"Alter Markt," the Old Marketplace in Salzburg's historic city center, was already laid out as an urban trading center and marketplace in the 13th century. The square was known as Ludwig Victor Square between 1873 and 1927 after Archduke Ludwig Viktor, the youngest brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I, who moved to Klessheim Palace in 1861.
Oldest weekly market
The dairy market, herb market, turnip/cabbage market and the stove fitters' market were once linked to the central market. The square is enclosed by a row of stately burgher's houses, whose core often dates back to the Middle Ages.
The Old Marketplace was not only used as a weekly market but also served as a festive setting for the Whitsun dance, the sword dance by the Dürrnberg miners, St. John's fire during the midsummer festival and the annual dance by barefoot bakers. The Old Marketplace also served as a venue for the annual Lent market until 1889. It spread to University Square and Residence Square after 1813 and was used for an autumn market until 1856, also known as St. Rupert's Market. The weekly market moved to present-day University Square in 1857.
St. Florian Fountain
The market fountain is located in the center of the Old Marketplace. It was built in 1488 to replace the former ornamental fountain. Its octagonal basin was built from 1685 to 1687 and is surrounded by two marble steps. Its corner columns are decorated with acanthus and rosettes as well as an intricate scrollwork grill resting on the water basin, crafted by Wolf Guppenberger in 1583. The city of Salzburg's coat of arms can be found on the fountain column and wrought iron grill. The statue of St. Florian von Lorch at the top of the fountain column was sculpted by Josef Anton Pfaffinger in 1734.
The buildings and their history
Today the Old Marketplace boasts an impressive row of burghers' houses whose core often dates back to the Middle Ages, although overlaid by early modern architecture.
The smallest house in Salzburg's historic city center is a rare curiosity. With a width of only 1.42 meters, it is located next to the famous Tomaselli coffeehouse. The tiny house was built to close a narrow alley between 1830 and 1860.
The old archiepiscopal apothecary has been located on Alter Markt since the end of the 16th century. The traditional coffeehouse, Café Tomaselli, and Café-Konditorei Fürst, whose founder invented the Mozart-Kugel chocolates, are located across from the Old Residence.