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Squares & Streets in Salzburg

Alter Markt

“Alter Markt,” the Old Marketplace in Salzburg’s historic city center, was already laid out as an urban trading center and marketplace in the 13th century. The square was known as Ludwig Victor Square between 1873 and 1927 after Archduke Ludwig Viktor, the youngest brother of Emperor Franz Joseph I, who moved to Klessheim Palace in 1861.

Oldest weekly market The dairy market, herb market, turnip/cabbage market and the stove fitters’ market were once linked to the central market. The square is enclosed by a row of stately burgher’s houses, whose core often dates back to the Middle Ages. The Old Marketplace was not only used as a weekly market but also served as a festive setting for the Whitsun dance, the sword dance by the Dürrnberg miners, St. John’s fire during the midsummer festival and the annual dance by barefoot bakers. The Old Marketplace also served as a venue for the annual Lent market until 1889. It spread to University Square and Residence Square after 1813 and was used for an autumn market until 1856, also known as St. Rupert’s Market. The weekly market moved to present-day University Square in 1857

Domplatz & Marienstatue

Archbishop Wolf Dietrich had Cathedral Square built in Salzburg’s Old City: it is distinguished by its architectural unity and exceptional beauty. Cathedral Square is bordered by the Cathedral, the archiepiscopal Residence and the convent tract of St. Peter’s Monastery. The “cathedral arches” built by Giovanni Antonio Darios connect the square with Residence Square and Chapter Square, a second set of arcades with the Franciscan Church.

Immaculate Column Modeled after the Immaculate Columns in Vienna and Munich, the statue of the Virgin Mary is the focus of attention on Cathedral Square. The Maria Immaculata was commissioned by Archbishop Sigismund Graf Schrattenbach. It is the work of the brothers Wolfgang and Johann Baptist Hagenauer, a mixture of marble sculpting and cast iron. The statue of Maria Immaculata is enthroned on a “mountain of clouds” made of Untersberg marble and a globe. It is surrounded by allegoric figures on four sides: Angel, Devil, Truth (Wisdom) and the Church. A plaque on the side of the Cathedral explains their meaning: the mystery of the Immaculate Conception was so great that it caused the angels to be delighted, human wisdom to vanish, the devil to growl in envy and the triumphant church to rejoice

Getreidegasse

The charm of the Getreidegasse, probably Salzburg’s most famous shopping lane, is not only generated by the high, narrow houses tightly nestled together, the enticing shops and the wrought iron guild signs, but also to the romantic passageways and courtyards. The name “Getreidegasse” underwent an interesting transformation. Initially it was known as Trabegasse, Trabgasse or Travgasse, derived from “traben” (to trot). Later it transmuted to Tragasse, Traidgasse, Getreidgasse and finally to Getreidegasse. Thus, the street originally had nothing to do with cereal (Getreide).

The row of buildings along the Judengasse and Getreidegasse developed downstream from the former merchant settlement on the Waagplatz (“weighing square”). They were prevented from further expansion by private property borders to the south and west and by the city walls and the Salzach River to the north

Goldgasse

The Goldgasse in Salzburg is a narrow passageway leading from one of the arcades on Residence Square to the Old Marketplace. It was also known as the “Sporer” “Milch” (Milk) and “Schlosser” (Locksmith) lane at various times over the centuries. “Sporers” were locksmiths for riding tack. The passageway owes its current name to the goldsmiths that once had their shops here. Beautiful jewelry – old and new – can still be bought here today, as can antiques, traditional costumes and hats, silk flowers, books, antique timepieces, pewter, furs, antique coins, paintings, fine wines and cooking oils, exclusive leather goods, art supplies, designer glasses and ceramics.

The buildings and their history The buildings in Goldgasse have five to six floors. Most of the façades are smooth. Several buildings deserve closer inspection, e.g. the “Reitsamerhaus” at Goldgasse 5. It was referred to as the “house in Sporergasse” in 1424 and was where the French merchant, Jean Fontaine, first obtained a license to serve coffee in 1700. The coffeehouse later moved to the Old Marketplace, where it is now known as Café Tomaselli

Hagenauerplatz

Although Hagenau Square is probably one of the most famous squares in Salzburg, it usually receives no more than a sidelong glance. The endless stream of visitors come to see Mozart’s Birthplace, which is officially located at Getreidegasse 9 but actually found on Hagenau Square. It was even known as the “Hagenauer House” for many years.

The buildings and their history Hagenau Square marks the end of Getreidegasse and opens towards Salzburg through the Griestor. The “Obere Tränktor” was originally located in the city wall facing the Salzach, affording access to the Salzach ships and watering place for the animals. The building stock of the former “Wirtshaus zum Löchl” at Hagenau Square 2 dates back to the 16th century. The hinges for the former doors of the city gate are still preserved to this day. The small shops later established in this area often incorporated the Löchlbogen name, e.g. the Kaslöchl

Judengasse

The Judengasse in Salzburg is often considered an extension of the Getreidegasse on a stroll through the city. The narrow lane curves from the Old Marketplace to the Waagplatz. The Judengasse and the Jewish School at number 15 were first documented in 1377. The name is of historic origin: during the Middle Ages the Judengasse was the center of the Jewish settlement and one of Salzburg’s oldest thoroughfares. It was part of the Jewish district up to their expulsion in 1498.
The earliest documentary evidence of a Jewish settlement in Salzburg dates back to 1284. The Salzburg archbishops transacted business with Jewish merchants and bankers. But the persecution of the Jews and mass executions reveal the dominance that prevailed in the clerical city of Salzburg.

The buildings and their history Several buildings in Judengasse bear witness to the city’s moving past. A synagogue was located at number 15 until 1415; number 3 has an especially striking façade with the only art nouveau portal in Salzburg. The composer, Heinrich Biber, lived at Number 13 from 1672 to 1684. Judengasse today The Judengasse is one of the most popular shopping miles in Salzburg’s Old City. In addition to modern boutiques offering international haute couture, it has shops that sell fine chocolate, lovely souvenirs, furnishings, Easter eggs and Christmas ornaments all year round

Kaigasse

Those strolling out of town from Mozart Square or Chapter Square through Kapitelgasse towards the Kai District will find themselves in Kaigasse. Life is slower and more leisurely “back here” away from the hustle and bustle found on the squares or in the Getreidegasse. Although only a stone’s throw away from the pulsating city center, life is quite different here. Salzburg University’s administration center, several university departments and the offices of the Salzburg State Government are located on Kaigasse. Less tourists but many students and busy politicians hurry by.

Roman temple in the Kaigasse The many corners in the Kaigasse date back to a Roman temple designed as a peripteros consecrated to the gods Asklepios, Hygieia and Kybele. It was once located between today’s Kaigasse and Krotachgasse. Its foundation walls were unearthed from 1945 to 1955 and in 1987. The temple was approx. 45.5 meters long and 29.6 meters wide. The temple’s strong foundation slab was partly cast

Kapitelplatz & Kapitelschwemme

Anyone walking to the fortress, the funicular or to St. Peter’s Cemetery will cross Kapitelplatz (Chapter Square). The spacious square is bordered on the south by the Cathedral, by the Cathedral provostry and archiepiscopal palace in the east, the novice’s wing of St. Peter’s Monastery in the west and the Cathedral Chapter’s mills. Chapter Square was once the site of the Cathedral Abbey: the high clergy resided on Chapter Square and in the palaces in the adjacent streets until the archbishopric was dissolved in 1803. The Cathedral district was comprised of austere, sovereign residences lined up on Kapitelgasse, Kaigasse and Chiemseegasse.

Chapter Fountain Slightly secluded from the spacious square, Chapter Fountain bears witness to the past: a horse pond was already situated in the center of Chapter Square during the Middle Ages. The new fountain was built under Archbishop Leopold Firmian in 1732 to plans by Franz Anton Danreiter, obviously modeled on Roman fountains. The ramp used by the horses to access the water leads straight up to the group of figures: Neptune, god of the sea, holding a trident and crown, mounted on a seahorse spurting water. The baroque figure was sculpted by Josef Anton Pfaffinger. A chronogram with Archbishop Firmian’s coat of arms can be found above the niche

Karajan-Platz & Pferdeschwemme

Herbert von Karajan Square is located in Salzburg’s Old City against the face of the Mönchsberg in front of Sigmund’s Gate. Originally named after Archbishop Sigismund Christian Schrattenbach, the square was renamed in honor of the world-famous conductor, Herbert von Karajan. Sigmund’s Gate connects the Old City with the Riedenburg district and is the oldest road tunnel in Austria. The Civic Hospital, Large Festival Hall, Old University and Hotel Goldener Hirsch are in close proximity to the square. University Square, Hofstallgasse and Bürgerspitalgasse lead into the square.

The Horse Pond The magnificent Horse Pond was designed and built in 1693 by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach in the course of building the facade for the royal stables. The central group, the “Horse Tamer” by Michael Bernhard Mandl, once stood in an oval basin axial to the portal of the royal stables. A separate palace façade with horse frescoes was located behind the portal

Linzer Gasse & Platzl

Many of the quaint, old houses can trace their chronicles back to the 14th and 15th centuries and still bear witness to the efficient and industrious burghers of yesteryear. The devastating city fire of 1818, causing extensive damage to the right bank of the Salzach River, did not spare the Linzer Gasse but the wounds have meanwhile healed and the charming burgher houses – lovingly renovated – once again border this beautiful old district in Mozart’s city.

The Linzer Gasse with its handicrafts and old shops, its countless restaurants and hostels and its unmatched local flair has always been the counterpart of its “Salzburger” sister, the elegant, international Getreidegasse on the other side of the river. For many centuries, those who needed a turner, a draper or butcher, a gunsmith or chain maker, a clockmaker, cooper or art metal worker, an apothecary and barber-surgeon, a gingerbread-maker and wax-chandler or even a bell-founder were at the right address in the Linzer Gasse in Salzburg

Makartplatz

Makart Square is named after the Salzburg painter, Hans Makart, the “artist prince” of the Viennese Ringstrasse. House number 8 was the Mozart family residence. The square is bounded by the facade of the magnificent Church of the Holy Trinity, the most significant sacred building on the right bank of the Old City, designed by the great Baroque architect Fischer von Erlach. The Landestheater and the main entrance to the famous Mirabell Gardens are located on the opposite side

Mozartplatz & Mozart Monument

The square is dominated by the statue of Mozart by Ludwig Schwanthaler, ceremoniously unveiled on September 5, 1842 in the presence of Mozart’s sons. Mozart’s widow, Constanze von Nissen, did not live to see the unveiling. She died on March 6th of the same year in the house at Mozartplatz 8. A plaque was placed on the house in her memory.

“Michl march, Mozart is here!” This was the local vernacular when the site for the erection of the Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart monument was being discussed. The two squares coming into consideration were the Hannibalplatz in front of Mozart’s Residence (today’s Makart Square) and the Michaelsplatz (today’s Mozart Square), whose fountain with the Baroque statue of St. Michael had to give way to the Mozart monument.”

Residenzplatz & Residenzbrunnen

Residence Square is an especially magnificent forecourt between the archiepiscopal residences in the heart of Salzburg’s Old City. It is bordered by the New Residence with its carillon, the Cathedral, the Old Residence and a continuous row of townhouses, now housing shops, a bakery and a café.

History Five squares were built under Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau: Residence Square with its richly decorated baroque fountain is probably the largest and most beautiful square. Fifty-five medieval buildings were torn down to make room for the square. Residence Square was designed according to the Mannerist plans of the Italian architect, Vincenzo Scamozzi.

Residence Fountain Residence Fountain is considered to be the most beautiful fountain in the city of Salzburg and certainly deserves a closer look: four snorting horses seem to spring forth from the spouting rock. Giants rooted in the rock carry the lower basin, in which three dolphins balance the scalloped upper basin. The upper basin holds a Triton, a jet of water shooting into the air from his conch-shell trumpet. Archbishop Guidobald Thun, a fountain enthusiast, commissioned the fountain to be built. It is considered to be one of the most significant baroque monuments in Europe today. The work is attributed to the Italian sculptor, Tommaso di Garone

Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse

The Sigmund Haffner Gasse in Salzburg’s historic city center connects the Getreidegasse with the Franziskanergasse. The City Hall and Kranzlmarkt are located at the lower end and the Franciscan Church at the upper end. The street is named after the wealthy merchant, Sigmund Haffner, who served as the city’s mayor from 1768 to 1772. His son was the same age as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. The composer dedicated the Haffner Serenade to Sigmund Haffner’s daughter for her engagement.

Historic street Sigmund Haffner Gasse is one of Salzburg’s oldest streets: it dates back to 1140 when the Franciscan Church became a parish church. Prior to 1620 the street marked the end of the burghers’ town to the west to the large convent garden of St. Peter’s Convent between the Collegiate Church and Karajan Square. Prominent residents on Sigmund Haffner Gasse include Archbishop Wolf Dietrich, his mistress Salome Alt and the composer Heinrich Biber

Steingasse

Just a stone’s throw from the busy traffic route of the 21st Century, there’s the ancient Steingasse, nestled between the foot of the hill known as the Kapuzinerberg and the Salzach river, which to this day has wholly retained its medieval charm!

The Salzach was an important transport route for salt, the „white gold of the mountains“ as was, above all, the Steingasse which was seen as the main point of entry for the heavy daily consignments of salt arriving from Hallein in the south, as the horse drawn vehicles rumbled through the narrow “Steintor” gate. In addition, this was the most popular route taken to the mountains and on towards Italy, thus a significant north-south medieval trading route! However, many traditional jobs and trades were carried out in the narrow lane over the centuries. Dockers, potter, dyers and tanners were also based here due to the necessity of water for their trades and, until the Salzach was reengineered in 1862, nearly every one of the impressive buildings, most of which are still standing, had access to the Salzach and had magnificent gardens in what is now the Imbergstrasse

Waagplatz

The Waagplatz is located at the end of Judengasse and merges with Mozart Square. It was used as a hay market in the 15th century and as a bread market after 1430. The name “Waagplatz” is derived from the public scales set up on the square used to weigh grain during the Middle Ages.

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