Hohensalzburg Fortress is a must see in Salzburg, mostly because you can see a beautiful panoramic view of the city as well as the whole valley.The castle in Salzburg is an unmistakable landmark even from far away. The castle has became a major tourist attraction with the Festungsbahn cable car, opened in 1892. It was the 1st tourist place I wanted to go, but eventually I went there after I visited the Salzburg residenz & salzburg cathedral.
We headed to the castle and went atop by the Castle lift, which is a closed cable car similar enough which is used in ropeways /aerial tramways. That is as well an excellent experience Once there, we first saw the cafes. All outdoor cafes were closed, but they offer a beautiful view. Then we stepped to the ‘Reckturm’ watchtower, for great 360° panorama view. The beautiful Austrian alps creates an amazing background around the castle and if weather is good, it is photographers’ paradise.
After that we concentrated to the castle itself.The sky was dark, but still I caught some nice photos 😀 (at least I think I did, lolz). The castle has magnificent regency rooms which are among some of the most beautiful gothic secular chambers in Europe, the torture chamber, the illuminated lower church and the fortress museum. We bought the salzburg card, so everything is included in it. You can also buy the ticket here for 12 EUR.
The whole tour inside the castle must be a guided one, no free roaming allowed. There is free audio guide available along with the tickets. First we took the guided tour to torture chamber. It is a dark room with different equipments for torture the captives and quite intimidating. Here you can see some of them.
After the chamber, we were guided to a top roof, when a beautiful view of the river Salzach along with the whole town along with the castle architecture.Construction of the fortress began in 1077 under Archbishop Gebhard von Helfenstein.This original design was just a basic bailey with a wooden wall. In the Holy Roman Empire, the archbishops of Salzburg were already powerful political figures and they expanded the castle to protect their interests.
he castle was refurbished from the late 19th century onwards. It stands today as one of the best preserved castles in Europe.During the early 20th century it was used as a prison, holding Italian prisoners of war during World War I and Nazi activists in the 1930s. Then we moved towards the chapel , built by Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach. A richly ornamented star vault decorates the ceiling of the chapel.
At last we went for the fortress museum. It contains the weapons mainly along with several playing instruments. Few work of art are also kept. But the amounts of equipments for violent torture like bone crusher, clearly creates an unfavourable impression about the inhabitants of the castle. We also visited the golden chamber and bedchamber here.
We had only one day in Salzburg, so we hurried back to the lift. But one can also walk down b y foot enjoying the beautiful view of the mountains and valleys. Castle remains open till 7 o’clock in May-September: 9 am-7 pm and I visited in September. The hours and tickets can be changed according to the time of a year and occurrence of special events . The fort hosts many festivals and artists from around the world meet here for courses at the International Summer Academy. Besides the medieval rooms, the romantic courtyard and the bastions regularly serve for events like the Fortress Concerts.
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