baptised here and later became the cathedral’s organist.
One of the cathedral’s most prominent features is its dome. As you enter, look for the two rows of frescoes painted by Donato Mascagni of Florence that portray scenes from the Old Testament. Mascagni was also responsible for some of the paintings that adorn the main nave. Art lovers and historians will appreciate the sculptures that flank the main gate. They depict the two patron saints, Rupert and Vigil, and the apostles St. Peter and St. Paul.
The Franciscan Church (Franziskanerkirche), the town’s parish church until 1635. Notable features of the exterior are the high roof of the choir and the tower on the south side from 1498, while inside, the dark 13th-century Romanesque nave contrasts with the high, bright 15th-century Gothic choir. In front of a ring of Baroque chapels dating from 1606 stands the high altar, added in 1709 and notable for its late 15th-century carved Madonna. In the central chapel behind the altar is a winged marble altar from 1561 from the old cathedral. Opposite the church is the still-operating Franciscan Friary.