Wednesday, 3 December 2014

Surrounded - Salzburg

Our arrival into Salzburg was late in the afternoon and  therefore by definition after dark. Having picked a hotel  in the new town near the train station we actually didn't see anything of the city bar a few cars, one roundabout and a small stretch of lamp lit road. 

All the better for the next morning's views!

Despite being in the middle of the Alps, Salzburg is actually far warmer than Munich or our day trip down into Upper Bavaria. Sitting at a very warm 10°C we were happy to spend the day roaming around the streets, as opposed  to holed up inside one of the many museums or historical houses no doubt on our list. 
Of course we did pop in to one or two if they happened to be on our way.

Wandering into the old town from the new town, our first stop was conveniently  the Schloss Mirabell, now the municipal chambers for the Mayor, but still possessing an ornate marble staircase featuring  fat reclining putti and reception room where classical concerts and weddings are still held. 


The palace had originally been built by Wolf Dietrich Raitenau for his mistress/common law wife Salome (and their fifteen children) but it was so sumptuous that upon his deposition it was forcibly commandeered by his successor.

There is also the Mirabell Garten here, still picturesque and colourful despite the general lack of leaves and flowers. 

In the formal French gardens, delightfully, someone had thought to add trails of pansies through the lawn adding ribbons of colour to the otherwise barrenness of a typical winter landscape.  

For a town that panned the movie upon its initial release, Salzburg has embraced the movie version of the story and guide books and tourist tat point out the various locations where scenes were filmed. 

The first we stumbled upon was the steps in the Mirabellgarten when the children are still learning to sing but more delightful was the gnome/dwarf garden up around the corner, and the temporary display of an extensive family tree of the Gods and heros of Greek Mythology. 


Another SoM gateway, again as the kids learn to sing.
Crossing the river (and buying lots of chocolate) we wandered in to the old town, away from the river and towards the Fortress that overlooked the entire city. Salzburg seems to be a pedestrian city with most roads designated malls and most roads interconnected through a series of courtyards and archways (many of which had their own Christmas markets). 

Still unfamiliar with many of the European chains, but more curious about the local shops and tourist offerings we wandered in and out of many of them, slowly winding our way around to  the central Residenzplatz. One of the most unusual shops appears to be typical of this region as it is not something I have ever seen before. The entire shop was piled high with real eggs, each one emptied of its contents and ornately decorated to become a Christmas bauble. 


Upon reaching Residenzpaltz, surprise surprise, there was another Christmas market. 

Frites mit mayo, a chicken burger, a gluwein for Mum, and for me an Italian Hot chocolate later, we were feeling revitalised enough to head in to the Residenz and associated museums and art galleries. 

Unfortunately photography was not allowed. 

Included in this museum ticket was access to a Panorama terrace (overlooking the Residenzplatz with its Christmas market and the adjacent Domplatz with its Christmas market).

Also, the Organ gallery of the Dom Cathedral giving us a different angle of the decorated aisle.  

When we finished these museums, we headed down and had a proper look at the Dom. 

Which again, was destroyed somewhat during the war. Eavesdropping on an English-speaking tour guide  she said one bomb managed to drop right into the central main dome before smashing the roof to smithereens.

One of  the churches included in the Museum price was the Franziskanerkirke, but alll we were allowed to do was peer into the dark upper levels through a closed door. Stumbling upon the front door to this church on our meander home, we wandered in and attempted to photograph the impressive vaulted ceiling.

More on that tomorrow as Mum's camera was not capturing it like she wanted. 

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