The Fortress Hohensalzburg
The Fortress Hohensalzburg ist the town´s landmark; No Salzburg visitor can elude this mighty castle. The fortress Hohensalzburg is the largest preserved building of this kind all over Europe. The history of the fortress goes back until the year 1077 when archbishop Gebhard von Salzburg gave the instructions to build this strong fortress as a military stronghold.
However, the fortress was not as huge and its interior not as well-equipped in these days; the fortress was gradually enlarged within the following 400 years; Even in the 19th century, there were still amendments made at the fortress.
The fortress is so mighty that no conqueror could ever defeat it. Only in the 19th century this fortress was given over to Napoleon´s troups without conflict.
The fortress was built by an archbishop and from then on served as a residence to the archbishops and a military stronghold. For some time, it also accommodated barracks and a prison.
Being the city´s landmark, the fortress Hohensalzburg can be seen from almost every corner of Salzburg. Already upon your arrival, you see the mighty fortress at the Southern side of the town. The promenade at the river Salzach offers an especially beautiful view of the fortress. The view of the fortress from the Mirabellgarten is as magnificent.
You also have a wonderful view of fortress Hohensalzburg and the town from Salzburg´s second mountain, the Kapuzinerberg; When you walk up a few metres, you are rewarded with an unforgettable view of numerous church towers and of course the fortress.
When you wish to visit the fortress Hohensalzburg, you have two possibilities: you can either take cablecar or walk up by foot. Taking the cablecar one-way will cost you 6 €, a return ticket is 12 € - quite a price for a 15-minute walk. But the footpath can also be quite unpleasant when it rains or when it had rained . The paths leading to the fortress are quite steep and they are neither stepped nor tarred. And in bad weather, the paths can get as slippery as a mud slope.
The admission fee is 4 € for the exterior are and an additional 4 for the interior rooms, therefore a total of 8 €. When you already visited some inner areas of other castles before, you will not find anything new. Pompous rooms as the Goldene Stube or the Goldene Saal are always impressive, but in the end they are always the same; Gold, marble and precious materials as far as the eye can see.
You can obtain information about the history of the fortress in the Burgmuseum which also displays medieval weapons and equipments.
The inside of the fortress might be very fascinating for an American or Japanese tourist, but for somebody like me who has already visitied a large number of castles, the interior area of the fortress Hohensalzburg is rather standard and can be compared to the interior areas in Neuschwanstein or Schloss Herrenchiemsee.
But the fortress offers a fascinating and unbeatable view of the town; As the fortress is located on a hilltop, you can enjoy a panoramic view from nearly all spots. But the view of the Old Town is most impressive. You might get tempted to count all church towers of the town, but you will surely lose track very soon.
Looking westwards and southwards is also gigantic. While you see the medium-sized, wooded hilltops in the West, the South offers a magnificent view of alpine mountain peaks, many measuring a few thousand metres. They seem even more magnificent on a clear day with the sun behind your back. Surely then, you will understand why Salzburg and its vicinity attract so many tourist all year long.
Visiting the interior and exterior area of the fortress including ascent and descend, takes approximately 3 hours. The fortress offers numerous places for a snack and good meals in the panoramic restaurant.
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Copyright: Patrick Wagner, www.tourist-guide.biz