Salzburg Altstadt (old town) is located on the left bank of Salzach river, between Mönchsberg and Festungsberg, and contains most of the top tourist attractions in the city, all within a compact area.
The old town offers…
- romantic, narrow streets and thin houses,
- majestic churches and historic administrative buildings, with
- a magnificent fortress, Festung Hohensalzburg towering above the area on top of a hill.
Most of the impressive buildings within the Altstadt were built by the historical rulers of the region, Salzburg’s archbishops.
PHOTO: Altstadt, as seen from Festung Hohensalzburg fortress. The river in the picture, Salzach, divides Salzburg into old town and new town halves.
PHOTO: On overview of the old town from next to the Salzach. Following the river, there are several miles of walkways, which you can use to walk to, for example, close to the Hellbrunn palace.
PHOTO: In Salzburg’s old town, you can ride the streets with horse carriages like the Salzburg archbishops used to do. The view is from the square in front of Alte Residenz, a historical, residential city palace of the ruling archbishops. In the background, you can see the cathedral of Salzburg.
Of the historical Salzburg archbishops, the most notable is considered to have been Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau (in power from 1587-1612), a descendant of the famous Italian Medici-family (through his mother).
His grand plans to rebuild Salzburg in Baroque style were, however, mostly realized by those archbishops in power after him…
- first Markus Sittikus von Hohenems (1612-1619), then
- Paris Lodron (1619-1653).
Salzburg Altstadt gained a new level of splendor as Austria’s most famous architects, masterbuilders Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach andLukas von Hildebrandt — from commissions by local Archbishops — left their mark in the city, during the early 18th century.
In addition to the Hohensalzburg fortress, highlights within Altstadt include…
- Salzburg’s cathedral,
- Alte Residenz palace,
- Mozart’s birthplace,
- Franciscan church, and
- Pferdeschwemme, a unique historical royal horse washing and watering place.
The shopping streets within the old town deserve their own mention, providing a wide variety of boutiques, restaurants, and bars.
Best of these Altstadt commercial areas include:
- Linzer Gasse,
- Judengasse, and
- Pferdeschwemme, and you can find
- a daily farmers market from Universitätsplatz.
Alte Stadt also has a official tourism office (www.salzburg.info) location, at Mozartplatz 5.
The personnel there can answer your questions and help you get most out of your stay here.