Although in later years the lovely city of Salzburg, in Austria, has become synonymous with the Sound of Music, before Leisel, before the Captain and before the world’s sweetest singing nun, another musical genius was the city’s proudest claim to fame: Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The declarations of pride in Salzburg’s most beloved son are on display everywhere you turn in the city.
Prior to his life as a musical genius, Mozart was just an ordinary kid – so where else would you start but in his birthplace and childhood home? The third floor at number 9 Getreidegasse – Hagenauer House – was the residence of Wolfgang, his sister and their parents for his formative years. Today, in its incarnation as a museum dedicated to all things Mozart (what else?), it is one of Austria’s most popular attractions. The museum is well laid out and includes an array of musical instruments, portraits and other family artefacts that offer visitors an insight into Mozart’s youth and his evolution to musical maestro.
In 1773, Mozart and his family moved to a Baroque apartment across the Salzach River at 8 Marketplatz. It was here he composed many of his most famous symphonies and concertos. Unfortunately, the home was very badly damaged during the Second World War and much of the family history was destroyed. It was reconstructed, however, and in 1996 opened as a museum in homage to the composer, with some realistic depictions of family life and the biographies of Mozart, his parents and his sister.
Concert Hall of the Mirabell Palace
The Marble Hall of the Mirabell Palace is the city’s (if not Europe’s) most beautiful concert hall. Every year, renowned international musicians perform the works of Mozart and his contemporaries – Strauss, Beethoven and others – in this stunning, acoustically blessed hall. There’s no better way to round out a visit to Salzburg than by experiencing the music of Mozart at a site where he once played himself.
For anyone with an interest in the life and times of Mozart, a visit to these three sites in Salzburg will allow you to tread lightly in the hallowed footsteps of one of the world’s most acclaimed musical greats.
How to Get There
Flying into Salzburg Airport allows you a spectacular vista of the city and its surrounding alpine region. As well as transporting visitors to Salzburg, the airport (also known as Wolfgang Amadeus Airport) is the gateway to Austria’s many ski resorts. Your Shuttle Direct Salzburg shuttle service will meet you at the airport and deliver you the short three-kilometre distance to the city in no time at all. Available on either a shared or private basis, our Salzburg shuttle services are safe, fast and very cost-effective.
Where to Stay
Adlerhof – Centrally located and comfortably appointed, the Adlerhof is situated close to the main city train station and within walking distance of most of the most popular attractions. Rooms feature either modern or traditional décor with timber furnishings, private bathrooms and satellite TV, and parts of the hotel’s architecture date back to the 1900’s. The Adlerhof has a lift and offers free Wi-Fi and free parking.
Hotel Elefant – Dating back to the 13th century, the lovely Hotel Elefant in Salzburg’s Old Town district has been completely renovated in an authentic and elegant style. The beautifully appointed and individually decorated rooms are spacious and air-conditioned and the hotel offers free Wi-Fi and an excellent onsite restaurant. Boasting a superb location within just steps of Mozart’s birthplace and the iconic Festival Hall, the Hotel Elefant is also just a short stroll to the Mirabell Castle and the Hohensalzburg Fortress.
Hotel Schloss Mönchstein – The exceptional Hotel Schloss Mönchstein enjoys a spectacular location atop the Mönchsberg, surrounded by parkland and offering magnificent views over the city. Luxurious rooms and suites are impeccably appointed with marble bathrooms and antique furnishings. The spa and wellness centre offers beauty treatments, massages, saunas and steam baths, while there is also an outdoor hot tub and infinity pool. The award-winning restaurant features a terrace with stunning views.