Friday, October 05, 2012

Maria, Where Art Thou?

Cover of "The Sound of Music (Two-Disc 40...
Cover via Amazon
I alluded to The Sound of Music in the post title yesterday, but never addressed it. This 1965 American movie made Salzburg more famous than it could ever have dreamed possible. What is curious is that once you are in the city, there are disclaimers about the authenticity of the movie as opposed to the facts as written in Maria Von Trapp's memoir. There are dozens of Sound of Music tours, but almost similar to the Lord of the Rings tours in New Zealand, I don't need to pay someone to point to a mountain while saying that is where Julie Andrews sang the opening song.

We stopped at the Mozarteum thinking it was a museum, but it turned out it was a university. Shortly, thereafter, we did find the Mozart Residence where the entrance was 10 Euros each, but free with the card. I am not a classical music fan; I could have, would have shunned the place had not Ron wanted to go. It was simply interesting to me, nothing more.

This led to our taking the funicular to the Hohensalzburg Fortress. It was built in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard, but enlarged by the clergy/princes who succeeded him. It is a fully-preserved fortress and the largest in central Europe. It has never been conquered by enemy troops. The panoramic views are spectacular. The photos will be in my photo blog in a few days.

The Marionette Museum is also located in the fortress as well as a exhibit of the history in photos and a sculpture of soldiers fighting a war. Loving marionettes, I enjoyed the museum, though it was much smaller than expected and all were related to operas. That said, the Marionette Theater was closed until November, so we could not catch any shows. I would have gone to an opera of marionettes even when I religiously avoid human performances. The combined ticket for the funicular, fortress, and museums was 11 Euros p/p. So far, we were able to deduct 21 Euros from our 40 Euro investment. Spending plenty of time here, not rushing at all, we continued onward.

On the funicular ride down at the base is Stiegl Brewery where our Salzburg Card promised a beer tasting. After climbing the hill to reach it and then a thousand stairs to get to the business area, we found that the actual brewery is in another location. After all of that exertion, we had to stay for a beer at least. I included a pretzel, which came hot from the oven. The food being served all around us looked delicious, but there was no time to stop for a meal.

We decided to go to the Residence. A Baroque structure, it was the home for the Prince Archbishops of Salzburg until the city was incorporated into the country of Austria. The building was originally erected in 1120, but major additions were created in the 15th and 16th centuries by other Archbishops. Contrary to our Salzburg Card brochure, the gallery closed at 2pm, not 5pm like it was shown. We were able to visit the museum there which featured a special exhibit on death. Varied pieces of sculpture mixed with paintings and other media, exemplified death in its many manifestations throughout history. On the other side was the permanent collection. The entrance was 9 Euros each.

With a time savings from not being able to visit the Residence rooms, we ventured to the Salzburg  Museum instead, since it is on the same square. The entrance would have been 7 Euros had we not had the card. Not fully understanding, we found one full floor filled with displays of religious art found in the city throughout the centuries. I had assumed this was all there was to the museum, but as closing time approached, we found this was a special exhibit with the main exhibit one floor below. However, by that time, they where shooing us out of the place, wanting to go home to their own dinner. We were on sensory overload anyway.

On our first full day, we would have spent 37 Euros each had we not had the Salzburg Card. However, this does not include the cost of bus rides. We had taken at least six of them by this point, which most likely put us over the top for the 40 Euro investment. Granted, I am not sure I would have been willing to part with those amounts of money at each stop, but knowing the card gained us access, it was a no brainer.

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