June 4, 2010
We are waiting for the departure of the Salzach cruise boat which will take us on a journey down the Salzach River which separates Salzburg into an old town and a new town.
The boat departs from just below the old Makartsteg bridge. Salzburg’s river is called the “salt river” or Salzach. This isn’t because it’s salty, but because of the precious cargo of salt it once carried from the salt mines of Hallein, just nine miles upstream. We’ll be visiting the Hallein salt mines later. Salt could be transported from here all the way to the Danube, and on to the Mediterranean via the Black Sea.
As we scan the cityscape passing by us, we see a lot of churches. Salzburg was nicknamed the “Rome of the North” because of its 38 Catholic churches, plus two Protestant and one synagogue.
There are five streams which gush into the Salzach. These date from the 13th century, when the river was split into five canals running through the town to power its mills.
Video from our cruise: