On The Road Travel Essays

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The Austrians are as German as the Danube is blue. -Alfred Polgar

Salzburg is considered one of Austria's most beautiful cities — partly because of the quaint streets from the past, and partly because of the Salzach River that flows through it. A soft light bathes the town, creating a serene atmosphere which only music can capture. Small wonder that Mozart should be Salzburg's most famous son, and that the annual Salzburg Music Festival should be held here.

The See of Salzburg was founded around 700 by St. Rupert, the patron saint of the city, who came from Ireland. In the 13th century, under the protection of the Holy Roman Empire, it became the seat of prince-archbishops—rulers whose power was both secular and religious, and who were primates of the Germanic church. Their wealth came from the mining of salt. The golden age for Salzburg was the first half of the 17th century. Three successive prince-archbishops — Wolf Dietrich von Reitenau, Marcus Sitticus and Paris Lodron — brought in Italian artists and artisans, vowed (a little ambitiously) to make Salzburg the "Rome of the North" and turned it into a renaissance city, a great and glorious cultural center.

In the 18th century, Salzburg began to decline in wealth and importance. The last of the prince-archbishops departed in 1786. After Napoleon it ceased to be independent, joining the Austrian Empire. The result is that the Salzburg that exists now is the Salzburg of the golden age; as you walk through the streets of the city you are walking into a time capsule. Apart from the mass of tourists who clog the streets, the city center has barely changed since 1700.


Winter, lasting from December through February, can be bitterly cold, the ground shrouded in snow. Spring can bring interminable cloud cover and more than a chance of rain. It can sometimes last right through until early June. Autumn can bring with it the infamous wind called the Föhn, turning tempers bitter but giving a clarity to the skies which allows you to see forever.

March Temperature 30ºF to 48ºF
Monthly Rainfall 2.7"

July Temperature 55ºF to 75ºF
Monthly Rainfall 6.8"

October Temperature 41ºF to 57ºF
Monthly Rainfall 2.7"

January Temperature 25ºF to 34ºF
Monthly Rainfall 2.6"

Synchronize your watches  Local time is 6 hours ahead of E.S.T. If it's 2:00pm in New York City, it's 8:00pm locally. Please note that Austria changes to and from daylight-saving time a few weeks before the U.S., so time differences can vary more in March and October.

Money, money, money  Austria is a member of the European Union and the unit of currency is the Euro. Similar to the rest of the European Union, there is no better way than to use your ATM card to withdraw money in the local currency whenever you need it. You will never have a problem locating a suitable ATM machine. If you do need to exchange dollars (cash or traveler's checks) for euros, try to do so at a bank. You can expect a slightly higher rate of exchange for traveler's checks, and you should always keep your passport handy. Some shops, especially touristic ones, will accept American currency or traveler's checks as payment but be advised that you will almost certainly be getting a worse exchange rate than you would from a bank. The same is true for hotels that are willing to change money for you; and even if they will do it, it's usually cash only, no traveler's checks.

The joy of servitude  Restaurant checks always include a service charge, but it's still customary to leave a few additional cents or euros behind in a café and an additional 5% of the total bill in other restaurants. In the fancier restaurants, an additional tip of 5% to 10% is correct.

Not another 5 minute walk  Your feet, naturally, will be your prime means of transportation through Salzburg. The city's finest sights are generally fairly concentrated in a small enough area, making walking between them both a possibility and a pleasure. It isn't always the case, though, and when the time comes that your feet start to object and then actively rebel, there are various easy alternatives that can appease your aching, blistered toes. Bicycles are common in Salzburg, and there is an integrated network of bicycle lanes throughout the city. One bike path goes along the Salzach River for nine miles.

Another relatively inexpensive means of getting around is by using the city's bus and tram systems. Tickets for the tram are sold in the form of 24-hour passes (which include the Hohensalzburg Funicular) or in 5-ticket blocks, and are available at the train station and at news agents. Buses stop running at 11pm.

The mailman cometh  Mail service to and from Austria is reliable and inexpensive, however, sending a parcel abroad will be costly. You can purchase postage stamps at post offices, although it can be quicker at tobacconists.

Please wait while we try to connect you  As usual, the golden rule is never call home from your hotel. It will cost a fortune. Public telephones are easy to find and easy to use. They accept telephone cards that can be bought in at any news agent.

The access code to put you through to an ATT operator from Austria is 0800 200 288. For MCI it is 0800 200 235.


New Year's Day (January 1)
Epiphany (January 6)
Easter Sunday/Monday (late March/April)*
Labor Day (May 1)
Ascension Day (late May/early June)*
Pentecost Sunday (Whitsunday) (late May/early June)*
Whit Monday (late May/early June)*
Christmas Day (December 25)
Christmas Holiday (December 26)

*These dates will change according to the date on which Easter falls.

Did you know?  The word most often used to describe Austria is the great German word gemütlich. This is hard to translate but means more or less warm or comfortable, genial, welcoming or cozy or a combination of these, mingled with thoughts of tradition, smallness and rusticity.

Did you know?  The wettest months in Salzburg and Innsbruck are July and August.

The Legacy of Mozart  What draws tourists to Salzburg more than anything else is its most famous son, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He was born on January 27, 1756 at No. 9 Getreidegasse, the old city's main street. He was obviously a child prodigy. When he was only five years old, he could improvise on the piano. He published his first work at the age of eight. Between the ages of six and ten, his father Leopold took him on an extended European tour in which he wowed audiences in Paris, London, Munich and Vienna and where he was kissed by the Empress Maria Theresia. Back in Salzburg, Mozart was made Director of the Archbishop's Orchestra when he was 14 years old. He spent his first 26 years in Salzburg, often at loggerheads with the archbishop, until leaving for Vienna in 1781 to work in the service of the new Emperor. There, he enjoyed some huge critical successes but that success didn't follow him throughout his life. In his three years as Composer to the Imperial Court, he never received a commission. In the end, he died in poverty and obscurity at the age of 36. He is buried somewhere in Vienna though his grave has never been identified.

Mozart was certainly recognized as a genius, even if he was an impossibly difficult one in his lifetime, but it was many years before his place as one of the two or three greatest figures in the history of music was really acknowledged. In 1842, over 50 years after his death, the city of Salzburg put up a statue and named a square and a bridge after him. Since then the memory of Mozart has dominated the city. There are Mozart table mats, Mozart beer mugs and Mozart liqueurs. Even the delicious local chocolates, Mozartkugeln, are named after him. The musical academy is called the Mozarteum. There are two museums dedicated to him, the Geburtshaus and the Wohnhaus. In 1920 the Salzburg Music Festival was inaugurated, largely performing the works of Mozart though also showcasing new works. It is held every year in July and August in the Grosses Festpielhaus and other venues. Herbert von Karajan was director of the festival for 30 years. Classical music shapes Salzburg more than any other town of similar size in Europe.

The Sound of Music  For many people, Mozart comes a poor second to Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. The Sound of Music was filmed here in 1964. Parts of the story are more or less true, though apparently the kids hated Maria; Rolf the postman never existed and they certainly never skipped joyously over the mountains to freedom in Switzerland (nearly 200 miles away). Among the sights in the city center where The Sound of Music was filmed are the terrace of the Café Winkler, the Mirabell Gardens ("Doh Reh Mi"), the Domplatz, the Grosses Festspielhaus ("Edelweiss" and "Goodnight, Farewell, Auf Wiedersehn, Good-bye") and St. Peter's Cemetery. "Sound of Music" tours are available which take in all the sights in both the city center and environs. (Maria, incidentally, is still alive and can occasionally be seen wandering the streets of Salzburg in nostalgic reverie.)

The Importance of Salt  As an industry, salt mining doesn't matter very much nowadays but it was once the raison d'etre of many towns all over this region and the solid foundation on which the local economy was built. In the days before refrigeration, salt was essential in food preservation (as well as in the manufacture of many dyes). It was a government monopoly subject to heavy taxation, known as weisses Gold, white gold, because the trade and the profits of taxation were worth so much. As witness to its importance, the word "salary" comes from the Latin for salt. Think of the phrase "he's worth his salt." Salzburg itself grew wealthy on the profits of salt. The very name means "Salt Mountain" in German. The little village of Obersalzberg means "Upper Salt Mountain." The region of the Salzkammergut means something like "Salt Stronghold" or "Salt Treasury." The word Hall is an old German (actually Celtic) word for salt, so this mineral was also at the heart of the economy of Hallein, Hallstatt, Hall in Tirol and Bad Reichenhall. Many of the local roads developed as trade routes for salt. Even Munich, controlling the trade routes from the Eastern Alps to the cities of Northern Europe, came to prominence on the back of the profits of salt.


Schloss Mirabell  This Schloss was built by the great Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Reitenau in 1607. (This was the man who talked of making Salzburg the "Rome of the North.") He built it for Salome Alt, a Jewish woman who was his mistress and mother of his 12 (or maybe 15) children. In the history of Salzburg, Wolf Dietrich was undoubtedly a great man, but morally he wasn't really archbishop material. In 1612, he was condemned by the Papacy and imprisoned in the fortress of Hohensalzburg, where five years later he died. The Mirabell Gardens are lovely with flower beds, pools and statues, and from the terrace there is a beautiful view on to the town. The Schloss is now the city administration building where everyone has to get married, so you may well see a wedding party adding to the picture-postcard effect.

Makartplatz  Located at the bottom of the Mirabell Gardens and directly opposite is the Mozart Wohnhaus, one of the two museums dedicated to the composer in Salzburg. This house (badly damaged in WWII, restored in 1996) is where he lived for seven years from 1773 and shows a film about his life. Behind it rises the Kapuzinerberg. To the right stands the neo-classical Landestheater, Salzburg's opera house and one of the main venues for the Music Festival. On the other side in Schwarzstrasse, lies the famous Marionettentheater, where puppets sing grand opera, naturally by Mozart more often than not.

Getreidegasse  This was once the main street and is the most picturesque part of the old town. (Getreide means corn or grain so this would once have been the place where cereals were traded.) Mozart was born at No. 9 where the Geburtshaus museum now is. The street is narrow with tall houses and many wrought-iron signs both charmingly decorative and useful to a once largely illiterate public. This is the main shopping street in the city center and is permanently crowded with visitors.

Alter Markt  This is the old marketplace. There are still a few stalls sometimes. The attractive building on the left is the old chemist's, the Hofapotheke; the Café Tomaselli on the right is the most famous and the best in town.

Residenzplatz  Laid out by Wolf Dietrich on the site of the old cemetery, the Residenz was once the palace of the prince-archbishops, begun inevitably by Wolf Dietrich (until then they had lived in the rather less comfortable fortress of Hohensalzburg). When Salzburg joined Austria after the Congress of Vienna in 1815, this palace became the Salzburg home of the Austrian emperor. Opposite the Residenz, the bell-tower on the corner of the Mozartplatz houses the Glockenspiel (35 bells, playing every day since 1705). This is where the Fiaker rides start.

Domplatz  This is the famous site of the annual summer performance of Jedermann (Everyman). The main façade of the cathedral is in front of you. Wolf Dietrich wanted to build a cathedral bigger than St. Peter's in Rome. In the end, his successors Marcus Sitticus and Paris Lodron built this huge baroque edifice between 1614 and 1655. The material is marble from the Untersberg just south of the city. The coats-of-arms on the pediment below the towers belong to these two prince-archbishops. The statues are of prophets, the evangelists and other saints. Inside you can see the font in which Mozart was baptized. The cathedral was badly bombed in WWII and restored in the 1950s.

Hohensalzburg  This was the stronghold of the prince-archbishops. Begun in 1077 by the archbishop to protect against attack by the emperor (the archbishop was a supporter of the Pope), it's an impressive complex with magnificent views from the watchtower on to the city and the Alps on the south side. There are good 40-minute guided tours (see hand-worked barrel organ, a beautiful 16th century stove, dungeons, torture chambers, late medieval toilets, etc.). Note the turnips: bizarrely, the symbol of one of the 16th century archbishops here was the turnip and his proud motif decorates the castle walls in many places.

Peterskirche  This is in a beautiful corner of the city. The church cemetery abuts the rocky face of the Mönchsberg. Catacombs were carved out of the rock. The trees are fir and weeping willow, giving a wistful feel to the place. The little chapel of St. Margaret is 15th century. All the great and the good of Salzburg were buried here. The seven black wrought-iron crosses lining the path preserve the memory of the seven wives of the famously infantile archbishop Marcus Sitticus (there is a story that he tickled them all to death). The charming statue of the little boy praying is on the original site of the 9th century St. Peter's Abbey, now gone. What you see is the 17th century baroque church. It is quite striking inside, full of frescoes, stucco, ornate side chapels, altarpieces, etc.

Festspielhaus  This is the main venue for the Salzburg Music Festival. They say that this hall has the best acoustics in Europe because it is built into the living rock of the Mönchsberg. All the best conductors in the world have performed here, including Furtwangler, Toscanini and, most famously, Herbert von Karajan.

Pferdeschwemme  This is the most striking monument to the disturbing archiepiscopal love of horses, with frescoes of heroic horses and the very grand statue of the "Horsebreaker." Only horses from the archbishop's stables were allowed to drink here from the pure mountain water that came direct from the Untersberg, seven miles away.


Hellbrunn  This is a summer excursion. If it's raining or very cold weather, think twice about doing it. The small Schloss here was built as a summer residence by Prince-Archbishop Marcus Sitticus in 1615. The juvenile sense of humor of the archbishop makes the tour of the Wasserspiele extremely entertaining, with its trick fountains and ingenious water-powered figures. Be prepared to get wet. Elsewhere in the castle grounds is the pergola where Liesl sang "I am sixteen, going on seventeen."

Obersalzberg  This was once a tiny mountain hamlet, popular in the late 19th century with writers and artists. In this century, the unwanted focus of its fame is its association with Hitler.

In 1923, following the unsuccessful Putsch and a brief prison sentence, Hitler settled here in Obersalzberg where he had family and friends. When the Nazis took power in 1933, he bought a chalet called the Berghof, enlarged it and created a whole Nazi complex on and around the mountain site. This was apparently the place where Hitler and Eva Braun could feel most at ease but it was also a place for serious politicking. He held diplomatic receptions here, including one for the British Prime Minister Neville Chamberlain to discuss the future of the Sudetenland. There was a hotel called the Platterhof where people faithful to the Führer could come on holiday "pilgrimages", there was a training camp for the Hitler Youth, and offices of the local Nazi party. Some of his ministers and colleagues also built villas here, notably Martin Bormann. On the summit of the mountain, the Kehlstein, where the view is magnificent, Martin Bormann gave Hitler a retreat called the Adlernest, or the Eagle's Nest, for his birthday.

On April 25, 1945, the whole complex was bombed in an Allied air raid. The total destruction was completed two weeks later (the Allies wanted to be sure that it wasn't being used as a final place of refuge for Hitler and the Nazi hierarchy). Today the rebuilt hotel bears the name of General Walker, the U.S. Commander who led the raids. The old Eagle's Nest on top of the Kehhlstein is now a café. The rest is in ruins. There is currently a controversial plan to create out of the old destroyed Berghof complex a center for eco-tourism and Alpine conservation, but fears of it becoming a neo-Nazi shrine have put all developments permanently on hold.

Berchtesgaden  This is an attractive, yet small town and major year-round resort 1,700 feet up in the shadow of the Watzmann (8,900 feet). There are 8,000 inhabitants and 25,000 hotel beds. After Garmisch-Partenkirchen, it is the biggest skiing center in Germany, with 24 ski lifts. In the town the castle is the dominant feature. It was one of the residences of the Bavarian royal family, the Wittelsbach.

The center of attraction for the group, however, is the Salzbergwerk, just north of the city. This is one of numerous (still working) salt mines which have been turned into tourist attractions. You put on blue worker's overalls, straddle a mini-train, ride through tunnels to the salt works, slide down to the lower levels, watch short films about the techniques and history of salt extraction, sail across an underground salt lake and ride back again.

The Watzmann  Almost every mountain in the Germanic world has some legend or other associated with it. These legends are usually bizarre, tortuous and gratuitously bloodthirsty but presumably have some sort of moral or behavioral lesson behind them. The following story told of the Watzmann is typical:

Once upon a time there lived a vicious, evil king called Watzmann whose pleasure it was to oppress the peasants of his land. With his wife and children he used to love to hunt deer in the forests of the valleys. One day, in the course of the hunt, they came upon a shepherd and his family tending their flocks. In a fit of bloodlust the king set his hounds upon the shepherd's dog and they tore it to pieces. Not content and at the urging of the king, the hounds then set upon the shepherd, his wife and their son. The king and his family laughed while the shepherd's family were killed. But their laughter and the inhuman depth of their cruelty brought on the wrath of God. He brewed up a terrible storm and forced the king to flee. He did so, but there was nowhere to shelter. The hounds, in distress, turned against their master and his family and ripped them to pieces. The dead king, his wife and their children were turned to stone and grew into mountains as an everlasting reminder to mankind. If you look at the peaks of the Watzmann you can make out their jagged silhouettes, torn to shreds by the hounds: the king to the right, the queen to the left and the little princes in between.

The Königssee  This is one of the most beautiful and romantic lakes in the Eastern Alps, in the heart of the Watzmann National Park. It is a long, narrow lake stretching 4 miles south into the mountains. It reaches a depth of 750 feet, which is why the waters are so dark. The slopes of the Watzmann form its western edge. In autumn cows are still ferried across the lake after spending the summer up among the Alpine pastures. Walk from the bus parking through the village, brimming with shops and restaurants, to the lakeside. Carry on for 5 or 10 minutes as far as the Malerswinkel ("Painters' Corner") for the best views. The pretty little church on the bank surrounded by old houses is the pilgrimage chapel of St. Bartholomä. The red cross nearby is a memorial to 80 pilgrims who died when their raft capsized in a storm. Near the town you can see the bobsled run, home of the German national team.


The lake district of the Salzkammergut is one of the most scenic areas in the Alps. Emperor Franz-Josef called it an earthly paradise. There are 76 lakes, and mountains reaching 8,500 feet. There are popular and stylish health resorts and picture-postcard villages. In winter the Salzkammergut has 21 ski lifts and cable cars. In summer, it comes into its own as a hiking and water sports center. All year round the visual impact is wonderful. It comes within the province of Oberösterreich. The Salzkammergut divides fairly easily into two halves: north of Bad Ischl where the biggest of the lakes are and south of it where the highest mountains are.

The word "Salzkammergut" is difficult to translate but means something like "Salt Stronghold" or "Salt Treasury." Today salt mining is only a minor activity here but it used to be the key to the whole region and, more importantly, to the city of Salzburg itself. Salzburg grew rich on the profits of salt because the area of the Salzkammergut belonged to the prince-archbishop, so all taxation passed into the coffers of the city. In fact, in this region salt was so plentiful and easily extracted and thereby so potentially profitable that the authorities had the Salzkammergut closed to visitors and settlers to prevent any salt being smuggled out untaxed. It remained in this quarantined state until the early 19th century. Then, when people started to become interested both in the curative properties of the saline waters of the lakes and in the region's scenic beauty, the Salzkammergut began to assume its new identity as a holiday paradise.

Mondsee  This is the entrance to the Salzkammergut. It presents a beautiful picture as you approach it. In the town, also called Mondsee, the parish church with the big baroque façade is where Maria and Captain von Trapp get married in the film. The name Mondsee means "moon lake" — the lake is shaped more or less like a crescent moon. The waters are fairly warm, so it is popular for swimming and water sports.

There is a local legend about the creation of the lake and the town. Originally there was no lake, just a fertile valley in the center of which was a huge castle. The local farmers and villagers were God-fearing people but the prince was cruel and exploitative and irreligious. One night the Virgin Mary appeared to the local priest, urging him to tell the locals to get away quickly if they wanted to survive the divine judgment on the prince. They ran to the shore where the town of Mondsee stands now. The prince stayed, mocking their superstition. And then a storm came and a terrible flood, and the castle was swallowed up in the waters. Even today, it seems, you can sometimes see the old church steeple beneath the water and hear the screams of the drowning prince.

St. Wolfgangsee  This is one of the loveliest lakes in the Salzkammergut, with deep blue waters. The mountain on its north side is the Schafberg, with a hotel and restaurant 6,000 feet up on the summit. On the south side is the slightly smaller Zwölferhorn. St. Gilgen, like Strobl at the far end of the lake, is a pleasant resort town. Mozart's mother was born here. On the opposite shore is the gorgeous old pilgrimage town of St. Wolfgang. This is where the rack railway leaves for the Schafberg summit. Paddle steamers cross the lake to reach the town.

The story of St. Wolfgang is very appealing. He came to this spot seeking peace and tranquillity. He soon gained a reputation for good works among the locals. Consequently he upset the devil who tried to kill him by tearing bits off the mountains and hurling them at him. But the devil failed a number of times and eventually gave up on killing Wolfgang, offering instead to help him build a church on the condition that he could have the soul of the first pilgrim who came to the church. Wolfgang agreed and the church was completed within a day. The devil waited patiently but nobody turned up. And then evening came and a large wolf ambled up and walked through the door. Wolfgang fulfilled his promise and the devil, furious, disappeared forever. You can clearly see the tall, white tower of the pilgrim church dominating the little town.

On the shores of the Wolfgangsee are the green mountain slopes where Maria frolics and gambols in the opening scene of The Sound of Music.

Bad Ischl  With 13,000 inhabitants the heart of the Salzkammergut, at the junction of the rivers Ischl and Traun, is still a very popular resort. Its glory days, though, were the 19th century. In 1828 Princess Sophie came here to take the waters in an attempt to cure her infertility. One year later she had a son, the future Emperor Franz-Josef. As an adult Franz-Josef came back here every year in the summer on a sort of pilgrimage and made Bad Ischl one of the most fashionable resorts in Europe. Where the Emperor went, everybody who mattered in Austrian society followed. They came for the views, for the salt cures, the entertainment, the hunting and the high society. Remnants of this 19th century imperial grandeur are still abundant in the town: the Kaiserpark and Kaiservilla; the Kaisertherme and the Trinkhalle and the Kurhaus; the Esplanade and its continuation, the Pfarrgasse, with sedate and stylish shops and cafés.

From Bad Ischl, follow the valley of the river Traun north to the Traunsee and then skirt the lake to Gmunden at the north end before rejoining the Salzburg-Vienna motorway. The river valley is known as the Traun Corridor since it forms a natural passage through the mountains. It used to be one of the major salt routes. The range to the left is the Hollengebirge (Hell Mountains), and to the right the Totesgebirge (Death Mountains).

Traunsee  This is the second deepest lake in Austria at 630 feet. All along the eastern shore are rocky mountain crags averaging about 5,000 feet. The corniche between Ebensee and Traunkirchen is stunningly dramatic. Beyond Traunkirchen the landscape is much softer and more gentle. At the southern end of the lake, the town of Ebensee is partly industrial with saltworks and chemical factories. Traunkirchen is tiny and lovely. Altmunster is where Wagner wrote Tristan and Isolde.

Gmunden  The largest town on the lake with 13,000 inhabitants, this is an old town with connections to the salt trade stretching back to the Middle Ages. The view from the esplanade is superb, taking in the beach, the mountain bizarrely known as "Die Schlafende Griechin" (the sleeping Greek woman) and the picturesque castle in two parts: its Landschloss on the mainland and Seeschloss with the chapel on an island in the lake. This castle was bought in 1878 by a nephew of Emperor Franz-Josef who lived here under the pseudonym of Johann Ort. Years later he claimed to know the truth of what happened at Mayerling to Archduke Rudolf and Maria but he disappeared in unexplained circumstances on a cruise in South America without ever having told anybody.


Austrian cuisine is world-famous and simply mouth-watering. A typical meal generally starts off with soup followed by a main course of meat, often fried in egg and breadcrumbs or boiled and accompanied by a salad or knödeln (dumplings). Popular meat choices include wiener schnitzel (fillet of veal), creamy veal goulash, pork escalope or tasty lamb. The most famous Austrian dessert is the sachertorte, a large chocolate covered cake with a thin layer of apricot jam. Linzertorte is a pastry made with almonds and filled with apricot or raspberry jam. Don't forget to try authentic strudel, a turnover filled with apples!

The cold months of the year represent a boom time in Salzburg's coffee houses. Both locals and visitors are happy to spend a cozy hour in a café, to engage in interesting conversation over coffee and cake, or simply just to relax and soak up the atmosphere. The continuous coming and going of prominent figures has long since been a feature of Salzburg's old traditional coffee houses. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart drank white coffee in the Tomaselli, the oldest coffee house in Austria. As the writer Friedrich Torberg once proclaimed; "If all the coffee houses were to close their doors, it would be the end of the world."

More than a hundred years ago, in 1890, the Salzburg pastry chef Paul Fürst created the "Salzburg Mozartkugel," at his premises in the Brodgasse, not far from the Tomaselli. At the Paris World exhibition in 1905, he was awarded a gold medal for this chocolate and marzipan creation. As far as first class confectionary is concerned, the cake shop in the Brodgasse, founded in 1884, is one of the top addresses in Salzburg. Josef Fingerlos equally understands the art of patisserie and although his café, opened relatively recently, can in no way compete with the long standing tradition of the Viennese coffee houses, the sight of his world class creations are a sweet and tempting provocation to any gourmet.

The "Salzburger Nockerl," which is a sweet delicacy consisting of three mounds of golden soufflé, sprinkled with plenty of confectioner's sugar and served on a silver platter, is an example of good plain cooking from the 19th century. It has developed to its present form from tiny choux pastry dumplings served in an egg sauce via an omelette with a baked egg glaze to the famous soufflé omelette. The fact that the recipe for "Salzburger Nockerl" was already to be found in the mid-19th century in the recipes prepared for the Austrian Archduke, Johann, renowned as a gourmet, shows just how quickly the well-loved dish became accepted as a standard part of Austrian cuisine.


A wide range of stores are easily accessible in Salzburg. Traditional clothing (lederhosen and loden coats), jewelry, glassware, handicrafts, confectionery, dolls in native costume, Christmas decorations, sports equipment and silk flowers or a Gewürzsträussl, a bundle of whole spices grouped and arranged to resemble a bouquet of flowers, are all popular souvenirs. Many stores stay open until 5pm on the first Saturday of the month and on Saturday during the festival and before Christmas. Some supermarkets stay open until 8pm on Thursday or Friday. Only the shops in the railway station, the airport and near the general hospital are open on Sunday.

You will find the most fashionable specialty stores and gift shops along the Getreidegasse and Judengasse and around Residenzplatz. Linzergasse, across the river, is less crowded and good for more practical items. There are also interesting antique shops and jewelry workshops in the medieval buildings along Steingasse and in the Goldgasse.


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