A closer look at Salzburg

Salzburg is well-known as Mozart’s birthplace, for the Salzburg Festival, for its baroque flair and for “The Sound of Music”. But there are many lesser-known things to explore other than the big stars and attractions, e.g. Salzburg’s beer culture, the Salzburg Foundation’s works of art, traditional shops with an exquisite line of goods and the city’s modern architecture.

Büste / Statue von W. A. Mozart am Kapuzinerberg. Mozart bust on Kapuzinerberg.

The city of Salzburg has flair and charm. Listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site, Salzburg’s Old City enchants visitors with its narrow streets, mighty churches, passages decorated with flowers and the spacious squares with their fountains, monuments, and works of art. The city’s main attractions include Hohensalzburg Fortress, one of the best-preserved fortresses in Europe dating back to the 11th century, Mozart’s birthplace in Getreidegasse, the Mirabell Gardens, the State Rooms in the Old Residence and Hellbrunn Palace. Overseas visitors primarily come to see the locations of “The Sound of Music” film, classical music buffs to attend Mozart Week or the Easter, Whitsun or Summer Festival. In addition to famous stars and attractions, Salzburg also offers a number of opportunities to discover new aspects.

Sound of Musik Gazebo, Pavillon. Szene, 16 going on 17. Sound of music film location, Gazebo in Hellbrunn, scene: 16 going on 17

SHOPPING. The exquisite line of products offered by Salzburg’s traditional shops

Salzburg’s Old City is a lively place for encounters where people live and work. Many traditional manufacturers are located in or around the famous Getreidegasse. Master bakers and furriers, liqueur producers and weavers, confectioners and tailors liven up the narrow streets with their romantic courtyards. Many have been in business for so long that they have become attractions, e.g. the Prince-Archbishoprical “Alte Hofapotheke” (court pharmacy) on Alter Markt or Salzburg’s oldest tannery, Jahn-Markl, on Residence Square featuring exclusive leather and ‘trachten’ fashions. St. Peter’s Monastery bakery from the 12th century sells fresh bread from the woodstove and the tiny Schatz pastry shop pampers its guests with wonderful specialties such as mini-meringues. The Holzermayr chocolate shop once delivered to the imperial court and the Katholnigg music shop in Salzburg’s largest palace invites shoppers to browse and talk with the artists during the Festival.

Fackeltanz um den Residenzbrunnen beim Fest zur Festspieleröffnung.

ART. The Salzburg Foundation’s first-class “street art”

Between 2002 and 2011, the highly-committed Salzburg Foundation installed various works of art by renowned international and contemporary artists in the city center. Each year an independent international board of trustees selected an artist, who was invited to present ideas for a work of art to be set up in the public space in Salzburg. The works of art installed include “A.E.I.O.U for Ingeborg Bachmann“ by Anselm Kiefer, “Numbers in the Forest“ by Mario Merz, “Spirit of Mozart“ by Marina Abramovic, “Sphaera“ by Stephan Balkenhol and “Awilda“ by Jaume Plensa.

MODERN ARCHITECTURE. Bridging the gap between traditional and modern

Salzburg Residenzplatz

Whether art, music or architecture: the city of Salzburg is many-faceted. Extravagant architecture projects, spectacular artwork, contemporary design, modern festivals, and trendy hotspots are juxtaposed with the baroque city’s nostalgic flair. Exploring the modern architecture in Salzburg includes buildings such as Hangar-7, the City Library, Mozarteum University or the Museum of Modern Art.

A new, modern approach is also taken in music and art, providing a sharp contrast to traditional institutions. Thaddaeus Ropac has assumed a leading role in Salzburg’s modern cultural scene. In addition to the gallery in the glamorous Villa Kast on Mirabell Square Ropac also runs galleries in London and Paris. He is joined by a number of other, internationally active creative individuals, gallery owners, musicians, actors, architects, photographers, sales promoters and art lovers, who have developed a lively and creative art scene in Salzburg over the last few years.

A number of events also focus on modern art. The tanzimpulse combines dance workshops for everyone with the Performance Days in the spring and fall. Szene Salzburg shows trends in international stagecraft each summer, focusing on Dance&Theater. Awards for young singers and theater directors and their productions are presented at the Young Singers Project and Young Directors Project during the Salzburg Festival.

Those looking for fine, trendy dining venues or relaxation after the tour of modern Salzburg will find the right atmosphere at the Hangar-7, the m32 on the Mönchsberg, at the Magazin, Afro Café, Carpe Diem, or the Sarastro.

CULINARY CUISINE. Original Salzburg beer culture

Beer has been brewed in the city of Salzburg for over 600 years. Beer lovers enjoying the sophisticated beer tradition in Salzburg will find a wide variety of breweries, concepts, and beers. The ten breweries include the Stieglbrau, Austria’s largest private brewery or the traditional Augustinerbrau at the Mülln Monastery, where the beer is brewed with vintage equipment and tapped directly from the wooden keg into steins. All of Salzburg’s breweries are characterized by their creativity and innovative technologies. True to tradition, beer is served in rustic beer pubs, in beer gardens under shady chestnut trees, at trendy in-places or sophisticated restaurants. Many breweries offer tastings or let guests brew their own beer. The beer culture program is rounded off by tours with certified beer sommeliers, seminars with tastings and historic beer hikes through the city of Salzburg.

EVENTS. 4,500 cultural highlights

The cultural year in Salzburg begins with the internationally renowned Mozart Week. Music lovers are presented with a high-caliber Mozart festival at the end of January featuring fantastic soloists, conductors, and world-famous orchestras, e.g. the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra, Camerata Salzburg and the Mozarteum Orchestra. In the spring the Easter and Whitsun Festivals offer a top-notch program. In addition to the Summer Festival in July and August, one of the world’s most distinguished music festivals, the city offers a number of contemporary cultural events such as the Literature Festival in May, the sommerszene in June, Siemens Festival Nights in the summer and Salzburg Culture Days. Fall is dominated by jazz, filling concert halls and the city squares at “Jazz in the City“ or “Take-The-A-Train” year after year. The most peaceful time of year is accompanied by a number of events such as Salzburg Advent Singing at the Large Festival Hall or Salzburg Advent ® in St. Andrew’s Church. Each year a diversified program is offered by Salzburg’s Marionette Theater, “Mozart in Residence”, Salzburg Palace Concerts at Mirabell Palace, Fortress Concerts in the staterooms at Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Mozart Dinner Concerts at St. Peter’s Monastery Cellar.

General information:
Tourismus Salzburg, Auerspergstraße 6, 5020 Salzburg, Austria,
Tel.: +43/662/889 87 – 0, Fax: +43/662/889 87 – 32, www.salzburg.info, #visitsalzburg

Cultural escapes to the splendors of Vienna

Photographs and Text by Vincent Sung

*This feature was published in 5000s magazine, a bilingual Thai-English magazine by the Buddha Foundation

It’s no wonder that Vienna was officially voted the world’s most livable city for nine times in a row. The city summarizes the perfect connection between its imperial past and today’s modern lifestyle. Vienna has gone under profound changes over the past century and transformed itself from an ostentatious imperial capital to a modern center for the contemporary European lifestyle. Once the epicenter of a vast empire, sitting at the crossroads of Europe, Vienna has always been a cosmopolitan hub. Vienna’s universal appeal lays in its balanced combination of keeping its precious heritage and charming traditions while encompassing the latest trends in arts, food, and architecture. Vienna also boasts world-renowned museums, art collections, and works of art. The Kunsthistorisches Museum Wien (Museum of Fine Arts) houses the world’s largest collection of paintings by Bruegel, as well as the Kunstkammer, a unique collection of artifacts and oddities. Numerous works by Gustav Klimt and Egon Schiele are exhibited at the Belvedere and the Leopold Museum in the MuseumsQuartier. The MuseumsQuartier is a world-class cultural complex of over 60,000 square meters of usable floor space on eight different levels. Once the former Imperial Stables, the complex’s courtyard features three large buildings: MUMOK (Museum of Modern Art Ludwig Foundation Vienna) distinguishable by its dark basalt walls and spherically cambered roof, the Leopold Museum clad in white limestone and the brick building of the Kunsthalle Wien hidden behind the E+G Hall, the location of the Tanzquartier Wien (Dance Quarter Vienna). Architecture dating from imperial times has left an indelible mark on the city. Magnificent edifices, predominantly in baroque, historicism and art nouveau styles, and the city’s overall grand scale makes you forget that this is the capital of the ‘small’ Republic of Austria with around 8.8 million inhabitants.

Worth visiting, are the Albertina houses one of the world’s largest and most important collections of graphic art, spanning 50,000 drawings and watercolors, and around 900,000 prints. The Belvedere Palaces and formal gardens make up one of Europe’s most attractive Baroque ensembles. The Upper Belvedere is home to one of the nation’s most valuable art collections, which features key works by Gustav Klimt, Egon Schiele, and Oscar Kokoschka. Among the absolute highlights is the world’s largest collection of works by Gustav Klimt including his best-known composition, The Kiss. By contrast, the Lower Belvedere and the Orangery host a constantly changing line-up of seasonal exhibitions. A short distance from the Upper Belvedere is Belvedere 21, the former Austrian pavilion from the 1958 World Exhibition, which was given a new lease on life as a modern art museum from 1962 to 2001 under the name of the “20er Haus”.

Grandiose Imperial Past

Schönbrunn Palace is one of Europe’s most beautiful Baroque complexes and has been in the possession of the Habsburgs since 1569. The wife of Emperor Ferdinand II, Eleonore von Gonzaga, had a pleasure palace built on the site in 1642 and called the property “Schönbrunn” for the first time. The palace and garden complex created from 1696 onwards following the siege of Vienna was completely redesigned under Maria Theresa after 1743. Today, due to its historical significance, its unique layout, and magnificent furnishings, the palace is a UNESCO World Heritage site.

Travel Tip: Schönbrunn Palace is the most visited tourist attraction in Austria. Visitors should buy tickets online in advance from the comfort of your home to avoid long lines at the ticket counter: www.imperial-austria.at

Schönbrunn Palace (Schloss Schönbrunn) Schönbrunner Schlossstraße, 1130 Wien

1) Travel tips 

Get a Vienna City Card for €17

City card for 24, 48 or 72 hours

Unlimited travel on the underground, bus and tram network

One child aged 14 or under travels free per cardholder €17/€25/€29

Available from hotels, the tourist information offices on Albertinaplatz (9am–7pm daily), the Main Station (9am–7pm), Vienna International Airport (7am–10pm), Wiener Linien info and ticket counters (e.g. Stephansplatz, Karlsplatz, Westbahnhof, Landstrasse/Wien Mitte), the Vienna City Card App and the online shop.


2) How to get there? Tips

Thai Airways offers daily flights to Vienna