Friday, 5 December 2014

Up the mountain - Salzburg

From where we are staying, there are a few routes to get into the old town, and having gone via the Mirabell gardens yesterday, today we decided to loop around and venture down to the Staatsbr├╝ke (the main bridge across to the Old town) via one of the shopping malls, taking photos and checking out the various shops as we went.

Having failed miserably at taking photos of the Franziskanerkirche yesterday Mum wanted to revisit that church and so we meandered in that direction, ducking down alleys we hadn’t yet visited and almost getting lost in the process. Not that it is really possible to get lost in Salzburg as the M├Ânchsberg mountain or the Fortress is clearly visible above most squares or at the end of most streets enabling you to orientate yourself and return to the river.

Having heard about the University Church yesterday (it’s where Salzburg proudly hold services in English) we suddenly stumbled upon it and Mum took a liking to it.

Many of the ceilings in Salzburg’s palaces and castles are of delicate stucco work, coloured only faintly to look like pastel pieces of Wedgewood. It makes for a rather beautiful look. This church however was completely white. With only a couple of altars providing any of the colour and opulence usually associated with the Baroque.

In the Farmer’s market outside we discovered a small bird with decidedly sophisticated tastes in cheese, happily nibbling at a corner of Reggio Parmergiano.

On to the Franziskanerkirche, I hope here is a vaulted ceiling even Tegan would appreciate, the huge rough stone columns contrasting with the small ornate design of the little chapels circling the main altar. 

Next stop: St Peter’s. A church famed more for its cemetery and the wrought Iron crosses within than fro much else. It was opulent, and pretty, but very much ‘of a style’. 

For another Sound of Music trivia fact, the cemetery here was not used in the film but did provide the inspiration for the built set.

Leaving the church grounds we took the funicular up to the Festung Hohensalzburg, the Fortress overlooking the city where on the observation platform the wind fair whistled. 
The icy breezes in Salzburg definitely come from the north, but then the views in the same direction were rather beautiful overlooking the old city in the foreground and the new city in the background that you wouldn't give up on the later because of the former. 

In the Marionette museum we found a delightful contraption for Dad as well as trying our hand at puppeteering, with limited success.

Travelling with Mum, we seem to have a habit of enjoying a large buffet breakfast at the hotel that lasts us through much of the day. This means that we usually only need a small lunch or after a decent lunch, a very small meal for dinner, like a giant Pretzel and a few blocks of chocolate (necessary for me). As we hadn’t really had a proper sit down meal of meat in quite a number of days we sat down for a plate of meat and of course, a couple of gluhwein. We even needed to write some postcards after just to give us time to digest the animals we’d consumed.

More than sated it was time to walk off the pig-fest and actually see the castle we’d come to visit. After another lap around the walls we headed in and up towards the vaulted ceilings and turnips. 

Discovered in 1996 or 98 in the process of undertaking some restoration works. Its presence was unknown but the discovery beautifully depicts the timeline of the wall's changing openings and doorway.

In addition to lavish worked leather walls (sadly disintergrated) ornate wood carvings and ceilings festooned with gold studs to look like the nights sky, the guy who built this fortress liked to plaster his crest everywhere, his crest being of a turnip that would make even Baldrick happy. 

We started heading down the mountain as the (non-existent) sun set allowing for a beautiful contrast between the city during the day and at night with the lights lit. 

And around the corner from where the funicular dropped us, was the Kapitolplatz where there was a special horse-washing fountain, something I would have though every historic city would have needed. 

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