Salzburg’s old town is connected to the top of the Monchsberg mountain by a funicular. On the second day of our visit to Salzburg, we take the funicular up to the imposing Hohensalzburg Fortress.
Built on a rock 400 feet above the Salzach River, the Hohensalzburg fortress was never really used. That’s the idea. It was a good investment because it was so foreboding that nobody attacked the town for a thousand years. When Napoleon stopped by, however, Salzburg wisely surrendered.
After a stint as a military barracks, the fortress was opened to the public in the 1860’s by Emporer Franz Josef. Today it remains one of Europe’s mightiest castles, dominating Salzburg’s skyline.
From the top of Festungsberg you can see remarkable views of Salzburg. After admiring the view, we explore the fortress’ ancient cannons, a marionette exhibit, a palace museum, ruins of a Romanesque church, and a wonderful courtyard with a lot of history.
The castle has three parts: the original castle which is inside the courtyard, the vast white-washed walls built when the castle was a residence, and the lower fortified part that was added for extra defense against the Ottoman invasions.
Video from our visit: