Salzburg is a beautiful city situated in the south of Austria, near the borders of Germany. As I live in Munich, Germany, I visited Salzburg by the Bayern (regional train of Bavaria) train. Though, I was surprised by the fact that I can visit another country on a regional train. I boarded this train from Munich’s main station and in less than two hours I reached my destination, Salzburg, A City Straight from The Fairytale!! I fell in love with this city at the first sight itself!
The literal meaning of Salzburg is the Salt fortress. This city is known for its salt mountains or salt mines. It is the fourth largest city of Austria, after Vienna, Graz, and Linz. However, it is one of the major tourist attractions of not just Austria but also Europe, owing to its cultural and musical heritage as well as its distinguished architecture. The city is divided into two parts by the river Salzach flowing from the city. On one side of the river is the old city with beautiful Roman and Gothic architecture and on the other side is the modern part of the city which is equally artistic and picturesque. As I reached the central station of Salzburg, I Preferred to walk and experience this city more closely instead of taking a bus and viewing the city from a distance. I walked through the new city, crossed the alluring bridge and entered the old city. The city possesses an innate charm, which you cannot miss!
The old city has aesthetic gardens, seasonal and ravishing flower plantations, magnificent architecture, churches, water fountains, horse carts and so on! My first stop was Mirabelle Platz. It is a marvellous and decorated garden in the centre of the city. If you plan to visit in spring, you would be lucky to see tulips all over! Although I missed Tulips the colourful flower plantations were enticing enough to enjoy them. Moreover, the distant view of the white castle would never fail to appeal to you. As I moved ahead through the alleys of the old city, I was enjoying every view which was nothing less than a treat to the eyes. Reminding of a typical European setting where you see small cafes and beer gardens on the way and people relaxing with friends. The river and its surroundings were very appealing. A long walk at the banks of the river was very delightful. The walker bridge on the river is also known as the Love Lock Bridge. It is believed that if you write the name of two lovers on a lock and lock it on the bridge fence, their love would be eternal. The belief seems to be very strong as the locks spanned from one end to the other end of the bridge.
If you love museums, music, art and medieval architecture, you would love Salzburg. This city is also the birthplace of the eternal and gifted musician, W. A. Mozart. You can also visit his residence, which is transformed into a museum. Musicals concerts and nights are frequently organized in his fond remembrance with his music played and appreciated. This city is extremely proud of being his birthplace. I realised this when I saw his image in every shop and on many articles, especially the chocolates. Yes, besides, music, art architecture, castles and salt mines, Salzburg is also known for its chocolates! However, there’s another feather to the cap of this city. This is the iconic city of the all-time classic Hollywood film, “The Sound Of Music” The legend says the story belonged to a family which resided in Salzburg, Austria. This city does have a deep connection with music and art it seems!
While enjoying the treat of my eyes, I reached the foothills of the Hohensalzburg fortress. It is one of the biggest fully preserved castles of central Europe. One can either trek to the castle or take a cable car ride. However, this cable car was different from any other cable car I had seen so far. It is like a vertical train and as it starts rising the aerial view of the city is spectacular. This funicular is known as Festungsbahn. As I reached the top of the fortress, the magnificent view of the city left me spellbound. The huge museum inside the castle is worth seeing. As I entered the castle, I saw a colossal corridor with cannons to safeguard the palace.
The museum narrates the glories past of the great castle. It also has a 3D show which explains the history in an interesting way. Besides the 3D show there are various rooms/chambers and every room has its own speciality and glory. Like kitchen had a container oven of that time. Artillery room had the weapons, flags, royal emblem and so on. One the highlights of the museum tour was the “Golden Chamber” and the “Golden Hall of the Prince”. The intricate wooden carvings on the wall and ceilings are very impressive. On special occasions music concerts are also known to be organized here. The tour was certainly captivating and each chamber has its unique charm. As the tour came to an end, I crossed the museum store for some souvenirs and work of art. The mesmerizing views of the valley, river and the city can be enjoyed while having a sip of coffee/beer and other refreshments in the pleasing restaurant situated on hill top.
It was already evening when I was on my way back to the Salzburg station. I grabbed a coffee and pretzel in a cafe near the river and enjoyed it with the calm soothing waters of the river. In the train during my return journey, my mind was filled with the beautiful images of this beautiful city.