A group of willows weep over the flowery tombstones of the beautiful St. Peter’s Cemetery in Salzburg, Austria‘s fourth largest city. One could even say the sing the sad melody of Mozart’s Requiem. It could not be otherwise since Salzburg is the city of music, and the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, its favorite son. To fulfill the demands of the tourist industry many towns advertise: “Here lived the great composer.” But Salzburg, with about 160,000 inhabitants and 150 miles from Vienna, is the only place that can claim that the genius was born at Getreidegasse Street No. 9, one day in 1756.
Comparable to Vienna—not in grandeur, but in charm—Salzburg´s old town, Die Altstadt, was declared a World Heritage Site by Unesco in 1997. Among its many attractions, you’ll find a vast cathedral, an ancient fortress, medieval castles, Gothic and Baroque churches with spires and domes, as well as perfectly preserved imperial palaces. And if a building risks looking unattractive, mysterious Ivy covers its walls and makes it beautiful again.
Salzburg is a place of great beauty, the perfect setting for a movie. In fact, it served as a backdrop for the classic film The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews, whose musical notes have brought joy to countless children—and certainly to many adults as well. If New York has a “Sex and the City” route featuring the streets, bars, and restaurants from the tv show, Salzburg has two emblematic routes. The first follows the musical film starring Andrews, visiting the places where the film was shot, such as the Mirabell Gardens and Leopoldskron Palac. The iconic second tour of Salzburg takes you to the places where Mozart lived and played his first concerts.
Orderly and traveler friendly, you can wander through Salzburg on foot or by bike, observing and listening to the street chatter because behind any corner you could be surprised by the chords of heavenly music.
Despite being a small town, Salzburg offers a broad choice of five-star hotels, including the Von Trapp family villa. The history of the family—particularly that of its matriarch—Baroness Maria Augusta von Trapp, was the inspiration for the Broadway musical The Sound of Music in 1959, and its subsequent film adaptation in 1965.
The Goldener Hirsch Hotel, with its authentic Salzburg style rooms expertly decorated by Countess Harriet Walderdorff, and the Salzburger Hof Hotel, with magnificent views and a legendary spa, stand out among the many luxurious accommodations in this charming city. ■
PHOTOS: Courtesy of