Thursday, February 22, 2007

Europe Day 8: Christmas Eve in Salzburg, AUSTRIA

24 Dec 2006

It's Christmas eve! We followed the Danube River and passed the Sound of Music lakeland to Salzburg. We had a pleasant stroll in the afternoon with a very nice local guide through the historical centre, admiring the exquisite Mirabell Gardens, St. Peter's Cemetery, Salzburg Cathedral and also visiting Mozart's birthpalce in the charming Getreidegasse.

Our hotel

Alter Mart

Alter Markt is the old market square of Salzburg, just between the Getreidegasse and the Salzburger Dom. The square unites a number of attractions.

A local chocolate shop

Café Tomaselli, founded in 1705 is Austria's oldest “Viennese” cafés of Austria, despite of not being in Vienna.

House No. 10a (in the middle), the smallest house in Salzburg

Cafe Fürst

The chocolatie Fürst is the inventor of the infamous Mozartkugeln ("Mozart Balls"), which are still handmade, handwrapped and handsold for an exorbitant price. Apart from this sweet temptation, they also offer wide range of other chocolates, truffles, pastries and classic coffee creations.

and yes, these are the Mozartkugeln aka "Mozart Balls"

Christmas market @ Residenplatz

Yep, we've settled this one for lunch!

Hotdog again!

Ms (or Mr.?) husky looks rather bored....

Rick choosing postcards

Salzburger Dom (Salzburg Cathedral)

A must see in Salzburg. The cathedral is a 17th century baroque dedicated to Saint Rupert of Salzburg. It represents the most impressive early baroque structure north of the Alps. It is also the site of Mozart's baptism.

Façade of the Salzburg Cathedral

North view of the Cathedral

Watching the Red Indian dance performance ( I don't know how Red Indian relates to Salzburg really)

Inside the Cathedral

beautifully crafted ceiling

pipe organ

Dome of the cathedral

Story time!

Baptismal font in which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptised

It is believed that touching the nose of the creature will bring good luck. Definitely worth a touch!

one of the statues outside the cathedral. The two keys represent heaven and hell

Castle seen from Kapitelplatz


The square is dominated by the statue of Mozart which was unveiled on 5 Sep 1842 in the presence of Mozart's sons.

Petersfriedhof (St. Peter's Cemetery)

Petersfriedhof is the oldest Christian graveyard in Salzburg, dating back to 1627. The cemetery is all decorated by candles, fir branches and colourful flowers. It is peaceful, and yet beautiful. It looks just like a garden! The cemetery was also used as a setting in the Sound of Music movie.

The cemetery is a burial site for many noble families of Salzburg and other noted persons. Among them are Santino Solari, architect of the cathedral; Mozart's sister, Nannerl, a talented musician. Today, the cemetery is still a popular burial site for many aristocratic families. We were told that getting a spot here is awfully difficult but once granted, it would be a great honour to the family of the death.

St. Peter’s Church: Salzburg's St Peter's Church (Stiftskirche St Peter) was built in 1130-43, altered in 1605-25 and decorated in Roccoco style between 1757 and 1783.

Can't remember what we were all staring at....

Mozart Birthplace in 9 Getreidegasse

This is the home to Mozart's family from 1747-1773. Mozart was born here in 1756. Today, the home of the Mozart family is a museum where famous exhibits are displayed.

The door bells

To my surprise, people back in the ancient times were that tiny! The door to the apartment is just about my size!


Shoppers at Getreidegasse

View of Salzburg

Mirabell Gardens

Mirabell palace was built by Prince Arbishop Wolf Dietrich in 1606 for his mistress, Salome Alt who bore him 15 children (of which 10 survived). The palace has one of the most beautiful Baroque gardens of Europe, Mirabell Gargens. The world-famous Mirabell Gardens was also feature in the film “The Sound of Music”.

Today the Palace accommodates the office of Salzburg's Bürgermeister (mayor) and the municipal administration. I know, I know, not at all impressive right? What do you expect? It's winter! Now, I've managed to find a couple of pics taken when the garden is at its best.....

Beautiful right?

Take a look at the 360 degree view here

Other attractions

Mozart Residence: Located one block from Mirabell Gardens, this is where Mozart and his family moved when he was 17. Mozart composed numerous work here including symphonis, serenades, and five concerts for violin and piano.

Residence of Christian Doppler, an expert on acoustic theory

Christmas Even Dinner the hotel, together with the fellow tourists in our group. We had a belated birthday celebration for Rick and another person in our tour group (couldn't remember the name)

Gift from our tour director, Briggette

We had a nice and peaceful, yet enjoyable Christmas eve!

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