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Karajan Square & the “Horse Pond”

As you emerge from Sigmund’s Gate, you come to Herbert von Karajan Square and the famous “Horse Pond”, which dates back to the 17th century. It was here, in the heart of today’s Festival District, that parade horses from the prince-archbishops’ stables used to be washed off and groomed.

Herbert von Karajan Square

Right at the foot of the Mönchsberg cliffs, Sigmund’s Gate opens out onto Herbert von Karajan Square and Salzburg’s historic district. The square was named after famous Salzburg-born conductor Herbert von Karajan. It was he who founded the Salzburg Easter Festival in 1967 and the Salzburg Whitsun Festival in 1973.

The Horse Pond

The Horse Pond on today’s Herbert von Karajan Square was designed and built in 1603 by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. It was originally used as a place to wash the parade horses of the prince-archbishops. The statue of the “Horse Tamer” and the unique frescoes on the back wall of the Horse Pond evoke some of the customs of that time.

For fans of the Hollywood movie “The Sound of Music”, Herbert von Karajan Square is a must-see. During a carriage ride through Salzburg, Maria and the Trapp children marvel at the famous square and the unique Horse Pond.


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