Museums & Culture in Salzburg
Salzburg is bustling with culture. Discover the region's most prominent museums!
With the opening of the Museum der Moderne (Museum of Modern Art) in 2004, Salzburg now has an extraordinary place for presenting contemporary art. Thanks to its spectacular location on one of the world's most beautiful spots, the museum on the Mönchsberg - designed by architects Friedrich Hoff Zwink from Munich - represents a sensitive dovetailing of the natural / urban landscape.
For many centuries, Salzburg was governed by prince-archbishops who were the spiritual and worldly rulers of the city. Their influence on the city’s culture and economy knew no bounds. Explore the former center of power of the prince-archbishops, the DomQuartier Salzburg: For the first time in 200 years, the entire complex of the Residence, Cathedral, and the Benedictine Monastery of St. Peter, is accessible to the public.
Embark on a tour of discovery through the private and public spaces that served as visible testament to the prince-archbishop’s influence.
Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in 1756 on the third floor of what today is a bright yellow building on Salzburg’s Getreidegasse. This is also where he spent his entire childhood. His father, Leopold Mozart, recognized his son’s musical talent early on and encouraged and promoted him musically. When he was four, the young Mozart began receiving instruction in piano and composition. At the age of six he embarked on his first concert tours, which included a visit to the imperial court in Vienna.
You can visit the townhouse-turned-museum, which shows one-of-a-kind relics from Mozart's life, like his childhood violin!
The Open Air Museum Grossgmain is an enlightening experience for the entire family. Every year, the museum’s collection of artefacts expands as more buildings are transported from their original location and re-erected piece-by-piece. Observe the evolution of architecture over time as you tour houses dating from the 16th century up to the 20th century. Roam through the rooms of farmhouses, stables, mills, homes, and Alpine huts that have been decorated meticulously to appear as though they are still in use.
Have fun touring the truly unique trick fountains at Salzburg’s Hellbrunn Palace. This lovely example of Mannerist architecture is the only surviving example of the water fun parks that used to be a common status symbol among the Italian aristocracy. Hellbrunn’s first owner famed Archbishop Marcus Sittikus had a love for delighting his many guests with watery surprises.
Today, Hellbrunn Palace, with its magnificent ballrooms and extensive park, is ideal for a family outing. Navigate the trick fountains without getting soaked, marvel at the magnificent interior of the palace and watch nighttime feedings at the nearby zoo.
Dating from 1077 A.D., Salzburg’s fortress was never conquered and serves today as one of the largest fully preserved castle complexes in Europe.
Take a slow walk up or ride the funicular from the Festungsgasse, and pass through the inner „Steintor“ to get the most magnificent view of the fortress. Stroll through the old masonry and take in its rich decoration: Gothic wood-carvings and ornamental paintings decorate the Golden Hall and the Golden Chamber till today. Then take the 30 minutes audio guide tour of the interior to view a dungeon, explore state rooms formerly belonging to the influential archbishops.
A heavenly coincidence brings two people together in Oberndorf, near Salzburg: the teacher Franz Xaver Gruber is the organist in Saint Nicholas’ church, and Josef Mohr is the priest there from 1817 to 1819. Even when he arrives there, he has the words for the carol with him – he had written it as a poem. A year later, Gruber composes a moving melody to accompany it. On the evening of December 24, 1818, it gets its first performance. The world’s Christmas carol is born.
Visit the museum that brings the story to life. Set in historic Oberndorf, there is nothing more festive or classically Salzburgian!