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Lost in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg – video

The Hohensalzburg fortress was top of our list of things to see in Salzburg, as it seemed to be mentioned by practically everyone who gave me a Salzburg recommendation. When travelling with the family I’ve learned to visit the thing that you really want to see at the start of the day, while you’re full of energy and then go with the flow as the fancy takes you.

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

It’s hardly surprising that so many people mentioned the castle to me, as wherever you are in the town it looms over you, dominating the town and all the inhabitants. It was above all a symbol of power of the Prince Archbishops who ruled over Salzburg, their wealth founded on the salt that was mined in the mountains around the city and brought down the river Salzach into the city.

I hope you enjoy the video below about the HohenSalzburg Fortress

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View from the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

View from the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

With our Salzburg card we skipped the queue at the ticket booth and took the funicular that’s included in the ticket price, up the rockface to the castle at the top, rising higher and higher above the rooftops and church spires of Salzburg. Apparently, back in the 16th century there was a type of railway here so that freight could be hoisted up to the castle. If you prefer to walk you can take the path for a 30 minute stroll up to the top, or better still, save your legs and take the funicular up, then walk all the way down.

Armour in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in SalzburgPhoto by Heatheronhertravels.com

Armour in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

On reaching the top we followed our noses along the battlements, pausing only to take a few photos of the view and then climbed the steep steps to the small doorway higher up the wall. The castle was never conquered, although the townspeople had a go in the Peasant’s war of 1525, but if it had come under siege, I imagine this stairway would have been taken away, leaving the castle entrance virtually impregnable. The building of the castle began in 1077 with a wooden structure and developed over the centuries to defend the power of the ruling Prince Bishops, although they mostly lived in comfort in the Residenz in the town at the foot of the fortress.

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

Through the doorway and there was another courtyard behind the lower one – with layers of defensive areas and courtyards behind the thick towering walls. Our first stop was the room where you started the audio tour – after waiting in line for 10 minutes or so we went through the turn style as a group and were each given an audio-guide, then were taken through as series of rooms by the guide. We passed through the richly panelled apartment rooms, in one of which was a model of how the castle had been built up over several centuries reaching it’s current form around 1500.

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

Next there was a dark, stone walled room known as the torture chamber, not so much because of what had gone on there but because the torture implements that were stored there – well that’s all right then! Next we climbed up to the watch tower for a panoramic view over the city of Salzburg. From here it was easy to work out the geography of the city, encircled by a series of rocky outcrops on one side and bounded by the river on the other.

Spiky underwear in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

Spiky underwear in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

After the tour we sat a while in the spacious courtyard with a couple of shady old trees, just like a village square before taking a look around the museum. There was some medieval furniture, household objects and armour on display as well as some of those torture implements including what looked like a spiky pair of underpants – ouch! and a jester’s mask that I’m sure was no joke to wear.

After a while wandering through the succession of museum rooms, I managed to lose the two men in my life, my husband and teenage son. Once I had finished photographing everything that took my fancy, I went out of the museum through the turnstile but then couldn’t find them anywhere.

Torture mask in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg Photo by Heatheronhertravels.com

Torture mask in the Hohensalzburg Fortress in Salzburg

I retraced my steps through all the courtyards, down as far as the funicular but they were nowhere to be seen. Half an hour later, by which time I was feeling tired and frustrated, they emerged from the museum where they had been sitting at the exit waiting for me – Grrr.

We all made friends again, but after all my racing around I felt I’d seen enough of the fortress, despite there being a very inviting outdoor cafe with a fabulous view. We descended on the funicular and established ourselves outside the beer tent at the bottom and soaked up the atmosphere of the brass band and the May Day festivities with a plate of Bratwurst and a Weiss-bier.

More fun in and around Salzburg

Your recommendations for Salzburg in Austria
Podcast – Salzburg and Lake Wolfgang in Austria
Our comfortable Guest house at Hotel Zur Post in Salzburg

Visitor Information for Salzburg

My thanks to the Austria National Tourism Office UK for sponsoring our trip to Salzburg and Wolfgangsee

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15 Comments

  • Reply
    Barbara Weibel
    July 14, 2011 at 3:20 am

    Ah yes! And that’s why I am a solo traveler. I get so caught up in my photography tat I just can’t seem to stay with a group. Glad you finally found the guys!

    • Reply
      Heather
      July 16, 2011 at 1:40 pm

      Yes, the photography, not to mention video tends to mean one loses all track of time

  • Reply
    Sunee
    July 14, 2011 at 7:51 am

    I just love Hohensalzburg! Beautiful old castle with a beautiful view of a beautiful old city – did I mention that it was beautiful? 😉

    And yes, losing your companions can be very frustrating and spoil the whole experience. Has happened to me and Gareth a few times and now we take special care or have arranged meeting points in case we lose each other.

    • Reply
      Heather
      July 16, 2011 at 1:39 pm

      @ Sunee It is a lovely old castle and pretty imposing, I can understand why it never got conquered

  • Reply
    Donna Hull
    July 17, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    Austria is a part of the world that I’ve yet to explore. Visiting the Hohensalzberg Fortress in Salzburg will be on the list when I do. Thanks to your post, I’m well informed.

    • Reply
      Heather
      July 18, 2011 at 9:35 pm

      Austria is very beautiful and Salzburg a really lovely city

  • Reply
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  • Reply
    used cars okanagan ford
    October 20, 2011 at 7:24 am

    It’s awesome that you’re travelling with your family, you can bond, explore the place, and learn alot of things together. Just make plans ahead on what to do in case one get’s lost to avoid unnecessary tensions. Another thing would be to separate and give one space and time to explore and agree to meet at a certain place at a certain time. Anyway, I love how you describe the fortress in Salzburg.

  • Reply
    Laura
    October 20, 2011 at 5:37 pm

    I guess this is the must see spot I’ve missed while in Salzburg. Maybe next time.
    Laura´s last blog post ..How I Fell In Love With Watercolors Following The Brown Rabbit

    • Reply
      Heather
      October 21, 2011 at 5:09 pm

      @Laura – Yes it was the one sight in Salzburg that everyone seemed to mention

  • Reply
    Mihaela
    October 25, 2011 at 12:27 pm

    hi Heather,

    the fortress is stunning! when do you think is the best time to visit it?

    thanks

    • Reply
      Heather
      October 25, 2011 at 3:36 pm

      I’d say spring to autumn is wonderful – of course Salzburg is magical when the snow is on the ground but I might not be visiting the fortress then

  • Reply
    Travel Girl
    November 1, 2011 at 12:04 am

    Great picture of you overlooking the city–quite a spectacular (or should I say spook-tacular) place!

  • Reply
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