HOHENSALZBURG FORTRESS

FRIDAY, 23 June – p.m.

After a morning of fun (and History) at Hellbrunn we visited Salzburg Alstadt (Old Town), particularly at the famous landmark, the HOHENSALZBURG Fortress. Towering high above the roofs of the medieval city stands the castle and modern fortress with 900 years of construction history. Impressive and unforgettable views of the prince archbishop city and the mountain landscape. It is central Europe’s largest, completely preserved fortress dating from the 11th century. The Funicular was built in 1892 and is the oldest in Austria.

RESIDENZPLAZ

HISTORIC CENTRE OF THE CITY OF SALZBURG

 

SCHLOSSKONZERTEMIRABELL, SALZBURG

FRIDAY, 23rd June – 20:00 uhr

Months ago we had booked seats for this Concert in the Marble Hall of MIRABELL Palace. It was our night for a Mozart experience and what an amazing concert it was. Knowing that we were in Area No. 1, I was hoping that I had chosen well. When at the desk converting my print-out to a ticket, the lady’s face lit up when she said “front row, centre seats”. There were just ten seats in the front row and we were seats five and six.

Ensemble1756 was founded in Salzburg in the year 2006. Stunningly, the ‘Mozart City’ was missing an ensemble that would put its primary focus on the original interpretation of Mozart’s works on historical instruments. The original instruments, the intensive work with stylistics and rhetoric of the 18 Century and a balanced combination of instruments, oriented towards the historic rules – that’s how the ensemble makes the music sound authentic. As an auditor once noted All you’re missing is the original Mozart-air”. The “Orchestra 1756″ designed regular concert Series in Salzburg and Vienna, especially the ongoing rehearsals and concerts in the Viennese St. Charles church led to an exceptional consonance and harmony”.

What a night!!!!! The performers were totally absorbed in the music but also showed feeling in their facial expressions and body movements. Martin Osiak on the Barockvioline was exceptional in the demonstration not just of his amazing skill but his absolute love for music and his instrument. After a standing ovation and an encore we made our way back to the hotel by 22:15 – it was only just dark.

Apologies for photography but it was not a time or place to be obvious with a camera – managed a few from my lap for the memory bank.

HELLBRUNN PALACE

FRIDAY, 23rd June

Who would have thought that we two visitors from Australia would come to Salzburg Austria in June to experience 35 degrees C. We left our Hotel at 08:30 this morning to visit first, HELLBRUNN Palace. This meant a bus ride and then short walk to arrive by 09:15. We joined a large contingent of school children and a number of adults for a Trick Fountains Tour at 09:30. Today the Trick Fountains are just as much fun as they were in the Renaissance – beautifully preserved and absolutely unique.  The HELLBRUNN Palace with its Trick Fountains was not actually the residence of Archbishop Markus Sittikus (1612-1619), it was built for his pleasure. He used it as his summer retreat. Markus Sittikus built countless surprises, hidden fountains and enchanting caves into the trick fountain area. It was great for us that the schoolchildren were there today as the sound effects (many screams) created a reality that only kids can produce. The Tour Guide gave information first in German and then in English and often gave the nod to adults to move to another place, although some remained in wrong places and got quite wet. The children, of course, loved every minute of it.

HELLBRUNN PALACE PARK – Art historians see the park as a “cabinet of wonders” in garden architecture. “Younger experts can explore the most beautiful playground in the city and the health conscious can wade through the water wonder garden”. In a corner of the Park sits the Gazebo from Sound of Music – Tourist buses make it a photo stop for TOURISTS on a Sound of Music Tour.

SALZKAMMERGUT LAKES AND MOUNTAINS

THURSDAY, 22nd June

HOP ON HOP OFF BUS – We made our way to the Hauptbahnhof and purchased tickets for this tour. This enabled us to travel free for the day on all other Salzburg transport.  This suited us well as the starting point for the Bus was at the MIRABELL Gardens. We were on the 09:40 bus and decided that  ST. GILGEN would be our first stop. When leaving the bus we knew that there would be another to take us on our way in 90 minutes. A stroll through the elegant village on the shore of Lake Wolfgangsee revealed beautifully decorated houses with lovely window boxes and well cared for beds of flowers in the public areas. St. GILGEN International School is one of the truly outstanding centres of learning in Europe.

It was in this village that on 25th December 1720, Mozart’s mother was born. Anna Maria Pertl was born in St. GILGEN and died on 3rd July, 1778. She married Leopold Mozart in Salzburg in 1747. The two were regarded as the handsomest couple in Salzburg.

 MONDSEE  – The history of Mondseeland stretches back 6,000 years. Ruins of settlements were found underwater near the banks of the Lakes.  The water in Lakes MONDSEE and Irrsee are the warmest in the region with temperatures up to 27 degrees C (80 degrees F)

The Basilica of St. Michael is Mondsee’s defining landmark and has a fascinating and eventful history. It was built in 12th century and is one of the largest Gothic churches in Austria. The beautiful baroque interior was created in the late 17th and early 18th centuries. The former Benedictine Abbey Church was the setting for the wedding scene in the Movie, Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Visitors still come from far and wide to admire the impressive basilica.

SALZBURG

WEDNESDAY, 21st June

Today was another train day with further use of our Eurail Pass. It is a pleasure travelling First Class with a seat reservation as we know exactly which carriage number to look out for as the train pulls into the station and also know just which seats are ours. It is always a bit of a challenge getting our cases on board as there can be a few steps to negotiate – sometimes a kind gentleman comes to our aid and we are very thankful. We enjoyed our stay at Hotel Zach in Innsbruck, a family owned hotel with a most helpful staff.

Our arrival in Salzburg was delayed by seventeen minutes due to work being done on the tracks, but we had checked into our hotel by midday and were soon on our way towards the the city centre.

A LITTLE ABOUT SALZBURG – literally “Salt Fortress”.   It is the fourth largest city in Austria. Salzburg’s Old Town (Alstadt) is internationally renowned for its baroque architecture and is one of the best preserved city centres north of the Alps. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage site in 1997. The city has three universities and a large population of students. Salzburg was the birthplace of 18th century composer, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is on the border of Germany with views of the Eastern Alps. The city is divided by the Salzach River with medieval and baroque buildings of the pedestrian Old City on its left bank facing the 19th century Neustadt (New City) on its right.

More than 300,000 “Sound of Music Fans” come to this city every year so as to walk in the footsteps of the Von Trapp family. The Sound of Music was filmed in 1964. In the film Maria and the children dance around the Pegasus Fountain in front of the Palace singing Do Re Mi.

In 2007 I had the privilege of holidaying in Europe with my eldest granddaughter who was then SIXTEEN GOING ON SEVENTEEN and I have now relived that happy occasion.

A MORNING ON NORDKETTE – JEWEL OF THE ALPS

MONDAY, 19th June

This morning we purchased the 48 hour Innsbruck Card. After using it today I have nothing but praise for the ease of use and value for money. It covers (free entry) to most attractions plus free transport throughout the city. Our first excursion was to the NORDKETTE, a range of montains just north of the city of Innsbruck in Tyrol, Austria.

Urban meets outdoors in Tyrol’s relaxed capital where Zaha Hadid’s space-age NORDKETTE Hungerburg funicular speeds from the centre to high alpine pastures in  just 8 minutes summer and winter. The awesome panoramic views of Innsbruck and the Inntal Valley from Seegrube at an elevation of 1,905 metres only get better as one gets higher. From Seegrube the cable car to Hafelekar (2,300 m) on such a beautiful morning as we experienced today gives some of the best views – A unique panorama of city and mountains.

The style and workings of the funicular are absolutely amazing and designed and built with such precision.

VIEWS FROM THE TOP –

ALPENZOO – Europe’s highest-lying zoo can be found at the foot of the NORDKETTE. It includes over 2,000 examples of Alpine wildlife (I think that many were sleeping when we were there as the temperature was above 30 degrees).

IMPERIAL GARDENS CITY PARK –

THE SIGHTSEER – HOP ON – HOP OFF (best tourist bus in the city) To complete our day we rode the complete route of the bus wearing our headphones to give us really great information about the city and surrounds interspersed with appropriate music. We had a 15 minute stop at a great place for panoramic photographs of the city of Innsbruck.      In all, a very busy day but one to remember.

INTO INNSBRUCK

SUNDAY, 18th June

Tonight we sleep in Innsbruck after departing Zurich this morning on a train to Bregenz where we had a stopover just long enough to enjoy a schnitzel lunch before boarding the train to Innsbruck. This was the route we needed to take as there is work being done on the line from Zurich to Innsbruck. It was most picturesque.

INNSBRUCK is the capital city of Tyrol in western Austria. The name translates as “INN BRIDGE”. The city is located in the broad valley between high mountains. Innsbruck is an internationally renowned winter sports centre.

Having arrived at our Hotel Zach mid afternoon we had an introduction to some architectural history of this area by walking through the Old Town.

 

Innsbruck’s Trademark is THE GOLDEN ROOF which is situated in the medieval Old Town. On the orders of Emperor Maximilian l, the splendid balcony with 2,657 fire-gilded copper tiles was added to Archduke Friedrich lV’s residence. The stone relief on the balcony shows Maximilian’s wives.