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Tuesday, July 24, 2007
Welcome to Salzburg
This city on the Salzach River in Austria is famous for two things: Mozart and The Sound of Music. Never mind the beautiful fortress that sits on the hill. Or the churches in the city. And a plethora of other beautiful places. If you didn't come to Salzburg to follow Mozart or see where The Sound of Music was filmed - why did you come? That's probably what we should have asked ourselves since that wasn't the reason we'd come. I have nothing against Mozart, and The Sound of Music is one of my top five all time favorite movies, but that's not why I visit Salzburg.

For me, it's the fortress. It has an impressive history and museum. The Hohensalzburg was begun in 1077, about 300 years after Salzburg was elevated to an archbishopric. It is the largest and best preserved fortress in Europe. As you walk up to the fortress, it is easy to see how it has remained intact. Even the fortress in Wurzburg, impressive as it is, is easier to get to.
As you walk up the steep path to get to it, you pass a number of places actually carved into the rock. It's easy to see these dwellings as being the homes of lookouts, who could warn the archbishop before anyone could get up there.

Enjoy these pictures of the walk up to the fortress, some of the views inside it, and of the city from its walls.

The little arched entry way (below) leads into the main courtyard. It is in one of the oldest parts of the fortress, near the place where they have excavated the footings and some of the walls of the very first church to be built on this particular mountain.

The linden tree has been growing in the large courtyard for hundreds of years, but I could find nothing that would tell me exactly how long. I think it is safe to say it wasn't growing there when the fortress was built, but might have been planted not long after it was finished.

And finally, a view of Salzburg from the walls of the fortress. Note how many steeples you can see. Salzburg, as the seat of an archbishopric for many years, has many churches. In my next post, I will take you inside a few.

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