… and fall in love with the city that has so much to offer. The diversity of architectural, cultural, and scenic highlights in the city of Mozart and the Salzburg Festival fills books and travel guides. At this point we would like to invite you to discover less prominent yet charming alleys and points in our city, or rather: the Kai District. Be charmed, be inspired. And do ask us about more insider tips in our colorful district between Mozart Square and Cajetan Square. We gladly share them with you.
On the southeastern foothills of the Festungsberg, near Old Town Hotel Wolf, an exceptional building sits enthroned. The Benedictine Nonnberg Convent has been there for over 1.300 years and is the oldest convent in the German-speaking area. It gained, however, its worldwide fame because of “The Sound of Music”. Maria Kutschera was shown as a nun in the convent. In real life, though, she was a novice and governess in the convent’s own school, when she was finally sent to widower Baron von Trapp’s home. In 1927, Georg von Trapp got married to his Maria in the Nonnberg Abbey. The rest is (television) history.
If you follow the Kaigasse out of town direction Nonntal, you will see an old stone stairway – just a few meters past the hotel on the right-hand side of the street– the so-called Nonnbergstiege. Framed with historical old town houses, ruggedly overgrown gardens and trim verandas here and there, it leads up to the convent. You will feel a little like in a different world – history’s breath is omnipresent. You can visit the convent’s church and cemetery. Or you continue walking along the beautiful, old Hohen Weg towards the Mönchsberg. No matter which path you choose: The views from Nonnberg and Mönchsberg of Salzburg city are simply enchanting.
What a panorama! The so-called Richterhöhe on the Mönchsberg, one of Salzburg’s city hills, takes your breath away at any time of the day. When the Untersberg, clouded in mystery, rises silently and majestically on the horizon, when the Fortress Hohensalzburg seems within reach, and the whole city of Salzburg lies at your feet, then you might rave about its beauty. And when you sit down on one of the benches or on the soft grass of Richterhöhe for sunset, then – we are sure – you will never forget the view that you enjoyed from above.
Many paths lead up to Richterhöhe. The stroll across the stairs next to the Festspielhaus, in the Toscani Court, up to the Mönchsberg, is especially appealing.
A cemetery as a sightseeing tip in Salzburg? Yes! Because St. Peter’s Cemetery is truly unique. This is not only because it is, along with the Nonnberg Convent Cemetery, the oldest Christian burial site in Salzburg. The truth is: it is simply beautiful. At the foot of the Festungsberg, St. Peter’s Cemetery clings to the walls. Depending on the incidence of light, it appears once morbid, once romantic, once even enchanted. And always as if it was behind times. It is not surprising that St. Peter’s cemetery was in the focus of interest of many 19th century painters and poets.
If you spend your Salzburg city trip in the Hotel Wolf, you will reach St. Peter’s Cemetery after a short walk through the Kapitelgasse and across Kapitelplatz. A visit is always worthwhile!
It meanders at the foot of the Festungsberg, and the old cobblestones and the wall, gracefully showing its age, make for its harsh, yet charming face. Capitulars used to live in the small Herrengasse, turning off the Kaigasse towards Festung Hohensalzburg. It was called “Domherrengasse” for a long time for its proximity to the Cathedral Quarter. Over the past centuries, the word “Dom” (= cathedral) disappeared and the alley became the “Herrengasse”. In the late medieval times, when the alley was built, mainly craftsmen and citizens, who served the aristocratic clergy, settled here.
When you stroll through the alley, a closer look at the narrow, Gothic buildings, marked with house number 26 and 28, is worth it. Over the centuries, they grew together to a spacious town house through a back wing in the rock face around an inner courtyard with an own fountain.
Since 1998, this special building was designated a UNESCO world heritage site.