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Salzburg, Austria

November 12, 2012 by  

Salzburg, Austria, Salzburg is a city in central Austria, near the German (Bavarian) border with a population of some 148,000 in 2005. If you have seen the movie The Sound of Music , you may think you know all there is to see in Salzburg. Admittedly, it is difficult not to burst into songs when you’re walking along the Salzach River, or climbing up to the Hohensalzburg fortress which looms over the city. But there is a lot more to this compact, courtly city than Julie Andrews and as Mozart’s birthplace.

Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria (after Vienna, Graz and Linz) and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg. Its “Old Town”, with its world famous baroque architecture, is one of the best-preserved city centers in the German-speaking world and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997.

The name Salzburg literally means “Salt Castle”, and derives its name from the barges carrying salt on the Salzach river, which were subject to a toll in the 8th century.

Traces of human settlements dating to the Neolithic Age and later a Celt camp have been found in the area. Starting from 15 BC, the small communities were grouped into a single town which was named by the Romans as Juvavum. Little remains of the city from this period.

The Festung Hohensalzburg, the city’s fortress, was built in 1077 and expanded in the following centuries. Independence from Bavaria was secured in the late 14th century.

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