The first Salzburg Festival was hosted in the summer of 1920. In 2020, 100 years of the Salzburg Festival was to be celebrated but the pandemic struck. This anniversary is also why Salzburg was voted #1 city of the Best in Travel 2020 Rankings by Lonely Planet. During the six weeks of festivals in July and August, more than 250,000 visitors flock to Salzburg. There are over 200 events which are divided into three categories: drama, opera and music concerts – so there’s always something for everyone.
The musical film Sound of Music is primarily unknown in Austria. How is it that the Austrians don’t know the film, most of which was shot in Salzburg, yet the rest of the world does? Sound of Music was first broadcasted in the USA in 1965 but only 35 years later in Austria. The film received terrible reviews in German-speaking countries, had a low viewership, and was generally a failure. Since then, the five-time, Oscar-winning musical film has only been broadcasted only a few times on the ORF (Austrian broadcasting corporation).
A professional group of mountain cleaners has ensured the safety of the inhabitants of Salzburg. It’s a profession unique to Salzburg. After a rockfall in 1669, 230 people lost their lives. Today, twelve mountain cleaners inspect over 300.000 m² at Mönchsberg, Kapuzinerberg, Nonnberg, Festungsberg, Reinberg, and Hellbrunnerberg to ensure that loose rocks are no longer a danger to anyone. Isn’t that something?
Confectioner Paul Fürst invented delicious chocolate praline in 1890. At the 1905 World Exhibition in Paris, his Mozart ball (Mozartkugel) was awarded a gold medal. Since it was not usual at that time to patent ideas, the praline by Paul Fürst was often copied and adapted to produce it industrially and meet the great demand. Today, one can find thirteen different Mozartkugeln from different companies in Salzburg. However, only the Konditorei Fürst is allowed to use the name “Original Salzburger Mozartkugel”.
I recently discovered that the famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was not Austrian at all. And no, he wasn’t German either. How so? Salzburg wasn’t part of Austria during his lifetime. Mozart was born in the Prince-Archbishopric of Salzburg, an ecclesiastical principality and a state of the Holy Roman Empire. Therefore Mozart is a Salzburg citizen. The hut where Mozart wrote his opera The Magic Flute, at least in part, still stands today. He did not compose music there entirely voluntarily and was temporarily locked up by his commissioner to create some magnificent work. Today the Magic Flute House is located in the Bastionsgarten (bastion garden) of the Mozarteum Foundation and can be visited at events and on request. You can also catch a glimpse of it from the Mirabell Garden.