Festung Hohensalzburg (Hohensalzburg Fortress)#4 in Best Things To Do in Salzburg
Never conquered by enemy troops, Festung Hohensalzburg opened to the public in the mid-20th century. It was originally built in 1077 in preparation for a conflict between Pope Gregor VII and Emperor Henry IV. Over the centuries, the complex has grown, serving as a prison, an army camp and, of course, a military stronghold. Today, a torture chamber, several courtyards and three small museums — the Fortress, the Rainer Regiments and the Marionette —reside within its walls.
When you visit, you'll notice this fortress' rugged purposes did not dissuade rulers from adorning the interior lavishly. Some of the oldest gothic-style rooms have intricate wood paneling, elaborate door frames and complex ceiling vaults. And despite the eclectic decor, most people appreciate the imposing exterior. For stunning views of Salzburg and the surrounding area, make your way to the top of the compound.
Festung Hohensalzburg is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. from October to April and from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. during the summer. And during Advent and Easter, the fortress is open from 9:30 a.m. to 6 p.m. A combined ticket for 11.30 euros (about $12.31) includes your ascent and decent to the fortress via the cable railway at the foot of the hill. (Keep in mind, though, that the funicular is closed from mid-January to May.) Discounted rates for children and students are available. And remember, like many of the city's attractions, admission into Festung Hohensalzburg is free for anyone with a Salzburg Card.
More Best Things To Do in Salzburg
#1 Dom zu Salzburg (Salzburg Cathedral)
A giant monument to this city's religion, power and wealth, Dom zu Salzburg awes visitors with its turquoise domes and towering facade. Built, burned and re-built multiple times in the past millennia, the current structure — which came in the 1940s and 50s after the roof suffered damage from World War II — demonstrates the pinnacle of early Baroque ecclesiastical architecture.
During your visit, pay particular attention to the structure's smaller details — such as the statues of apostles Peter and Paul at the front or the individual murals on the copulas — to appreciate its supreme craftsmanship and ornamentation. And music lovers will appreciate the cathedral's prominence in Mozart's life: The building served as the location of the musical prodigy's baptism, as well as where some of his pieces were composed during his time as an organist.
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