Salzburg Cathedral

Located where Residenzplatz flows into Domplatz in Salzburg, Salzburg Cathedral(Domkirche St. Rupert) is renowned for its harmonious Baroque architecture and 4,000-pipe organ. It also contains a medieval font in which Mozart was baptized.

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History of Salzburg Cathedral

This site has hosted a Christian church since 774. The original was replaced with a late-Romanesque structure built in 1181-1200.

The Romanesque cathedral burned down in 1598 and Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich took advantage of (some would say caused) the destruction to demolish the rest and make plans for a grand new cathedral to reaffirm Salzburg's commitment to the Catholic cause in the face of the Reformation.

However, Dietrich's overthrow prevented the completion of this project. The present cathedral was commissioned by Archbishop Markus Sittikus Count Hohenems and designed by the Italian architect Santino Solari. It was consecrated in 1628 by Archbishop Paris Count Lodron.

What to See at Salzburg Cathedral

The cathedral's plaza is a complete aesthetic concept and one of Salzburg's most beautiful urban set pieces. In the center rises the Virgin's Column with a 1771 statue of the Virgin Mary.

Considered by some to be the most perfect Renaissance building in the German-speaking countries, Salzburg Cathedral has a marble facade, twin west towers topped with green domes and a large green-roofed dome over the crossing. The bronze doors (1959) illustrate the themes of Faith, Hope, and Love.

The church's simple sepia-and-white interior, a peaceful contrast to the usual Baroque excesses, dates from a later renovation. It is decorated with elaborate Baroque murals, some of which were designed (along with the altarpieces) by Mascagni of Florence. The dome was damaged during World War II but was restored by 1959.

Near the entrance, look for the Romanesque font at which Mozartwas baptized. The great composer later served as organist here from 1779 to 1781. Some of his compositions, such as the Coronation Mass, were written for the cathedral, and many were performed here for the first time. The font is made of bronze and decorated with reliefs of saints.

In the modern crypt, traces of the old Romanesque cathedral that once stood on this spot have been unearthed. The cathedral excavations are entered around the corner (left of the Dom entrance). This exhibition of excavation work shows ruins of the original foundation.

The cathedral's treasures and the "arts and wonders" the archbishops collected in the 17th century, are displayed in the Dom Museum (tel. 0662/84-41-89), entered through the cathedral.

Quick Facts on Salzburg Cathedral

Site Information
Names:Salzburg Cathedral · Salzburg Dom · Salzburger Dom
Country:Austria
Categories:cathedrals
Dates:1628
Status: active
Visitor and Contact Information
Coordinates:47.797892° N, 13.046672° E
Address:Residenzplatz
Salzburg, Austria
Phone:0662/844189
Hours:Cathedral: daily 8am-7pm (to 5pm in winter)

Excavations: Easter-Sep: Tue-Sun 10:30am-5pm; Oct-Apr: Wed-Thu 10:30am-3:30pm, Fri-Sun 10:30am-4pm
Museum: Wed-Sun 9am-5pm, Sun 1-6pm.

Closed Nov 6-24 and Jan 8-Apr 7.
Lodging:View hotels near Salzburg Cathedral
Note: This information was accurate when first published and we do our best to keep it updated, but details such as opening hours and prices can change without notice. To avoid disappointment, please check with the site directly before making a special trip.

References

  1. Personal visit (September 2004).
  2. Salzburg Dom - Frommers.com

More Information

© Martin Hapl
© Holly Hayes
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© Holly Hayes

Map of Salzburg Cathedral

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