In Salzburg, I’m motivated by a search for Mozart and for signs of modernity. I’ve already examined part of the city through its art: what more can Salzburg offer?
Excellent views of the city and surroundings.
The Mönchberg hill on which the Hohensalzburg fortress sits provides many viewpoints over the city. You can walk along the entire length of Mönchberg for varying perspectives, or you can approach a number of the viewpoints separately.
I ascended and traversed the hill on foot from southeast to northeast, beginning from Kapitelplatz to the viewpoints just north of the Museum der Moderne. I returned to the Old Town below with the MönchsbergAufzug elevator which is a part of Salzburg’s public transport.
High views over Salzburg
Along the upper flanks of Mönchsberg hill, viewpoints are listed below from east to west; elevations are in the range 40 to 60 metres above the Salzach river.
- Festungsgasse & Oskar-Kokoschka-Weg
- Neutor, a.k.a. Sigmundstor
- Bürgerwehr Nordostturm
- Bürgerwehr Süd
- Museum der Moderne Terrasse
- Aussichtsplattform am Mönchsberg
Festungsgasse & Oskar-Kokoschka-Weg
The climb is steep, but occasionally, I turn my shoulder and I know the views are going to be good. I walk past the Restaurant Stiegl-Keller, and follow the sharp bend in the road which keeps going uphill. At the “first” viewpoint, I look down at where I started: Kapitelplatz square, with the Dom (city cathedral) and the golden “Sphaera” sculpture.
Leaving the Hohensalzburg fortress behind, I continue along the hill and break right, keeping my sight of the Altstadt close. At the Herbert Breiter terrace, I’m standing directly above the Stift & Erzabtei St. Peter (St. Peter abbey and foundation); just beyond are the Franziskanerklostre and the Kollegienkirche.
Alternative access to the terrace from below is via the Clemens-Holzmeister-Stiege stairs from Toscaninihof; see next entry.
Am Mönchsberg, Georg Trakl.
Wo im Schatten herbstlicher Ulmen der verfallene Pfad hinabsinkt,
Ferne den Hütten von Laub, schlafenden Hirten,
immer folgt dem Wandrer dunkle Gestalt der Kühle.
Über Knöchernen steg die hyazinthene Stimme des Knaben,
Leise sagend die vergessene Legende des Walds,
Sanfter ein krankes nun die wilde Klage des Bruders.
Also rührt ein spärliches Grün das Knie des Fremdlings,
Das versteinerte Haupt;
Näher rauscht der blaue Quell die Klage der Frauen.
At Mönchsberg, by Georg Trakl
(English translation by Parker Smathers, actionyes.org).
Where the worn path leads down into the shadows of the autumn elms,
Far from the leaf huts and sleeping shepherds,
The dark cold figure always follows the wanderer.
Over knuckled steps, the hyacinth voices of children
Quietly telling the forgotten legend of the woods.
Only the brothers’ wild song is peaceful to the sick.
Then the kneeling of the stranger
and the petrified head disturb a sparse green;
The song of the women draws closer to the azure stream.
Will Stone writes in Magma 70 – Europe about how Salzburg poet Georg Trakl (1887-1914) inspired a generation of poets, writers, and composers.
Only 40 metres further to the west (next to Edmundsberg) appears the upper landing for the stairs called the Clemens-Holzmeister-Stiege, which connect Mönchsberg hill with Toscaninihof below.
About halfway across the Mönchsberg hill, I stand above Neutor (New Gate), also known as Sigmundstor (Sigmund’s Gate). The primary view faces northeast to Kapuzinerberg hill on the other side of the Salzach river. The four-sided red-brown roof building at lower-centre is the University library (Universitätsbibliothek Salzburg); to its upper right is the Kollegienkirche church.
Northeast tower, civil defence fortifications from the late-15th to early 16th century.
I’m on the Mönchsberg cliffs over Salzburg’s Old Town, between the Hohensalzburg fortress in the east and the Museum of Modern Art in the west. Spectacular views of the Old Town await with the afternoon sun behind me to the south. That’s especially true at the site of the Bürgerwehr, or late-15th century defensive walls, above Sigmund Gate. Nobody’s sneaking in without being noticed. The views emphasize the strategic importance of holding the high ground over the Salzach river with Mönchsberg hill and fortress on one side (west/south flank) and the Kapuzinerberg hill on the other side (east/north flank). But these steep cliffs have also exacted a price. Not far from the Stadtalm café location is where a rockslide in 1669 fell onto the town below, destroying two churches, a seminary building, 13 houses, and killing over 200 people.”
South rampart, civil defence fortifications from the late-15th to early-16th century.
Museum der Moderne Terrasse
Arriving at the art museum, I take some time to admire a couple of the outdoor sculptures, including “Sky-Space”. The terrace here provides great views of the city. The museum entrance is next to the MönchsbergAufzug elevator.
Aussichtsplattform am Mönchsberg
Beyond the museum, the path narrows, its appearance more like a mountain trail. A small clearing provides another viewing platform.
Finally, I reach a small viewing terrace named after Alexander von Humboldt; the terrace is also called Klausenkavalier above the former city gate Klausentor. A plaque nearby refers to Humboldt, but has been mistakenly attributed to the German explorer and scientist.
“Die Gegenden von Salzburg, Neapel, und Konstantinopel halte ich für die schönsten der Erde.”
(I think the areas around Salzburg, Naples, and Constantinople are the most beautiful on earth.)
Through records and writings, Alexander von Humboldt never set foot in Constantinople (now called Istanbul). Although he had long dreamed of visiting the Ottoman city, he journeyed through Russia and Siberia in 1829. Nevertheless, the false quote has become a useful slogan and marketing tool for Salzburg.
This is my last stop of the walk across Mönchsberg hill. I have the choice of going further to the beer garden at the Augustiner Bräu (brewery) in nearby Mülln, tracking back to the M32 café at the Museum der Moderne, or I can directly zip onto the MönchsbergAufzug elevator down into the Altstadt for a choice among cafés, pubs, restaurants.
I made all photos above on 23 May 2018 with a Fujifilm X70 fixed-lens prime. This post appears on Fotoeins Fotografie at fotoeins DOT com as https://wp.me/p1BIdT-fAf.