Quick trip to Salzburg – Salt Fortress and Love Locks

Austria’s 4th largest city, birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, with an Altstadt (old city) listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1997, Salzburg is probably one of the most beautiful cities in Europe.

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Short History

The first settlements of Salzburg date all the way back to the Neolithic Age, and were merged into one city during the Roman Empire times.The city was named Salzburg, with means Salt Castle, honoring the barges carrying salt on the Salzach River, in the 8th century.

Salzburg, as the capital of one of the Austro-Hungarian territories, became, through time, home for a large number of Protestant emigrants and emigrants from regions of the Kingdom of Hungary, as refugees from the war.

Even if during the World War II, the bombing destroyed 7,600 houses and killed 550 inhabitants, the Baroque architecture was preserved and the city rebuilt, blossoming year after year.

The Hohensalzburg Castle

The High Salzburg Fortress, is located at an altitude of 506 m, on Festungsberg, a small hill situated in the heart of the city, which offers visitors probably the best view over Salzburg.

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Measuring 250 m in length and 150 m in width, Hohensalzburg is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe.

The construction of the fortress, originally designed as a simple wooden fortification, began in 1077, under Archbishop Gebhard von Helfenstein, and was gradually expanded during the following centuries, until 1462, when the ring walls and towers were built, under Prince-Archbishop Burkhard II von Weißpriach.

Even if the main purpose of the fortification was protection, the only time it actually came under siege was during the German Peasants’ War, when in 1525, the townspeople tried to force Prince-Archbishop Matthäus Lang out of his position, but failed.

Hohensalzburg Castle

Nowadays, the castle, with various wings, chambers and a beautiful courtyard, is open to the public, and if you want to visit, you can get there either by cable car or by foot. As usual, I had to choose walking, so I can stop on the way, and admire the gorgeous view over the city. I must say, I wasn’t disappointed at all!

The Makartsteg Bridge – Locks and Love

Named after the 19th century painter Hans Makart, the bridge over the Salzach River is the most modern bridge in the city center, with 20,000 pedestrians crossing it everyday.

However, this is not what the bridge is so famous for. The fence of the bridge is covered in a sea of locks, brought there by lovers from all around the world, which are meant to declare their eternal love.

Makartsteg Bridge

Even if this is a bit cheesy for my taste, I must say I was impressed by the large number of locks. Also, I couldn’t help but wonder how does this work in case of a break-up. Do you go back there, jump in the river, look for the keys, find them (right … good luck with that) and get rid of the evidence? 🙂

Either way, the shop owners selling them, are very happy and thankful for all the couples who feel the need to write their names on fences (not sure what happened to the good old romantic dates where people brought knifes along and carve their names on trees).

With plenty Romanesque and Gothic Churches and Cathedrals, a perfect blend of baroque and classical modernism buildings and a beautiful contemporary architecture found in Salzburg’s old town, the city is definitely not lacking variety.

Regardless if you stop by to visit the historic center or the Alpine surroundings, Salzburg is full of culture, history and beauty, and ever since my first visit, it’s been on my top 5 favorite cities list.


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29 thoughts on “Quick trip to Salzburg – Salt Fortress and Love Locks

  1. A few months ago, I reacted to a post about love locks on Hanne’s blog, Places People Stories. I was saying that I hate, no I should say, HATE, love locks. We were talking about a bridge that fell down in Paris, and here was my reply, I’m doing a copy/paste, because i think it’s still what I think today 😉

    “Yes indeed, the bridge fell down because of the weight of the love locks. Nowadays, they have to remove the locks every months in Paris to avoid anymore damages (and I’m sure they must do that in other places as well).

    So, it is true that this trend is destroying the monuments and the architecture of some places… but for me, the real problem is somewhere else

    The metal keys of the love locks are thrown into the rivers in many countries (because bridges are iconic in this trend), and may disturb the aquatic ecosystem beneath. Some people may think it won’t change anything in a polluted river like “la Seine”, or that one key won’t make a difference, but thousands !? If everyone reaches the same conclusion….

    In addition, these love locks have started to appear in other remote places, like Iceland, where the environment is very sensitive. Just imagine the disaster and the damages done to the bacterial mats living in hot springs or bubbling rivers of Iceland ? This trend is an ecological disaster in my opinion… I was so pissed off when I saw these in Iceland during my last trip.

    I think it’s awful to celebrate the love shared between two people by destroying the nature at the same time. It’s an act of selfishness.

    But it’s my opinion 🙂

    And concerning Salzburg , I think I would love to visit the castle. I love the atmosphere of old medieval places 🙂

    Liked by 2 people

    • Gin, I absolutely love your comment! I feel the same way about them… Besides destroying monuments (it happened in other places as well) t’s pollution and it’s an unnecessary type of pollution. Imagine every tourist would throw something in the water… I might be old fashion, but I don’t like to advertise the fact that I’m in love with someone. Love should be only shared between the two persons forming the couple. The rest of the world simply doesn’t matter.
      I’m sure you’d love Salzburg! I don’t know what it is, but the atmosphere overall made me feel so good over there! I totally love it, and the fortress is amazing. The view from up there is breathtaking 🙂 I hope you’ll see it in person, one day!
      Have a lovely week! x

      Like

      • It’s like throwing coins, I don’t like that either. When you see what happened to the Morning glory pool in Yellowstone that turned green because of the coins thrown in it by tourists… it’s a shame 😦 I don’t like throwing anything metallic 😀

        Thank you, have a lovely week as well. Here the wind is really strong, 90 km/h, it’s an horrible weather.

        Liked by 1 person

      • I don’t like throwing anything at all, unless I feed some ducks or fish 🙂 I hate to pollute the environment. We already do enough damage as specie, as it is.
        It can be much worse, in terms of wind. North of NL is hit by a severe storm, winds up to 150 km/h… trucks were blown off the road, ships didn’t leave the harbor…We hope it will stop soon enough. My flowers aren’t happy about this, I can tell you that for sure 🙂

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    • I’m very happy to hear this, Jet! I was there last year, on a very short trip, and I still think about it. It’s such a beautiful city, with a perfect atmosphere. Have a lovely day 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Quite picturesque city Lucy, thanks. Their citizens have good taste to live accord to modernity but care their heritage. Except the lovers, but love is sometimes blind I think 😀 I know somebody intelligent could be rich making biodegradable keys, perhaps of corn, or with agents that could clean the water, who knows. Kind regards 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment Francis! I’m afraid this is not a very popular opinion. Not sure why some feel the need to advertise that they are in love, and damage the environment, in the same time. I wonder if they even realize it.
      Biodegradable keys sounds pretty good! Or, even better, made out of something which fish or birds might be able to eat. Maybe one day…soon 🙂
      The city is definitely lovely. The atmosphere is one of the best I’ve been on so far, anywhere in Europe. And the best part, as you also mentioned, is the care citizens show for their culture and history.
      Thank you once again for stopping by. Have a lovely day!

      Liked by 1 person

  3. Neolithic Age…Salzburg seems has the medieval charm, but also is modern and enchanting, and the hometown of the famous 18th century composer Mozart. A romantic city and a wonderful getaway, I would love to be there. I have heard about the journey from Munich to Salzburg is a breathtaking one, offering views from the Lakes to the Alps.Indeed a beautiful view to the Hohensalzburg Castle. So much of history and culture…perhaps a day is never enough and so much to see and absorb, enjoy and capture in our lens…it needs more time to do a justice to such a lovely and beautiful city with such history…
    Lovely post and yes, someday we will visit and than read your post once again…

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for your wonderful comment, Nihar! I did the road you just described, and indeed, it’s absolutely beautiful. Since I was there for the first time, last year, I can’t stop thinking about Salzburg. This city has something magical about it. I totally love places with historical buildings and a lot of culture. However, as you also mentioned, one day isn’t enough to breath it all in 🙂
      I hope one day you will get to visit it, in person. I’d love to hear what’s your impression on the city. I’m sure you’d absolutely love it.
      Have a great day! 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • As described by you, I must visit and will definitely share my perspective, it is so exciting to hear about the long history and the rich culture that is so much lively and visible in the place and with the people there. Yes, you are right Lucy some places have that aura and intensity that keeps radiating and we get enchanted…
        You must visit once more as you are close by and share another perspective and I look forward to hearing more from you…
        You too have a great day!!!
        😀

        Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you so much for your lovely comment! I feel humbled by your words. I hope you will get to visit Salzburg one day. If you love history, I’m sure you will enjoy it very much. It’s a gorgeous location, which takes you back in time.
      Have a lovely day and good luck with your studies!

      Like

    • If you are in the area, I’d definitely recommend it. It’s a great addition to the bucket list 🙂 It’ has something very special and I’m sure you would have a great time visiting a part of our history.
      Unfortunately yes….the love locks are a part of our present, forced between beautiful monuments. But not too many people see them this way, judging by the large number of locks…
      Have a lovely day and thank you for stopping by!

      Like

  4. Looks like a beautiful city – the view from High Salzburg Fortress is stunning. For some reasons cities that have a river running through them always melts my heart (like Budapest).
    The architecture looks great, love the churches/cathedrals popping up in between:)

    Liked by 1 person

    • Thank you for reading! I can’t agree more! The more water, the more beautiful the city is. Amsterdam is my favorite from this point of view, but Salzburg has that something which made it very dear to me 🙂 I hope I’ll get to see it again soon. it was a wonderful experience. Have a great day!

      Liked by 1 person

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