Residenzplatz Square & Residence Fountain
Residence Square is an especially magnificent forecourt between the archiepiscopal residences in the heart of Salzburg's Old City. It is bordered by the New Residence with its carillon, the Cathedral, the Old Residence and a continuous row of townhouses.
Five squares were built under Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau: Residence Square with its richly decorated baroque fountain is probably the largest and most beautiful square. Fifty-five medieval buildings were torn down to make room for the square. Residence Square was designed according to the Mannerist plans of the Italian architect, Vincenzo Scamozzi.
Residence Fountain is considered to be the most beautiful fountain in the city of Salzburg and certainly deserves a closer look: four snorting horses seem to spring forth from the spouting rock. Giants rooted in the rock carry the lower basin, in which three dolphins balance the scalloped upper basin. The upper basin holds a Triton, a jet of water shooting into the air from his conch-shell trumpet.
Archbishop Guidobald Thun, a fountain enthusiast, commissioned the fountain to be built. It is considered to be one of the most significant baroque monuments in Europe today. The work is attributed to the Italian sculptor, Tommaso di Garone.
Residence Square is a popular venue for big sports or music events, including public airings of football games, live concerts and New Year's Eve parties. Residence Square serves as the setting for St. Rupert's Fair in September and a Christmas market during the Advent season. For fans of the Hollywood movie “The Sound of Music”, Residenzplatz is yet another highlight: During their carriage ride through the city, Maria and the children sing as they pass the Residenz Fountain. Relatively recently, a patch of the original river-stone surface was revealed, prompting the city to overhaul the Residenzplatz completely.