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Salzburg, Austria


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Salzburg, Austria (Known places)
Salzburg, Austria (Known places)
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Information about Salzburg, Austria

Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg. Salzburg's "Old Town" (Altstadt) with its world famous baroque architecture is one of the best-preserved city centres north of the Alps, and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 (24 years ago). The city is noted for its Alpine setting. It is the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart and the setting for parts of the musical and movie The Sound of Music, which features famous landmarks in Austria, but focuses mainly on Salzburg. Salzburg is a student city, with three universities.


Antiquity to Early Modern period

Traces of human settlements have been found in the area, dating to the Neolithic Age. The first settlements at Salzburg were apparently begun by the Celts. Around 15 BC the separate settlements were merged into one city by the Romans. At this time the city was called Juvavum and was awarded the status of a Roman municipium in 45 AD. Juvavum developed into an important town of the Roman province of Noricum. Juvavum declined sharply after the collapse of the Norican frontier, such that by the late 7th century it had become a "near ruin".

The Life of Saint Rupert credits the saint with the city's rebirth. When Theodo of Bavaria asked Rupert to become bishop c. 700, Rupert reconnoitered the river for the site of his basilica. Rupert chose Juvavum, ordained priests, and annexed the manor Piding. Rupert named the city "Salzburg", and then left to evangelise among the pagans.

The name Salzburg literally means "Salt Castle", and derives its name from the barges carrying salt on the Salzach river, which were subject to a toll in the 8th century, as was customary for many communities and cities on European rivers.

The Festung HohenSalzburg, the city's fortress, was built in 1077 (944 years ago) and expanded during the following centuries.

Independence of Salzburg

Independence from Bavaria was secured in the late 14th century. Salzburg was the seat of the Archbishopric of Salzburg, a prince-bishopric of the Holy Roman Empire.

Religious conflict

On Oct. 31, 1731 (290 years ago), the 214th anniversary of Martin Luther's nailing of his 95 Theses to the Wittenberg School door, Roman Catholic Archbishop Count Leopold Anton von Firmian signed his Edict of Expulsion (not to be confused with many similar edicts of expulsion issued against the Jews in various cities in Europe), the Emigrationspatent, declaring that all Protestants recant their non-Catholic beliefs or be banished.

Archbishop von Swires declared that it was to be read publicly Nov. 11, 1731 (290 years ago), the 248th anniversary of Luther's baptism. Believing that his edict would drive away a few hundred troublesome infidels in the hills around the town, Firmian was surprised when 21,475 citizens professed on a public list their Protestant beliefs.

Landowners were given two days to sell their lands and leave. Cattle, sheep, furniture and land all had to be dumped on the market, and the Salzburgers received little money from the well-to-do Catholic allies of Von Firmian. Von Firmian himself confiscated much of their land for his own family, and ordered all Protestant books and Bibles burned. Many children aged 12 and under were seized to be raised as Roman Catholics. Yet those who owned land benefited from one key advantage: the three-month deadline delayed their departure until after the worst of winter.

Tenant farmers, tradesmen, labourers and miners were given only eight days to sell what they could and leave. The first refugees marched north in desperately cold temperatures and snow storms, seeking shelter in the few cities of Germany controlled by Protestant princes, while their children walked or rode on wooden wagons loaded with baggage.

As they went, the exiles' savings were quickly drained as they were set upon by highwaymen, who seized taxes, tolls and payment for protection by soldiers from robbers.

The story of their plight spread quickly as their columns marched north. Goethe wrote the poem Hermann and Dorothea about the Salzburg exiles' march. Protestants and even some Catholics were horrified at the cruelty of their expulsion in winter, and the courage they had shown by not renouncing their faith. Slowly at first, they came upon towns that welcomed them and offered them aid. But there was no place where so many refugees could settle.

Finally, in 1732 (289 years ago) King Frederick William I of Prussia accepted 12,000 Salzburger Protestant emigrants, who settled in areas of East Prussia that had been devastated by the plague twenty years before. Other smaller groups made their way to Debrecen and the Banat regions of the Kingdom of Hungary, to what is now Slovakia, to areas near Berlin and Hanover in Germany, and to the Netherlands.

On Mar. 12, 1734 (287 years ago), a small group of about sixty exiles from Salzburg who had travelled to London arrived in the British American colony of Georgia seeking religious freedom. Later in that year, they were joined by a second group, and, by 1741 (280 years ago), a total of approximately 150 of the Salzburg exiles had founded the town of Ebenezer on the Savannah River (see John A. Treutlen).


In 1772-1803, under archbishop Hieronymus Graf von Colloredo, Salzburg was a centre of late Illuminism.

The Electorate of Salzburg

In 1803 (218 years ago), the archbishopric was secularised by Emperor Napoleon and handed over to Ferdinand III of Tuscany, former Grand Duke of Tuscany, as the Electorate of Salzburg.

Austrian Annexation of Salzburg

In 1805 (216 years ago) Salzburg was annexed to the Austrian Empire together with Berchtesgaden.

Salzburg under Bavarian rule

In 1809 (212 years ago) the territory of Salzburg was transferred to the Kingdom of Bavaria after Austria's defeat at Wagram.

The division of Salzburg and the annexation by Austria and Bavaria

At the Congress of Vienna in 1815 (206 years ago), it was definitively returned to Austria, but without Rupertigau and Berchtesgaden, which passed to Bavaria. Salzburg was integrated into the Salzach province and Salzburgerland was ruled from Linz. In 1850 (171 years ago) Salzburg's status was once more restored as the capital of the Duchy of Salzburg, a crownland of the Austrian Empire. The city became part of Austria-Hungary in 1866 (155 years ago) as the capital of a crownland into the Austrian Empire.

World War I

Salzburg, as a capital of an Austro-Hungarian territory, was defeated in 1918 (103 years ago).

German Austria and the Republic of Austria

With the fall of the House of Habsburg resulting from World War I, Salzburg became part of German Austria in 1918 (103 years ago) and the First Austrian Republic in 1919 (102 years ago). In 1921 (100 years ago), in an unofficial poll, 99% of citizens voted for annexation to the German Reich.


After the Referendum of Mar. 13, 1938 (83 years ago) Salzburg, as a component of Austria, was a part of Germany during the Anschluss and German troops were moved to the city. Political opponents and Jewish citizens were subsequently arrested, and the synagogue was destroyed. Several POW camps for prisoners from the Soviet Union and other nations were organized in the area.

World War II

During World War II, the KZ Salzburg-Maxglan concentration camp was located here. It was a Roma camp and provided slave labour to local industry.

Allied bombing destroyed 7,600 houses and killed 550 inhabitants. Although the town's bridges and the dome of the cathedral were demolished, much of its Baroque architecture remained intact. As a result, it is one of the few remaining examples of a town of its style. American troops entered Salzburg on May 5, 1945 (76 years ago).

In the city of Salzburg there were several DP Camps following World War II. Among these were Riedenburg, Camp Herzl (Franz-Josefs-Kaserne), Camp Mülln, Bet Bialik, Bet Trumpeldor, and New Palestine. Salzburg was the centre of the American-occupied area in Austria.


After World War II Salzburg became the capital city of the State of Salzburg (Land Salzburg).

On Jan. 27, 2006 (15 years ago), the 250th anniversary of the birth of Wolfgang Mozart, all 35 churches of Salzburg rang their bells a little after 8PM (local time) to celebrate the occasion. Major celebrations took place throughout the year.

Other names

Jalcheubureukeu / Chalch'ŭburŭk'ŭ - 잘츠부르크 (Korean)
Sà'ērcíbăo - 薩爾茨堡 (Chinese)
Salisburgo (Italian)
Salzbourg (French)
Salzburg (German, Finnish, Romanian, Serbian, Slovene, Swedish, Turkish)
Salzburgo (Portuguese, Spanish)
Solnograd (old Slovene)
Solnohrad (Czech)
Zalcburga (Latvian)
Zalcburgas (Lithuanian)
Zarutsuburuku - ザルツブルク (Japanese)


Salzburg is on the banks of the Salzach river, at the northern boundary of the Alps. The mountains to Salzburg's south contrast with the rolling plains to the north. The closest alpine peak – the 1972 (49 years ago) m Untersberg – is only a few kilometers from the city center. The Altstadt, or "old town", is dominated by its baroque towers and churches and the massive Festung Hohensalzburg. This area is surrounded by two smaller mountains, the Mönchsberg and Kapuzinerberg as the green lung of the city. Salzburg is approximately 150 km east of Munich, 281 km northwest of Ljubljana, and 300 km west of Vienna.

Notable citizens

  • The composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and raised in Salzburg and worked for the archbishops from 1769 (252 years ago) to 1781 (240 years ago). His house of birth and residence are tourist attractions. His family is buried in a small church graveyard in the old town, and there are many monuments to "Wolferl" in the city.
  • Christian Doppler, an expert on acoustic theory, was born in Salzburg. He is most known for his discovery of the Doppler effect.
  • Josef Mohr was born in Salzburg. Together with Franz Gruber, he composed and wrote the text for "Silent Night". As a priest in neighbouring Oberndorf he performed the song for the first time in 1818 (203 years ago).
  • Noted writer Stefan Zweig lived in Salzburg for about 15 years, until 1934 (87 years ago).
  • Maria Von Trapp (later Maria Trapp) and her family lived in Salzburg until they fled to the USA following the Nazi takeover.
  • Salzburg is the birthplace of Hans Makart, a 19th-century Austrian painter-decorator and national celebrity. Makartplatz (Makart Square) is named in his honour.
  • Writer Thomas Bernhard was raised in Salzburg and spent part of his life there.
  • Herbert von Karajan was a notable musician and conductor. He was born in Salzburg and died in 1989 (32 years ago) in neighbouring Anif.
  • Anthropologist Udo Ludwig was born here.
  • Roland Ratzenberger, Formula One driver, was born in Salzburg. He died in practice for the 1994 (27 years ago) San Marino Grand Prix.
  • Joseph Leutgeb, French horn virtuoso
  • Klaus Ager, the distinguished contemporary composer and Mozarteum professor, was born in Salzburg on 10 May 1946 (75 years ago).
  • Alex Jesaulenko, Australian rules footballer and AFL Hall of Fame player with "Legend" status was born in Salzburg on 2 Aug. 1945 (76 years ago).
  • Georg Trakl is one of the most important voices in German literature and he was also born in Salzburg.
  • Theodor Herzl worked in the courts in Salzburg during the year after he earned his law degree in 1884 (137 years ago).


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