Where It's At
Although to the far west of Austria from Vienna, Salzburg
is probably the most popular day trip from Vienna. Trains
from Vienna's Westbahnhof are frequent and the journey
takes around 3 hours. Salzburg is a very picturesque town
in the heart of Austria's Lake District. Although it
is only home to 150 000 inhabitants, an incredible 7 million
tourists descend upon it each year. And the profits show -
Salzburg is very well kept and litter-free with beautifully
manicured gardens. The booming tourist industry has capitalised
wholeheartedly on the fact that one man was born there in
1756 - Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Mozart showed exceptional musical gifts from his infancy in
the 1760's, playing the keyboard before the Austrian Empress
at the age of 6, and playing before royalty throughout Europe
through his childhood. However, Wolfgang Amadeus, the child
genius excelled in greatness in composition, he had written
several operas by the age of 17 as well as numerous symphonies,
string quartets and works for piano and other instruments.
Mozart lived in Salzburg on and off, between numerous failed
attempts to launch his career as a composer in Germany, Italy
and France. Although he achieved some fame in his short 35
year lifetime, he wittled away his money on an extravagant
lifestyle and poor financial management. He died a pauper,
buried in an unmarked grave in Vienna.
What's there to See and Do
Mozart Memorabilia is to be found everywhere - Mozart
chocolates, face flannels, miniature pianos, busts, snowstorms,
mugs, plates, golf balls, liquor, perfume
the list is
endless, from the tasteful to ultimate kitsch. Salzburg does
have some wonderful non-Mozart things to offer.
The Fortress of Hohensalzburg sits atop the rock that
towers 300 ft above the town. For over 900 years it has successfully
protected Salzburg from attack and housed many Archbishops
including Leonhard Von Keutschach whose emblem, a turnip,
can be seen 58 times throughout the Fortress. The view from
the towers is truly breathtaking. Apart from a bird's eye
view of Salzburg with the Salzach River running through
it, you can see as far as the Alps on a clear day.
Inside, the highlights include the torture chamber,
the Golden Chamber, the bedroom complete with ensuite
toilet and, in the Fortress museum, the 'masks of shame'
that gossiping women were forced to stand and wear in the