Bild zum Weblog Sound of Music everywhere

Sound of Music everywhere

Our visit to Salzburg was one I had looked forward to from the beginning of the summer. ...

I'd passed through the city several years ago and wanted to see how things had changed and what I had missed in the first trip. Schloss Hellbrunn was one of those places I'd missed on the first trip. The architecture of the Schloss itself was well designed and the curiousities that decoated the halls painted an interesting portrait of the Prince Archbishop. His water gardens were a especially interesting because of the intricate clockwork figures and the mischevious mechanisms that would shoot water onto unsuspecting visitors. Since this was the first stop of the day I had little interest in getting wet despite the Austrian summer sun. I watched for the telltale holes in the floors and walls and tried to avoid the timing of our tour guide, who delighted in getting us wet. Some of us made it through with a light sprinkling, while others had opted into being wet.

The brief respite from the heat that we'd enjoyed in Hellburnn was soon forgotten after we began our climb up the Festung, or fortress, which overlooks much of Salzburg. The air was cooler as we climbed higher and evidence of shelling could be found on the older sections of the wall. The streets of Salzburg were narrow enough that the streets were only traversed by pedestrians and the occasional horse carriage. After leaving the gate of the Festung, we wandered back down through the streets until we arrived at the birthplace of Mozart, painted a stark yellow to contrast the surrounding buildings.

From here, we split ways into small groups of twos and threes. The place that I was most intrigued by had been a large catherdral that flanked a square containing carraiges and a rather unique fountain. The catherdral itself was as cavernous inside as mountainous without. The lofty ceilings were decked in a simple contrasting theme of white and black, light and dark, which dominated every crevice of an exquisitely crafted building. Clear windows filtered in a natural light that was magnified against the marble and plaster. At the center, beneath a massive dome of saints and angels, perched four identical pipe organs to be played in unison. Above the western enterance sat a grand organ that overshadowed the others encased in a light marble. Stone angels with trumpets sat above the organ, their horns directed at the high altar. It was a quiet place and the craftsmanship and dedication of its builders was evident. For a long time, several of us wandered through the various chapels and guessing at the Latin effigies. After some time we left the cathedral and began to make our way back the the meeting point.

There was no hurry to our return, and we paused in shops that sold antiques and traditional Austrian clothing. Before we reached our destination we followed an alley which we could see opened into a small opening where a Cafe and a flower shop stood opposite. The outlet held a market of fresh fruits and vegetables that spanned a larger plaza. Since time was short we only glanced at many of the fruits before returning to Mozart's birthplace to continue our trip.

After waiting for the bus, we rode to the Schloss Maribel. In which, a staircase from the Sound of Music had been incorporated into the the courtyard flanked by two unicorns, in somewhat disrepair. The day was one of long walks and wonderful works of architecture. There was little I been able to see from my last trip, but I'd found plenty that was new and well worth the trip into Salzburg. (Scott Laue)

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Bildnachweis: Andrew Lechler; Molly Gibb