Austria’s Salzburg. Baroque architecture, Mozart, concerts and riverside walks.

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The birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, the Austrian city hosts the annual world-class Salzburg Festival, a series of opera, concerts and theatre performances each summer. It is also where the movie ‘The Sound of Music’ was shot.

Located in central Austria at the northern edge of the Alps, in a very pretty part of the country where the mountains meet the synonymous vibrant green rolling hills. There are lakes within easy reach in the Salzkammergut and the Salzburger Seenland and in Autumn and Winter a sprinkling of powder-white snow adds to the serenity of the setting.

The city itself, built up along the River Salzach, has an exceptionally well-preserved Medieval and Baroque old town that is testimony to the wealth of the former city-state. The heyday of the principality was in the 17th century when Salzburg was one of the richest areas in Europe.

The commanding Hohensalzburg Fortress sits atop the Festungsberg. Erected by order of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg, it has a length of 250m and a width of 150m and is said to be one of the largest medieval castles in Europe.

The magnificently preserved Schloss Leopoldskron in the countryside and overlooking a lake is the 18th century former family estate of the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg . Beautifully romantic with a touch of modern flair, the library built by Max Reinhardt is floor to ceiling beautiful books with leather couches and warm woven tapestry carpets.

Salzburg is storybook Austria and hand-monogrammed mohair socks under Bavarian lederhosen seem the acceptable norm here. The Makartsteg Footbridge over the  Salzach River is covered with love locks and the apple strudel at Cafe Tomaselli, the oldest coffee house in Salzburg, is legendary.

Created in 1987 by Austrian entrepreneur Dietrich Mateschitz, who was inspired by the Thai energy drink Krating Daeng, Red Bull has its headquarters in Salzburg, where it is much more than just an energy drink, but rather holds a fair amount of notoriety.

My visit to Salzburg

My time in Salzburg came at the end of a two-week European road trip that built up with one destination more inviting and beautiful than the next, the last nights having us at the magnificent and historically significant Schloss Leopoldskron outside Salzburg. I enjoyed a walking tour in the city to view the birthplace of Mozart and catch a glimpse of the impressive Hohensalzburg Castle that sits atop the Festungsberg. There was a coffee shop that served the most delicious apple strudel too.

Everywhere there were familiar scenes from The Sound of Music movie, and if the archway in Salzburg’s Mirabell Gardens looks familiar, it’s probably from that scene where the Von Trapp children run through it singing ‘I am 17 going on 18 …’ I loved our hotel, set in the country and overlooking a lake. An 18th-century former family estate of the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg and a member of the Historic Hotels of Europe it is beautifully romantic, with a modern flair in the cafe and lounges.

At Schloss Leopoldskron the charming manager Daniel Szelényin, wearing his hand-monogrammed mohair socks under his short Bavarian lederhosen, told us how our visit helps to fund the hotel’s continuous care and periodic restoration and how the focus has been on training the staff and implementing effective conservation methods.

He brought to life the magnificence and history of the grounds and buildings before we paused for a last glass of Champagne overlooking the lake, heading through to our last dinner together in the dining room. After that I couldn’t wait to retreat to my beautiful warm room, finding it one of the best styled of all those I’ve stayed in.

The most beautiful room imaginable. The library in the historic palace at Schloss Leopoldskroon was built by Max Reinhardt and is floor to ceiling books with leather couches and tapestry carpets adding to the charm.

Love, love, love, that is the soul of genius. ― Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart

The Makartsteg Footbridge over the Salzach River with love locks.

The historically significant Schloss Leopoldskron. 

* This post forms part of my 100x Magical Places series which offers an introduction to my favourite destinations.



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