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Inside Salzburg Cathedral | © DomQuartier

Behind Salzburg’s Church Gates ... a walking tour

The number of churches in Salzburg is large. Each a place of peace and reflection. Some have such cool “twists” to them, including an unexpected surprise or two, that we thought we should compile them for you in the form of a walking tour.

Of Sacred Stairways, Rock Chapels and Art Installations

So, where can you hear Gregorian chants every day? Who was christened in the cathedral baptismal font? What artwork illuminates the cathedral crypt? Hidden behind the walls of these old churches are many details you would never have imagined. We have collected the most exciting and remarkable moments just for you.

This tour begins (preferably early in the morning) in the church at Nonnberg Convent. Along the Mönchsberg and constantly at the foot of the mighty fortress, it continues to Cajetan Church and towards the cathedral, very much the centerpiece of our City of Churches. We then make our way to the “Rock Chapels” in the catacombs of St. Peter’s, and via the Franciscan Church to the so-called “Church of Light”, the Collegiate Church. After a visit to the Church of the Holy Trinity, on the right bank of the historic district, the Loreto Kindl in the Loreto Church will be the crowning moment of our tour.

Overview of the Route:

  • Nonnberg Convent Church – Gregorian chant sung by the Benedictine nuns every morning at 6:45
  • Cajetan Church – Here, a replica of the Sacred Stairway (scala santa) in Rome was built. Jesus is said to have crept up these stairs towards Pontius Pilate (open Saturdays from 11 a.m. until noon)
  • Salzburg Cathedral – The treasures awaiting discovery inside the cathedral are astonishing: the baptismal font where W. A. Mozart and Joseph Mohr were christened, the crypt, the art installation "Vanitas", the choir gallery, the five organs etc. The bells of the cathedral (boasting an impressive total weight of 32,443 kg) play the key role in ringing out the “Angelus” three times a day.
  • Catacombs of St. Peter’s – The grounds of St. Peter’s conceal many fascinating features, the highlights of which include the “Gertrauden” and “Maximus” chapels, hewn out of the rock itself.
  • Franciscan Church – to the lower right of the main door, we find the so-called “Hand of Asylum”, around which numerous legends swirl. It is a medieval symbol of the sanctuary offered within: Whether guilty or innocent, everyone is granted access to the church.
  • Collegiate Church – Because the walls of this church are white throughout, the church is known as the “Church of Light”. It is also a venue for art and music events.
  • Church of the Holy Trinity – Here you will find the so-called “Book of Concerns”. Simply write down whatever is bothering you, or what blessings you would like to receive: Once a week, a special worship service is held that focuses on those very same concerns.
  • Loreto Church - The Loreto Kindl is an eleven-centimeters-tall ivory figure clad in richly bejeweled robes. If you place the statue to your head, you will be blessed, receive absolution, or may express a personal wish – depending on what you believe.

Respect in Houses of Worship

We wish to emphasize that all of the churches in Salzburg are primarily houses of worship. Please show consideration for people who are in prayer, and behave respectfully. The general public are asked not to visit during services.

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