World Travel GuidesHistoric Centre of the City of Salzburg, Austria

[an error occurred while processing this directive] Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg, Austria
Andrew Bossi (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 2.5)

The historic centre of the City of Salzburg, or Altstadt Salzburg, is a World Heritage Site in Austria. It was inscribed during the 20th session of the World Heritage Committee, which met in Merida, Mexico on 2-7 December, 1996. The heritage core zone covers an area of 236 hectares (see red boundary on map), bounded by a buffer zone of 467 hectares (green boundary on map).

Salzburg is world famous for many things. It has one of the best-preserved old towns in the German-speaking world. It is of course, the birth place of Mozart, and it is the setting for the musical The Sound of Music. On this page I want to describe the places of interest in Salzburg, with particular attention to those within the World Heritage Site core zone.

Photos of the Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg

Salzburg World Heritage Plaque
Salzburg World Heritage Plaque

World Heritage Site Inscription Details

Location: N 47 48 2 E 13 2 36
Inscription Year: 1996
Type of Site: Cultural
Inscription Criteria: II, IV, VI

What to See in Altstadt Salzburg

There's plenty to see. To provide you with a detailed description, I am listing them all in alphabetical order. Please click in for details. Altes Rathaus
Festung Hohensalzburg (Hohensalzburg Fortress)
Grosses Festspielhaus
Haus der Natur
Mozarts Geburtshaus
Nonnberg Abbey (Stift Nonnberg)
Salzburg Cathedral (Salzburger Dom)
Salzburg Museum
Schloß Mirabell
St. Peter Cemetery (Petersfriedhof)
St. Sebastian Cemetery (Friedhof St. Sebastian)
St Peter Abbey (Stift St Peter)

The following sites are places of interest just outside the city:

Maria Plain
Schloß Leopoldskron

Location Map

View Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg in a larger map

Salzburg, as seen from Monchsberg
Salzburg, as seen from Monchsberg
Thomas Pintaric (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

Panoramic view of Salzburg
Panoramic view of Salzburg
Gr3mi (Creative Commons Attribution ShareAlike 3.0)

History of the City of Salzburg

The area where Salzburg is located has seen human settlements since the Neolithic Age. The Celts were the first to establish settlements here. By the time of the Romans, the disparate settlements were merged to form a town called Juvavum. The town went into decline until the 7th century, when Rupert of Salzburg, later Saint Rupert, became the bishop. It was he who gave it the name Salzburg.

Fast forward a few centuries, Salzburg suffered religious polarization when on 31 October, 1731, the Roman Archbishop of Salzburg, Count Leopold Anton von Firmian, signed the Edict of Expulsion, which forced Protestants in Salzburg to either convert to the Roman Catholic faith or be expelled from the city. This resulted in thousands leaving Salzburg rather than renouncing their faith.

In the last two centuries, Salzburg has been ruled by many different powers. It was made part of the Austrian Empire in 1805. Four years later, following Austria's defeat in Wagram, it was made part of Bavaria. Another six years later, at the Congress of Vienna, Salzburg was returned to Austria, but without Rupertigau and Berchtesgaden, which remained part of Bavaria.

Following the 1st World War, the citizens of Salzburg volted to be part of the German Reich. In 1938, it was part of Germany during the Anschluss, which saw political opponents and Jews arrested and sent to concentration camps. During the 2nd World War, the KZ Salzburg-Maxglan concentration camp was located in Salzburg. Allied bombing destroyed some bridges as well as the dome of the cathedral, but much of the Baroque buildings in Salzburg were unharmed.

After the 2nd World War, Salzburg became the capital of the State of Salzburg within Austria. The population of Salzburg reached 100,000 people in 1950. It recently passed the 150,000 mark in 2006.


The name Salzburg means "salt castle".

Visiting Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg

Getting there

By Plane

The Salzburg Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart International Airport (SZG) is just 20 minutes to the west of the city center. There are regular flights from Amsterdam, Brussels, London, Vienna, Zurich, and various cities in Germany.

By Car

Take the Autobahn A8 south from Munich, or the A1 west from Vienna.

Getting Around

Salzburg is best explored on foot. And the Old Town or Altstadt is small enough for you to do just that. The map on this page shows you all the places to visit.

Accommodation in Salzburg

For the benefit of free independent travelers, I have put together a page on the inexpensive hotels as well as hostels and guesthouses that offer accommodation in Salzburg. Click on hotels in Salzburg to view.

Book Hotel Rooms in Austria and Worldwide

Click here also for a full list of hotels in Austria or hotels worldwide. If you prefer budget accommodation in hostels, guesthouses or inns, check out hostels worldwide for budget accommodation providers with online booking.

[an error occurred while processing this directive][an error occurred while processing this directive]

[an error occurred while processing this directive]

Point - Click - Discover!

Thanks for visiting this webpage. To continue exploring, choose another destination!

My World Travel Guides - celebrating a beautiful world beautifully.

Travel Business