Salzburg Fortress (Hohensalzburg)

The medieval castle high above Salzburg city

Hohensalzburg Fortress, built in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard, considerably enlarged byArchbishop Leonhard von Keutschach (1495-1519), largest, fully-preserved fortress in central Europe.

The medieval princes' apartments and the Fortress Museum are of particular interest.

Since 1892 the fortress can easily be reached by funicular railway departing from the Festungsgasse.

A refugium behind the battlements

During the 15th and 16th centuries, during the turmoil of the so-called Hungarian War and the Peasants' War in which the province of Salzburg was involved, the archbishops took refuge behind the battlements of the fortress.

It was during this period that the main building was enlarged and the arsenal and the granary erected.

Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach (1495 - 1519) enlarged the fortress and its exterior has remained substantially unaltered since then.

Rich interior

The fortress' interior was richly decorated: intricate Gothic wood-carvings and ornamental paintings decorate the Golden Hall and the Golden Chamber.

58 insignia and coats of arms with the beetroot are commemorative of Leonhard von Keutschach.

The fortress' symbol, the lion, holds the beetroot in its paws.

One of the last extensive modifications was the addition of the great Kuenberg bastion.

Unconquered 'til now

During its long history the Hohensalzburg Fortress has always remained unconquered by enemy troops.

Having served as a fortification and temporary residence of the prince archbishops for many years, the fortress also served as military barracks and a prison.

Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich was held captive in the fortress for five years by his nephew and successor, Markus Sittikus, up to his death in 1617.

Today the fortress is open to the public all year round and artists from around the world meet here for courses at the International Summer Academy.

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