According to historic sources, a church stood on the site of today’s Aigen Church in Salzburg during the 13th century. A new chancel and altar were consecrated in 1411 and the cemetery first mentioned in documents in 1447. Although no details on the construction of the church are available, the Aigen Church was consecrated to John the Baptist, establishing the connection to the much-frequented mineral springs in the nature park near Aigen Palace.
Architectural history: An avenue lined by chestnut trees leads uphill to Aigen Palace and Church, consecrated as a parish church in 1851. The Gothic building was adapted in the baroque style from 1689 to 1691, including the church’s interior. A baroque bulbous spire was added and the high altar gilded and repainted in 1717. A popular excursion destination, Aigen Palace and Church have always been a preferred wedding venue
St. Andrew’s Church was originally located at the “Platzl,” the corner where Linzergasse meets Dreifaltigkeitsgasse. After a great deal of debate, it was torn down by the city government to make way for a wider road.
Architectural history The new St. Andrew’s Church was built according to plans by Josef Wessicken and city architect Jakob Ceconi in the neo-Gothic style and consecrated in November 1898. Both the façade with its rosette and the interior of the three-aisled church were modeled in the Gothic style. Although the building’s 61-meter towers disturbed the harmony of the cityscape, no one seemed to mind. The church was destroyed by air raids in World War II, leaving only the western part unscathed. Reconstruction of a simpler version of St. Andrew’s Church was completed in 1949. Despite all the changes, the church failed to blend in with its surroundings. Further adaptations were made in 1969/70: the towers were shortened and covered with flat pyramid-shaped roofs. The façade was painted light grey and white to make St. Andrew’s Church fit into the cityscape
Luther’s doctrines also spread throughout Salzburg at the beginning of the Reformation. The cornerstone for the Christ Lutheran Church was laid on the banks of the Salzach in 1863. Architectural history The construction of the church was financed by generous donations from the Protestant world. 370 prisoners held captive in the Fortress during the Austro-Prussian War against Denmark helped build the church. It was consecrated in September 1867. The brick building on Elisabethkai was the first Protestant church in the province of Salzburg
Salzburg’s Cathedral is probably the city’s most significant piece of church architecture and its ecclesiastical center. With its magnificent façade and mighty dome it represents the most impressive early Baroque edifice north of the Alps. Its origin is closely connected to the ecclesiastical principality’s demeanour and growth. Destroyed by fire and rebuilt, enlarged and expanded, it bears witness to the power and independence of Salzburg’s archbishops.
The first cathedral was built on this site by Bishop Virgil who came to Salzburg in 767 and built a cathedral on the site of the former Roman Juvavum. On September 24, 774 the cathedral was consecrated to St. Virgil and St. Rupert. The city was set on fire in 1167 by the Counts of Plain, followers of the emperor Friedrick Barbarossa, also destroying the cathedral. The cathedral was rebuilt ten years later under the rule of Archbishop Conrad III of Wittelsbach and became more beautiful, more magnificent and more impressive than ever, making it the mightiest Romaneque cathedral north of the Alps, its size even surpassing the emperor’s cathedral in Speyer
The Church of the Holy Trinity is the most significant sacred building on the right bank of the Old City and the first church designed by the great Baroque architect Fischer von Erlach. The dominant dome, the sweeping façade, the twin towers and the palace-type wings are definitely the eye-catcher on Makart Square.
Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun had commissioned a priests’ house and seminary to be built on this site. The construction of the immense building took from 1694 to 1702. The architect based his design of the church, which was connected to the priests’ house, on Roman architecture
The Nonntal is one of the oldest residential areas in Salzburg: the oldest Roman building in Salzburg was discovered near St. Erhard’s Church. Initially built as a hospital chapel, St. Erhard is owned by the Nonnberg Convent. St. Erhard was a contemporary of Salzburg’s patron, St. Rupert Rupert. Of Irish/Scottish heritage, St. Erhard was known as a miraculous healer of the sick and protector of the poor.
Architectural history The new Erhard Church was built in 1689 according to plans by the young architect, Giovanni Gaspare Zugalli, at the site of the former chapel. A cemetery was opened across from the church in 1727, but closed again in the middle of the 19th century. St. Erhard’s Church became a parish church in 1853. Due to the consistency of its Italian baroque style, St. Erhard’s Church is one of the most noteworthy sacred buildings in Salzburg
Rupert, a Franconian missionary, came to Salzburg, the former Roman Juvavum, around 700 and founded St. Peter’s Church and a monastery, still extant as the oldest community of monks on German soil.
Architectural history Salzburg was raised to the status of an archbishopric under Archbishop Arno, a friend of Charlemagne’s. The church and buildings were entirely burned down in May 1127. Abbot Balderich had a three-aisled Roman basilica built between 1130 and 1143. The church and monastery district were modified several times in the following years.
St. Veit’s Chapel, built in 1319, is one of the oldest Gothic buildings in Salzburg. The magnificent Romanesque portal dates back to 1240. The chapel was converted to the rococo style during the 18th century under the bustling and art-loving abbot, Beda Seeauer. Archabbot Petrus Klotz founded the Collegium Benedictinum featuring façade frescoes by Anton Faistauer in the first half of the 20th century
The history of the Franciscan Church – similar to the history of Salzburg Cathedral – can be traced back to Salzburg’s early Christian period. Both churches are distinguished by their contrasting architectural styles: the Cathedral, a dominating Baroque bishops’ church and the Franciscan Church, a slender, Gothic church for the middle class. The Cathedral, a stately ecclesiastical structure, the Franciscan Church a place of silent communion.
The church’s origins are obscure, it is maintained that it may be older than the Cathedral. Its construction is attributed to St. Virgil. As most of the other churches in Salzburg it was repeatedly ravaged by fire and fell victim to the chastisement of Emperor Friedrich Barbarossa in 1167. The aspiring Salzburg burghers left their mark on the city with their reconstruction of the church at the turn of the 12th century and again at the beginning of the 15th century. The self-confident middle class could afford to have the church renovated by the most famous architect in the Salzburg region, Hans von Burghausen. At that time Hans von Burghausen had gained recognition through his churches in Landshut and Neuötting. His masterpiece is the magnificent hall choir which effectively reflects the fusion of light and darkness, one of the Fransican Church’s special features. The original high altar was built by Michael Pacher from 1495-1498 but has, unfortunately, not been preserved. Fortunately, the statue of the Madonna with Child, one of Michael Pacher’s masterpieces, was integrated in the high altar designed by Fischer von Erlach 1709/1710 and thus preserved for posterity. The tower holds one of the oldest preserved bells made by the master bell-founder, Jörg Gloppischer, in 1468
In 1591 Archbishop Wolf Dietrich purchased a hospital and church in today’s Kai District to establish a seminary. It was to be managed by an order of Theatine monks, founded by St. Cajetan and Pietro Caraffa in 1524. The order was brought to Salzburg in 1685 to found a new mission. Shortly thereafter a decision was reached to build a church and abbey in the Kai District at the very same location.
Architectural history Gaspare Zugalli was commissioned as the architect and the brothers Francesco and Carl-Antonio Brenno and Antonio Carabelli provided the stuccowork. Construction of the Cajetan Church was discontinued upon Max Gandolf’s death in 1687. It was completed in 1696 under Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun and consecrated in 1700. The Theatine mission in Salzburg was dissolved in 1809 and the Cajetan Church almost fell to ruin. The church and abbey were turned over to the Brothers of Mercy in 1923, who took care of its maintenance. The building was used as a hospital during World War II. It was damaged by bombs in 1944 and later restored
The Kapuzinerberg, at 636 m the highest elevation in the city, represents the northern end of the calcareous alps within the city limits. Formerly known as the “Imberg”, the Kapuzinerberg has a long history: Settlements on the eastern slope towards the part of town known as Gnigl have been traced back to the Neolithic period and two settlement sites discovered above the Capuchin Monastery date back to around 1000 B.C. It is also assumed that one settlement site may have originated during the La Tène period.
During the Middle Ages a military tower built by the quarrelsome archbishops as part of a fortification system was located on the Kapuzinerberg on the site of the present Capuchin Monastery. The fortified structure was called the “Trompeterschlössl”. When Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau called the Capuchin monks to Salzburg in 1594 he decided to transform the Trompeterschlössl into a monastery and church in which to settle the order
Archbishop Frederick III proposed that a civic hospital be built in Salzburg in 1327. The hospital was to offer shelter for the sick and ailing. The townspeople provided the food for the patients, causing it to be called the “civic hospital”. The church, built in 1330, was closely affiliated with the hospital. Walking down Getreidegasse, the church is found at the northern end, clinging to the face of the Mönchsberg.
Architectural history The Church was consecrated to St. Blaise, known as a benefactor and patron saint of throat ailments. St. Blaise’s Church was the first hall church built in Salzburg whose nave and aisles were of equal height. The architect is unknown. Its exterior is austere, the gabled façade still has an old Gothic character. A tracery, two rosettes, a crucifixion scene and other adornments were added in the 19th century in line with the Gothic tradition
Upon founding the Benedictine University in Salzburg in 1623, Prince Archbishop Paris Lodron was the first to develop plans for the construction of a University Church. Its final construction, however, was a long time coming. Professors and students only had one hall, the Aula academica, in which to hold services. The hall was also used for theater performances and other festivities. In 1694, over 70 years later, Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun decided to build a large church to serve the University. For its design he selected the most prominent Baroque architect of the time, Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach. The construction of the University Church is considered Fischer von Erlach’s most significant accomplishment. Its monumental size surpassed only by the Cathedral, the University Church with its grandiose façade is one of the most magnificent Baroque churches in Austria. Its unparalleled style later influenced late Baroque church architecture in southern Germany. The consecration of the church began on November 20, 1707 and lasted for eight days. Unfortunately, the architect was unable to see the completion of his “crown of creation”, having meanwhile lost his eyesight
The history of St. Sebastian’s Church can be traced to Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach who had the church erected from 1505 to 1512. The deteriorating, late Gothic church, which ancient views of the city depict with a small tower and steep roof, was torn down in 1750 and replaced by a late Baroque colonnaded hall. The reconstruction work was performed by Franz Anton Danreiter and the Tyrolese architect Kassian Singer. The magnificent Rokoko portal by Josef Anton Pfaffinger and the elaborate gate designed by Philipp Hinterseer in 1752 are of particular value. The high altar is decorated with a beautiful Madonna with Child, the work of Hans Waldburger dating back to 1611.
The devastating town fire in 1818 which destroyed large sectors of the town on the right bank of the river also burned parts of St. Sebastian’s Church. The ceiling frescoes painted by Paul Troger and the high altar painting depicting St. Sebastian were completely destroyed
Churches and chapels in palaces were not only used by the archbishops as a place of worship. The royal household and the prince’s entourage also gathered in the chapel to celebrate mass and worship. Appropriate to their lifestyle, the archbishops even installed chapels in their pleasure palaces, of which the magnificent Mirabell Palace Chapel is the most striking example in Salzburg.
History of the building Not much of the original palace chapel in Mirabell Palace built under the auspices of Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau is preserved. Archbishop Franz Anton von Harrach had Mirabell Palace completely remodeled from 1721 to 1727. The new palace chapel was designed by the architect Lukas von Hildebrandt. The ceiling fresco is the work of Bartolomeo Altomonte. The chapel was consecrated to St. John of Nepomuk on May 12, 1726. The chapel was reconstructed following the great city fire in 1818 and renovated in 1952 and 1988. The palace chapel has been used by the Old Catholics since 1938
The Mülln Parish Church stands on a site steeped in history: the hill in the Mülln district above the banks of the Salzach was a cult site in heathen times. The foundation walls of the ancient settlement area date back to the prehistoric age. A Chapel of Our Lady from the Nonnberg and St. Peter’s Monastery is said to have existed at the “Mühlen” (mills) from 1048. A lovely crucifix from the Romantic period has been preserved. The small church gradually became too small for the growing population. Construction of a Late Gothic church commenced in 1439 and was completed in 1453.
Architecture and interior The Mülln Church was redesigned in the late Baroque era: its modest entrance imparts none of the splendor found inside. Two lions’ heads adorn the church portal, the hall is dominated by the mighty high altar made of red marble. It contains a precious miraculous statue of the Madonna with Child, a late medieval masterpiece (1460). Its contours are modeled after the “Beautiful Madonna.” The altar wings for the side chapel were painted by Johann Michael Rottmayr around 1690. Two gigantic bronze candlesticks (1700) underline the solemnity and resplendence of the altar. The richly decorated pulpit with its curved balustrade is the work of Johann Georg Hitzl. A two-story gallery, whose balustrade stretches across the entire room, is a fascinating sight
St. Michael’s Church is the oldest parish church in Salzburg’s burghers’ town. It stands on ancient ground between the Residence and the Waagplatz. It served as a palace chapel and parish church up to the 12th century. In its double function the church was divided into two sectors: the upper sector was reserved to the emperor and his entourage and was accessed from the palace. The lower sector was accessed from the market square and open to the townsfolk.
Architectural history The small rococo church on Residence Square already existed prior to 800. It has belonged to St. Peter’s Monastery since the High Middle Ages, which was concerned with maintaining the church. It was quickly rebuilt after the fires in 823 and 1167 but lost its former spiritual significance when the parish rights were transferred to the Liebfrauenkirche (Church of St. Mary)
St. Mark’s Church near the Klaus Gate at the foot of the Mönchsberg is a masterpiece of baroque architecture: the cornerstone for the Ursuline Convent church was laid in 1699. A smaller church located on the same site was destroyed by a disastrous rockfall from the Mönchsberg thirty years before. At the time of its construction, raising a building on the small strip of land between the Mönchsberg and the precipitous banks of the Salzach was a masterly performance.
Architectural history Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun called on the renowned architect, Fischer von Erlach, who was also commissioned to design other churches in Salzburg. The church was consecrated in 1705 but the construction of the convent took another two decades. It served as the seat for the Ursuline Order until 1957. Today the former St. Ursuline Church, consecrated to St. Mark the Evangelist, is known by its original name again
Maria Plain in the northeast of the city has been a famous pilgrimage site since the 17th century. The fascination of the site has attracted pilgrims for centuries. The history of Maria Plain goes back to the Thirty Years’ War. The miraculous painting of the “Virgin with Child” by an unknown painter miraculously survived a fire in the Bavarian town of Regen undamaged. It was brought to the Grimming family’s newly acquired estate on the Plainberg near Salzburg in 1652, where it was kept in a wooden chapel.
The painting’s origin The painting had to be returned just one year later. Due to the continuous inflow of pilgrims, a copy of the painting was made and put on display in a new chapel. The construction of a large pilgrimage church was commissioned by Archbishop Max Gandolf in 1671: the church was built after plans by Giovanni Antonio Dario and consecrated on August 12, 1674. The original painting was brought back to Salzburg two years later
The moving history of the Loreto Church in the city of Salzburg goes back to the turmoil of the Thirty Years’ War. The nuns from the Loreto Convent in Landshut fled to Salzburg in 1632. They obtained permission to build a convent from Archbishop Paris Lodron and laid the cornerstone in September 1633. Construction was slow due to the lengthy war but the Loreto Church was consecrated in 1637. The convent had 30 cells for the nuns.
Architectural history When the French marched into Salzburg in 1800, the convent served as a depot and quarters for the soldiers. The community of nuns nearly disbanded just six years later: instead, the nuns decided to feed the poor and have operated a soup kitchen for the needy ever since. The church was struck by bombs during World War II air raids and severely damaged. The Loreto Church was reconstructed and consecrated in 1946
The convent can be reached on foot over the Hoher Weg, from the Kaigasse over the steps of the Nonnbergstiege and from Nonntal through a narrow lane. The early history of the convent’s construction is obscure. The oldest convent church, probably located near the crypt of St. Ernetrudis, is believed to have been destroyed by fire. Emperor Heinrich II and his wife Kunigunde built a Romanesque basilica, consecrated to the Holy Virgin in 1009, making it the second oldest Church of Our Lady in Salzburg. The magnificent frescoes preserved from this period are among the most significant Romanesque wall paintings on Austrian soil.
In 1241 Archbishop Eberhard gave the abbess the rank of a bishop and the right to bear the crosier, the crucifix and a mitre instead of the crown. Thus, the convent’s mother superiors were put on an equal footing with the abbots from St. Peter. In 1423 the Romanesque church was devoured by flames and in 1464 the Abbess Agatha von Haunsberg began to reconstruct the building on the Romanesque foundation in the Gothic style. Extensive renovations of the church were carried out from 1895 to 1951. The requirement making admission to the convent dependent on being aristocratic was abolished in 1848
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