Getting Oriented

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Getting Oriented

Salzburg lies on both banks of the Salzach River, at the point where it's pinched between two mountains, the Kapuzinerberg on one side, the Mönchsberg on the other. In broader view are many beautiful Alpine peaks.

Salzburg's rulers pursued construction on a grand scale ever since Wolf-Dietrich von Raitenau began his regime in the latter part of the 16th century. At the age of only 28, Wolf-Dietrich envisioned "his" Salzburg to be the Rome of the Alps, with a town cathedral grander than St. Peter's, a Residenz as splendid as a Roman palace, and his private Mirabell Gardens flaunting the most fashionable styles of Italianate horticulture. After he was deposed by the rulers of Bavaria, other cultured prince-archbishops took over. Johann Ernst von Thun and Franz Anton von Harrach commanded the masters of Viennese baroque, Fischer von Erlach and Lukas von Hildebrandt, to complete Wolf-Dietrich's vision. The result is that Salzburg's many fine buildings blend into a harmonious whole. Perhaps nowhere else in the world is there so cohesive a flowering of baroque architecture.

But times change and the Salzburgians with them. It is not surprising to learn that Salzburg is now home to one of the most striking museums: the Museum der Moderne. The avant-garde showcase stands on the very spot where Julie Andrews "do-re-mi"-d with the von Trapp brood; where once the fusty Café Winkler stood atop the Mönchsberg mount, a modern, cubical museum of cutting-edge art now commands one of the grandest views of the city.

The Altstadt: In Mozart's Footsteps. Salzburg is the only city in the world with 1,300 years of continuous music history, which you can experience in concert halls, churches, restaurants and bars, and even outdoors in city squares.

Around Fortress Hohensalzburg. The showstopping medieval fortress is an attraction on its own, but it also offers sweeping Salzburg views.

North of the River Salzach. Here you can simultaneously enjoy outstanding old and new architecture and beautiful nature, from gardens to the hills.

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