Hohensalzburg or the Fortress of Salzburg

The Hohensalzburg Fortress

The Hohensalzburg Fortress ©sanfamedia.com/Flick

The Hohensalzburg is the largest fortress in central Europe, a castle that is a true symbol of strength. It is situated in a favorable position and is the most important tourist attraction of Salzburg that must be visited if you are in the area.

The first documentary attestation of a fortress on the southern slope of Mount Mönchsberg dates back to the Roman times. Although is not very clear, the existence of a fortress here makes sense because of the excellent position. From the location of the Salzburg Fortress you can perfectly see the Salzach River and the surroundings of the town.


View from the Hohensalzburg Fortress

View from the Hohensalzburg Fortress ©heatheronhertravels/Flick

From a small castle to a strong fortress

Prince Archbishop Eberhard raised here the first castle in 1077. It was nothing more than a yard with a wooden wall that served to protect the imperial troops of the Holy Roman Empire.

During the reign of Prince Archbishop Konrad I a stone tower was built. In the 12th and the 13th centuries the fortified area was gradually increased until the imposing high walls surrounding the castle were raised. The conflicts between Bavaria and Austria brought new threats to Salzburg and the Hohensalzburg Fortress needed more and more improvements.

Prince Archbishop Burkhard III von Weisspriach raised four main towers along the outer wall. During the reign of Archbishop Bernhard von Rohr the Rohr bastion was made. Bernhard had big problems with the miners at south of Salzburg who were increasingly dissatisfied with their situation, the wealthy patricians of Salzburg demanded greater privileges, while Salzburg was threatened by a Turkish invasion. It clearly needed an even better fortification.

The city of Salzburg and the fortress on the hill

The city of Salzburg and the fortress on the hill ©sanfamedia.com/Flick

From a fortress to a palace

During the reign of Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach the purpose of the fortress has changed from a military and strategic use to a purely political one. During this period the mines of Prince Archbishop brought some huge revenues, representing 10 percent of the global gold production, a lot of silver and of course, the white gold of Salzburg: the Hallein salt.

To transform the Hohensalzburg Fortress to a comfortable castle Leonhard von Keutschach invested huge amounts of money in decorations, renovations and extensions. His coat of arms is exposed at every place where were made changes to his order. You can find 58 of them in the fortress.

The Hohensalzburg Fortress

The Hohensalzburg Fortress ©sanfamedia.com/Flick

Visiting the Hohensalzburg Fortess

The address of the fortress is Festung Hohensalzburg Verwaltung, Mönchsberg 34 5020 Salzburg, Austria. The fortress is opened from January to April from 9:30 to 5:00 p.m., from May to September from 9:00 to 7:00 p.m., from October to December from 9:30 to 5:00 p.m., but the program differs on holidays.

The entrance fee is 10.50 € for adults, 6.00 € for children and young people (6-14 years) and a family ticket 24.30 is €. The Salzburg Card includes a visit to the Hohensalzburg Fortress including the funicular.

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