Salzburg is the birthplace of the Von Trapp family singers, the inspiration behind the blockbuster movie “The Sound of Music” which is often played on TV every Christmas day. The Von Trapps, led by the Baron and Maria, used to live near the Aigen train station on Traunstrasse 34, a good 20-minute train ride from the Salzburg city centre. Since 2009, the original house, not featured in the movie, has been turned into a hotel. All rooms have en suite bathrooms and are named after members of the Von Trapp family. Husband and wife Christopher and Marianne tried to maintain the old glory and authenticity of the house by choosing a style that fits its original interiors.
Salzburg’s most famous son
If you are familiar with Mozart’s piano sonatas, you know exactly which ones give you that innocent, wide-eyed, joyful Christmasy feeling. For me personally, that’s sonata number 11. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart started composing since he was five years old. If you want to relive his life, there’s no better place to do that than Salzburg, where he was born. There are two museums dedicated to his name: Mozart’s Birthplace on Gertreidegasse 9 and the Mozart Residence on Makartplatz 8. Like other museums dedicated to famous people, there are loads of objects used by Mozart in both museums. You will see the instruments he used, music he composed on music sheets, letters and other paraphernalia. Unlike other museums dedicated to famous people, you will learn about Mozart’s family in these two museums in a way that has not been portrayed in popular culture. You will also learn how naughty he was. In the shops connected to the museums, you can buy Mozart chocolates, keychains stationery and even perfume.
Schnitzel, Spätzle and Apfelstrudel
Schnitzel is made of meat pounded to perfection, covered with eggs, flour, bread crumbs and deep fried until golden brown. Spätzle is the Austrian soft egg noodle served in different lengths and forms. They are likened to the dumplings of East European neighbours. Apfelstrudel or apple strudel is an Austrian dessert characterised by apple-filled phyllo dough. This is often served with vanilla ice cream topped with whipped cream.
Are you hungry yet? Well, that’s the goal of this exercise, get you salivating! Kidding aside, these are all very common Austrian food, so when in Salzburg, it is fairly easy to spot them. Let Mozart be your guide. On the same street where he was born, there are a lot of restaurants to choose from. Most of them claim to serve the best schnitzel in town. Take a look around and take your pick. We found our schnitzel in Restaurant s’Herzl.
• Villa Trapp, the original house of the Von Trapps, was used by Heinrich Himmler during World War II as his headquarters.
• Salzburg claims to have the most number of high quality restaurants in Europe per square meter.
• Mozart’s real name is Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgang Theophilus Mozart. Amadeus is the Latinized version of Theophilus and Mozart only referred to this name when he was joking. His nickname was Worlferl.
• The biggest moneymakers of Salzburg are the “Sound of Music” and Mozart.
• Salzburg is the fourth largest city of Austria and is divided by the Salzach River.
• Salzburg literally means “Salt fortress/mountains”.