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DomQuartier Salzburg: 2,000 exhibits from 1,300 years of eventful history

Opened in 2014, the DomQuartier brings the Baroque era to life and allows the public to stroll through five different Salzburg museums during a single tour: the Cathedral Museum, St. Peter’s Museum, the state rooms of the Residenz, the Residenz Gallery, as well as special exhibitions of the Salzburg Museum in the Cathedral North Oratory.

DomQuartier Salzburg isn’t just a cultural highlight in the heart of the city, it also celebrates an important epoch – that of the Baroque. The former fulcrum of the prince-archbishops’ power has been made available for the general public to enjoy an uninterrupted tour through what is essentially a museum complex. Visitors are given a glimpse into a time when spiritual and secular power were inextricably intertwined. With a grand total of 2,000 separate exhibition pieces, the DomQuartier has essentially turned the three major Salzburg city squares – the Domplatz, Residenzplatz and Kapitelplatz – into a single, fascinating entity.

Gazing out on Salzburg City from the terrace above the Cathedral Arches

When visitors enter the DomQuartier through the resplendent rooms of the Residenz, they are greeted by paintings and stucco on the walls that tell of a time of riches. Crossing the terrace which sits atop the Cathedral Arches, a terrace which once served as a personal thoroughfare for the prince-archbishops, you reach the spiritual heart of the city, the cathedral. But if you pause for a moment on that terrace, you will be treated to views of the city that inevitably evoke feelings of veneration for the majesty of this place. It is impossible to resist pulling out your camera at this point, since the Cathedral Arches give you the opportunity to take a snapshot or two of the Residenzplatz from a truly unique perspective.

Once inside the cathedral, visitors are enveloped in an atmosphere of peace and tranquility. In one wing of the cathedral lies the North (or “Rupertus”) Oratory, in which the story of Saint Rupert is retold. The South Oratory, dedicated to St. Virgil, is home to the Cathedral Museum with its relatively few, though precious exhibits. The tour continues through the Chamber of Art and Wonders, in which we find all kinds of curiosities from the Baroque era: globes, statues, maps, measuring instruments and so much more. Beyond, in the Long Gallery of St. Peter’s Abbey, with its stucco ceilings and high arches, 190 valuable paintings are lined up one after another.

A journey back in time to the world of the Baroque

Essentially just around the corner, in St. Peter’s Museum, we are greeted by highlights of baroque spirituality embodied in paintings and other treasures that were once thought lost forever. This oldest abbey in the German-speaking world possesses precious items certain to astonish visitors. Our journey through time ends up back at the starting point of this Tour de Baroque: the Carabinieri Hall. A tour which reflects the unique interplay of 1300 years of governance, art, music and architecture. Far more than a mere museum about an epoch, the DomQuartier allows us to viscerally experience the Baroque, immerse ourselves in it, and comprehend how life in those times must have been.