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Salzburger Festspiele - Mozarteum, Großer Saal © Salzburg Tourismus

The Salzburg Festival

Salzburg lies in the heart of Europe. But for six weeks a year Salzburg is the centre of the world, when the most prestigious music festival on earth opens with a huge celebration on the city’s squares and streets.

The Salzburg Festival is the most celebrated festival in the world, and the splendid setting for this jewel is provided by the Baroque city centre. The performance schedule consists of opera, theatre, and concerts, and offers a broad spectrum ranging from Mozart – the festival’s genius loci – to the modern, from classic productions to avant-garde experiments, and from Hofmannsthal’s “Everyman” to world premieres by contemporary playwrights. Salzburg thus presents a wider range of styles and genres than any other festival, and everybody who is anybody in the arts world gathers every summer in Salzburg.

In addition to the cultural offerings, the city’s proximity to the Alps and the scenic Salzkammergut lake district makes it the perfect starting point for daytime excursions out into the countryside. But by the early evening, the city’s streets and squares are again filled with elegantly dressed festival guests, and the air is filled with the very atmosphere that makes the Salzburg Festival so extraordinary. Then the Festival Hall, theatres, churches and Cathedral Square all become the stage for a festival whose philosophy, in the words of Hugo von Hofmannsthal, is: “Dramatic acting in the strongest sense”.

Listen to sounds from the Salzburg Festival:

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The main purpose of the two main domains and is the promotion of Austria as a holiday destination.