Austria, officially the Republic of Austria, is a landlocked East Alpine country in the southern part of Central Europe. It is composed of nine federated states one of which is Vienna, Austria’s capital and its largest city. It is bordered by Germany to the northwest, Czech Republic to the north, Slovakia to the northeast, Hungary to the east, Slovenia and Italy to the south, and Switzerland and Liechtenstein to the west.
Austria, like it’s neighbouring countries, has been mystically artistic and today, we explore one of the most beautiful, yet unseen city in whole of Europe- Salzburg.
The Sound of Music
In all of Austria, few cities compare to Salzburg when it comes to beauty, history, and grandeur. The gorgeous landscape overlooking the Alps has made an impression on countless people and the incredible baroque era architecture makes Salzburg both pristine and fascinating to look at. The famed musical “The Sound of Music” was set in Salzburg and anybody who has seen Julie Andrews running in front of those glorious mountains already knows just how incredible the natural beauty of Salzburg’s area is.
With just over two hundred thousand people residing in Salzburg, the city is not too crowded yet just large enough to command all the amenities that city life provides. Chief among these is the much-loved Salzburg Festival. This music-themed celebration regularly draws thousands to the city each summer. Unlike other festivals, this huge event goes on for over a month as concerts and dramatic performances enthrall citizens and tourists alike with its grandeur and scale. The Salzburg Easter Festival is another big attraction, though on a smaller scale than the Salzburg Festival. Each Easter, thousands of people gather to pay homage to the resurrection of Christ and many of them complement the festival with a visit to the much adored Nonnberg Abbey, one of the oldest Benedictine monasteries still standing.
The Art Attack
Though Salzburg’s natural and man-made beauty is well documented, perhaps the best indication of its power to inspire brilliance in the arts is made evident by the vast amount of world-famous individuals who were born in the city. The classical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born in Salzburg and he regularly visited his hometown to revel in its splendor. He and his entire family are buried in a private plot in the city and his many fans visit the site each year to pay homage to his brilliance. Also available to Mozart fans is the composer’s birthplace. This site has been wisely preserved by the Salzburg city council and it looks much the same today as it did when Wolfgang was but a pup. The famed Maria Von Trapp also called Salzburg home until the Nazi invasion and her story is the basis for The Sound of Music. Theodor Herzl, Thomas Bernhard, Franz Gruber, and many more famous composers, artists, and writers were born in Salzburg as well.
Salzburg recently attempted to become the site for the 2010 Winter Olympics but it ended up placing second behind Vancouver. Vancouver’s beauty notwithstanding, it is a great loss to athletes around the world that they won’t be able to compete for the gold in one of the most gorgeous cities on the face of the planet. This loss shouldn’t be seen as too big a blow, though, since Olympic host cities typically have to revamp their infrastructure in order to accommodate a large audience and massive media coverage. Perhaps it is better to keep Salzburg’s perfect set-up intact instead of tinkering with what is easily one of the most perfectly constructed cities ever built in terms of both historical importance and brilliant craftsmanship.