Hohensalzburg Fortress is enthroned on the Festungsberg, high above the rooftops of the Baroque historical district. The biggest fully preserved castle in Central Europe, this emblem of Salzburg draws millions of tourists to our “City of Mozart” every year.
The History of Hohensalzburg Fortress
In the year 1077, archbishop Gebhard had the fortress built and thus changed the Salzburg skyline forever. In the years which followed, his successors drove ongoing development of the fortress architecture. The complex acquired the appearance we recognize today under archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach in 1500. The original purpose of the fortress was to protect the principality and the archbishops from hostile attacks. In all of these years, it has never been captured by foreign troops.
A Visit to Hohensalzburg Fortress
The fortress is open year round. Since 1892, you have the choice of making your way up there on foot, or riding the fortress funicular (“Festungsbahn”) from the Festungsgasse. Once at the fortress, highlights include the medieval princely chambers as well as a fortress museum, which boasts a fascinating display of objects plucked from the courtly lifestyle of the prince-archbishops. The Marionette Museum as well as the Museum of the Rainer Regiment also invite you to embark on a journey into the past. Furthermore, the over 900-year-old fortress also serves as the venue for the famous Salzburg Fortress Concerts.
Hohensalzburg Fortress in the 21st Century
Innovation plays a major role at this venerable and ancient fortress. After extensive work in the Hoher Stock portion of the fortress, a multimedia Magical Theater and modern media installations offer eye-opening experiences. And yet another highlight: Every Sunday at 11:45 a.m., musicians perform up in the aptly named “Trumpeter Tower”: Baroque fanfares resound all the way down to the Old City far below.