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IN FOCUS: The Nonntal District
It’s green, near the city center and excites with its astonishing diversity. The Nonntal district of Salzburg captivates locals and visitors alike.
Nonntal is a fascinating part of the city on the southern side of the historic district. And it manages to intrigue in countless ways. Like so many locations in this part of the world, it looks back on an ancient and compelling history. In fact, experts have concluded that the Nonnberg was already settled back in prehistoric Celtic times, while the remnants of a Roman home have been discovered there as well.
Journey into the past
As you might already have guessed, this area did indeed get its name from the Nonnberg we just mentioned. And despite what you might think, the Nonnberg isn’t a city mountain in its own right, but rather merely an outcropping of the Festungsberg. A Benedictine convent of the same name has stood on top of it since the Middle Ages. In fact, this is the oldest convent north of the Alps to have existed without interruption since it was originally established. For many, it is most associated with “The Sound of Music”, the place where Maria served as a novice before she began working with the von Trapps as a governess – at which point, of course, the musical romance takes its course. Something even many locals might not know: This district is actually subdivided into the Inner and Outer Nonntal, with the border between the two demarcated by a statue of the Virgin Mary. It also encompasses an autonomous nature sanctuary: Freisaal, accounting for roughly one third of the total area.
When the Krauthügel, Hans Donnenberg Park and Hellbrunner Allee are in full bloom, Salzburg is truly awash in a sea of green. The three of them also happen to provide us with the shortest route to Nonntal. Whether spring, summer, autumn or winter – Nonntal is a place that seemingly is able to liberate the very soul of the city and put it on full display. The roof terrace of Salzburg University – known popularly as the “Unipark” – treats you to unique panoramas. This glass palace was opened in 2012 and is already regarded as an outstanding example of contemporary architecture. Those who are diligently strolling through the city as well as dedicated sun worshipers will all find a welcome opportunity for refreshment on the banks of the Almkanal.
Culinary Insider Tips
If you prefer to keep culinary terra firma under your feet, you’ll definitely want to navigate your way to Inner Nonntal. In the area where the 17th-century former homes of wealthy merchants stand, the district’s unofficial culinary quarter is certain to whet the appetite of each and every foodie. It begins with “Burger84”, an authentic Bavarian import – for which Salzburgers used to have to make a special pilgrimage across the border. Things take a Mexican, spicy, palate-pleasing twist at “Lemonchilli”. The South American attitude towards life coupled with a unique atmosphere. Sounds appealing, right? Which is why we’ve already gone ahead and made our reservations: It’s such a popular location for young and old, it quickly fills up to the very last seat. We should also point out that Nonntal gives you plenty of options if you want to go veggie or vegan as well – “The Green Garden” is a perfect example; with nary an animal product in sight!
In search of the ultimate bread and coffee
The best bread in the city? That’s where minds differ. One of the favorites is beyond a doubt “Bäckerei Funder”, where handmade rolls and moist dark bread are pulled fresh out of the oven. And even if you haven’t memorized the address of this traditional business – that won’t present any problem at all! The inviting smells will lure you directly to their sales counter and get your mouth watering long before you even get there. And while we are on the subject: In the mood for some coffee? The 220°, a coffee roastery and café with a cult following, has now also put down roots in Nonntal – this former workshop provides a perfect stage on which to present modern coffee culture. A fusion that epitomizes Nonntal itself – since this is a part of the city that comfortably accommodates tradition, innovation and laissez-faire.