We left Innsbruck after lunch and drove just a few hours to Salzburg, Austria's 4th largest city with a population of 150,000.
This drive was beautifully scenic and the sun was perfect for taking pictures, even through the windows of our van.
Alpine vistas are quite different from what we see in the Rocky Mountains.
Another village with another church - I never did get tired of seeing them and each one was original!
We stayed just a little way outside of Salzburg in the village of Mutters. This was the gorgeous view outside our bedroom window.
Our room here was the most beautiful and colorful of the whole time we were in Europe! It was so alpine. Notice that there are 2 duvets so we didn't have to worry about sharing or someone stealing the covers :))
This beautiful painted armoire was also in our room.
St. Rupert welcomed us to the first of many interesting sites in the Old Town of Salzburg. This square is surrounded by early 20th century Bauhaus style dorms for student monks.
This gate leads into the next part of the city. On one side of this square is a restaurant where Charlemagne ate in AD 803, making it the oldest restaurant in Europe - according to the locals. Many restaurants in the city combine dinner with a concert, very appropriate for this city of music. We didn't get to take in one but will definitely do that next time.
This fountain was the first one we saw (after parking in a parkade inside the mountain!).
These mini-gardens and Renaissance style tombs hug the rock wall. This cemetery inspired the one in the Sound of Music where the Von Trapp family hid after the concert, on their way out of the country.
St. Peter's cemetery. In Austria, gravesites are rented, not owned. Every 10 years, a bill is sent to the family and if the fees are not paid, remains will actually be moved out!
Monschberg Mountain, above the Old Town, is the home of Hohensalzburg Fortress, a forbidding fortress that was never really used. That's the idea of a fortress, isn't it? Salzburg never was taken by force but they did surrender to Napolean. During WWII, some parts of the city were bombed but the historic Old Town area survived. We didn't get up inside the fortress but would definitely make this a stop on our next visit.
The Prince-Archbishop who ruled here from 1587 - 1612 had grand plans to build Salzburg up as "Rome of the North". This square was going to be the centerpiece of his Baroque dream city. Salzburg has a series of inter-connecting squares that make a grand processional way, like nothing else we saw. This fountain is modeled after the Triton Fountain in Rome.
A detail of the horses supporting the fountain. Each of the 3 unique horses had water spouting from different places.
The Glockenspiel has a carillon of 35 bells from the 17th century that play 3 times daily (7 am, 11 am, and 6 pm). We heard them play for nearly 15 minutes twice while we were in the city. Different music is played through the seasons. The sculpture on top of the tower is an upside down heart symbolizing that God loves all of creation. (Thanks to Rick Steves and his tour book for these amazing tidbits of information!)
Salzburg is the birthplace of Mozart and this square is named Mozartplatz. You can also see his birthplace, residence and places where he spent the first 25 years of his life.
This shop had incredible displays of painted and decorated eggs! There were eggs for every special day of the year and then eggs in every color of the rainbow, not to mention all the special character ones or the fancy scroll decorated ones. We asked and they ARE real eggshells with the contents blown out. It was a simply amazing place!
This picture is another of my trip favourites!
As we left the city center, darkness was descending and the fortress looked so beautiful.