The city of Salzburg was founded towards the end of the 7th century. It was ruled by independent Catholic prince archbishops, also vested with political power, until the beginning of the 19th century. Salzburg's cityscape is characterized by twenty baroque churches and the city is a true haven for spiritual meditation.
Religion in Salzburg
Catholics are the largest religious denomination at 55.6 per cent of the city's population. The Protestant population is 6.7 per cent. Orthodox Christians (Serbian Orthodox Church, Romanian Orthodox Church and Russian Orthodox Church) constitute 5.3 per cent of the population. Old Catholics, Methodists, New-Apostolic, Mormons, Jehovah's Witnesses, the Federation of Evangelical Municipalities, the Christian Community and the Free Christian Community/Pentecostal Church account for 1.6 per cent of the city's population. The Catholic Church is engaged in ongoing dialog with the Orthodox Churches, the Protestant Church, the Old Catholic Church and the Methodists; ecumenical church service is celebrated regularly. Comprising 6.8 per cent of the population, Muslims are the city's largest non-Christian denomination.
Church history in Salzburg
In the year 450 AD the Roman town of Juvavum was a Christian community with two churches and a monastery. The city was destroyed during the Barbarian Invasions in 488 soon after the departure of the Roman legions .
St. Rupert came to the region in 696 and founded St. Peter's Monastery and the convent on the Nonnberg. He had a large church built in honor of St. Peter in 700 and installed a community of diocesan priests (canons), from which the cathedral chapter eventually evolved.
St. Boniface obtained the papal confirmation for the newly established diocese in 739 and laid down the diocesan borders. At the request of the Frankish king, Charlemagne, Pope Leo III elevated Salzburg to an archbishopric on April 20, 798, to which the Bavarian suffragan dioceses of Freising, Neuburg, Passau, Regensburg and Säben were subordinate. At times the ecclesiastical province encompassed the entire Bavarian territory, i.e. the greater part of present-day Austria and Bavaria (excluding Franconia and Swabia), today's South Tyrol and Trentino, large parts of Hungary, the Czech Republic, Slovenia and Slovakia. Arno was the first archbishop.
Salzburg's archbishops were on the side of the pontifex during the Investiture Controversy. The city of Salzburg was devastated repeatedly by the emperor's followers during Archbishop Gebhard's reign, prompting Gebhard to build Hohensalzburg Fortress in 1077.
The Cathedral was burned down during a city fire in 1167, destroying the cathedral treasury. Conrad III – the first Salzburg cardinal – began with the reconstruction of the cathedral when peace was concluded in 1177 and built a magnificent, three-aisled Romanesque cathedral.
The Pallottine St. John's Friary
The Pallottine St. John's Friary is located on the Mönchsberg in the heart of Salzburg's historic city center and is an oasis of tranquility. The friary is a place for physical regeneration and is open to religious groups and people seeking silence, solitude and meditation. The friary is also ideal for days of silence, seclusion, group/meditation courses and training seminars.
Contact and information: http://pallottiner.szg.at/
The Way of St. James in Salzburg
Salzburg's Way of St. James leads from Frankenmarkt to St. Johann/Tyrol in four stages. Pilgrims walk 134 kilometers through Salzburg's lake district, past the Maria Plain Pilgrimage Church, through the city of Salzburg and on to the state of Tyrol via Unken and Lofer. With its picturesque sights, it is considered one of the most beautiful sections of the Austrian Way of St. James.
The route through Mozart's city leads upstream from Maria Plain to the Old City. Pilgrims are soon confronted with a breathtaking view of the city and its 20 baroque churches. The route continues to Salzburg Cathedral, through the Neutor and the district of Maxglan, along the Glan to Viehhausen and St. Jacob's Church in Gois.
Contact and information: www.jakobswege-a.eu.
Ancient pilgrimage path in Salzburg
The ancient pilgrimage path leads from the former Froschheim (now Elisabeth-Vorstadt) to Maria Plain. Fifteen nearly-forgotten shrines line the ancient pilgrimage path that once lead through meadows, floodplains and cornfields.
Pilgrims and walkers will find the first shrine on the building at Elisabethstrasse 1. The path leads down Elisabethstrasse (shrine on the buildings at no. 7 and 21/23) and continues down Julius Haagn Strasse (shrine on the building at no. 34) and down Plainstrasse (shrine on building no. 83 and 115). Additional shrines are located along the Plainberg path. Once you reach Maria Plain you will not only be rewarded by a wonderful view but will also be able to escape the bustle of everyday life in the silence of the church.