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Mozart Heritage Tour (Self Guided), Salzburg

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born and lived in the city of Salzburg, leaving a tremendous imprint on the history and culture of the city. The remarkable life of the classical composer was secularized in the architecture of the buildings, theaters and streets. This is a special walking tour for those who want to know more about the heritage The Salzburg Son left for future generations.
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Mozart Heritage Tour Map

Guide Name: Mozart Heritage Tour
Guide Location: Austria » Salzburg (See other walking tours in Salzburg)
Guide Type: Self-guided Walking Tour (Sightseeing)
# of Attractions: 7
Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
Travel Distance: 1.8 Km or 1.1 Miles
Author: julian
Sight(s) Featured in This Guide:
  • Mozart Residence
  • Mozarteum
  • Marionette Theater
  • Mozart's Birthplace
  • Old University
  • Mozartplatz
  • Mozartsteg
Mozart Residence

1) Mozart Residence (must see)

Mozart’s Residence from the age of 17 was the spacious Tanzmeisterhaus. The Mozart Foundation purchased the building in 1989 and converted it into a museum dedicated to the life and music of the great composer and his relationship with the city of Salzburg.

The Tanzmeisterhaus which later became Mozart’s residence was initially a dancing hall. Two buildings built around 1617 were joined to make the present building in 1685. From 1711, Lorenz Speckner ran a dancing school here. The aristocracy was trained in dancing and other accomplishments for life in court. Speckner died in 1767 and his cousin Maria Anna Raab closed the dancing school and hall and converted the building into apartments for rent. She leased the hall for events and wedding parties. Mozart’s father found their home in Hagenauerhaus too small for his growing family and moved to Tanzmeisterhaus in 1773. It was here that Mozart composed many of his finest works. The building was damaged during World War II. It was restored and converted into a museum by the Mozart Foundation and opened to the public in 1996.

The museum at Mozart’s residence consists of exhibits relating to the great composer. Mozart family memorabilia including their library, letters written by Mozart’s father and portraits are displayed. Visitors can get a guided phone tour from the reception and hear music relating to each object on display. In the last room, a video show about Mozart is screened in German and English.

This museum has one of the best audio guides, so make sure you get it.

Daily: 9am-5:30pm (Sep-Jun); 8:30-7pm (Jul-Aug)
Last admission 30 mins before closing

2) Mozarteum (must see)

The Mozarteum is one of the four universities in Salzburg. It is dedicated to teaching music and dramatic arts and is named after the most famous son of the city, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

The Mozarteum began as the Cathedral Music Association of Salzburg and Mozarteum in 1841. It was founded by Mozart’s widow Constanze. It later became the Mozarteum Orchestra of Salzburg. In 1870, the International Mozart Foundation was created to help and encourage young and gifted musicians. The building was constructed between 1910 and 1921. In 1931, the Central Institute for Mozart Research was also housed in the Mozarteum.

The International Mozart Foundation maintains the Mozarteum and two large concert halls. It has published the periodical, “Neue Mozart Ausgabe" from 1956. It was conferred with the status of an academy in 1970. The name of the Mozarteum was changed in 1998 to the University of Music and Fine Arts. The old building was torn down and a new structure was built keeping the original baroque façade and opened in time for Mozart’s 250th birth anniversary in 2006. Today, both Austrian and international students are trained in music and fine arts at the university. The Salzburg born conductor Herbert von Karajan had his music education at the Mozarteum.

Attend a concert in the Stiftung Mozarteum if you can – you won't be disappointed.
Marionette Theater

3) Marionette Theater (must see)

The Salzburg Marionette Theater is one of the world’s oldest puppet theaters in continuous operation. It has become popular with foreign tourists after being featured in the song, ‘The Lonely Goatherd’ from the 1965 Hollywood musical, ‘The Sound of Music’.

Professor Anton Aicher founded the Marionette Theater in 1913. The first production was the performance of Mozart’s famous opera, 'Bastien and Bastienne' using puppets. The theater’s popularity increased both in Salzburg and abroad and soon it traveled to other major cities in Europe. During WWII, the theater performed for German troops in the front and later for the occupation armies. In 1971, the theater found its permanent venue, the ballroom of the former Mirabel Hotel.

The Marionette Theater today has 350 seats and is modeled after a baroque stage. Productions for children and adults are staged. Most of the performances are marionette versions of Mozart’s operas. In 2007, the Sound of Music was staged and Mozart’s 'Bastien and Bastienne' was performed again at the theater. It employs 12 puppeteers who are trained in many arts and crafts. Between 20 and 90 puppets are used for each performance and the skilled puppeteers make the scenes so realistic that the audience forget that puppets are acting out the play.

Why You Should Visit:
The craftsmanship of the marionettes themselves and the artistry of the puppeteers who truly bring them to life in front of you are simply amazing!

There are English subtitles to explain what's going on, but it doesn't hurt if you are well versed in the story before attending a performance.
Another useful tip is to pay more and sit near the front for the best experience.
Mozart's Birthplace

4) Mozart's Birthplace (must see)

Hagenauer House in Getreidegasse is the building where the most famous son of Salzburg, composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born. Maintained as a museum dedicated to his memory, it is the most famous among the city's tourist attractions.

The Mozart family lived on the 3rd floor of Hagenauer House for 26 years. The composer was born here in 1756. It consists of a kitchen, a small room, a bedroom and a study. The museum dedicated to Mozart was installed here in 1880 by the Mozarteum Foundation. It was enlarged by the donation of musical instruments and other objects by his widow and two sons.

The museum at Mozart’s birthplace consists of documents, musical instruments and portraits of the great composer. An important portrait is an unfinished oil painting of Mozart at the Piano by his brother in law, Joseph Lange. Other notable exhibits are the violin he used in his childhood, his concert violin, his clavichord and a harpsichord. There are also many letters relating to the great composer on display. The museum was renovated by the Viennese architect, Prof. Elsa Prochazka to conform to modern standards and to protect the exhibits from damage. Temporary themed Mozart-related exhibitions are held by the museum.

If you've got a Salzburg Card you need not join the long ticket queue.
If planning to go to the Mozart Residence (a 5-minute walk away) as well, there is a special reduced-price ticket for both museums.

Opening Hours:
Daily: 9am-5:30pm (Sep-Jun); 8:30-7pm (Jul-Aug)
Last admission 30 mins before closing
Old University

5) Old University

The Old University of Salzburg is housed in a complex of baroque buildings in the heart of the city. Mozart concerts are performed by the Salzburg Symphony Orchestra at the Grosse Aula or large auditorium located within its campus.

The Old University is a Benedictine University established in 1623 by Prince Archbishop Paris Londron. It occupied a former convent called the Women’s Garden. In 1627, architect Santoni Solari designed the present building. He also designed the Grand Aula which was the main ceremonial hall of the university. After the secularization caused by the Napoleonic Wars, the old University became a smaller liberal arts college. It regained its status as a university in the 1960s. Many of the buildings were extended and modernized in 2007. Well known buildings in the Old University are the old university library, the reading room and the University Church.

The Grosse Aula of the Old University is of great historical significance. It was here that Mozart appeared as a dancer in a school play at the age of five. In 1767, his first composition Apollo et Hyacinthus was performed in the auditorium. On his 250th birth anniversary in 2006, Apollo et Hyacinthus was performed again at the venue. Today, the Grosse Aula is only open for musical and other performances and events.

6) Mozartplatz (must see)

Mozartplatz is the square in Salzburg dedicated to its most famous son, the composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. It is one of the most visited locations in the city today.

Mozartplatz is located in the center of the old town near the New Residence of the Archbishops of Salzburg. It is dominated by a statue of Mozart created by sculptor Ludwig von Schwanthaler. The present Mozartplatz was known as Michaelsplatz before the monument was unveiled. A baroque fountain with the statue of St. Michael on its central pillar facing St. Michael’s Church was replaced by the Mozart monument. The monument was constructed at a time when the city was economically depressed because of the Napoleonic Wars. King Ludwig I of Bavaria, a great admirer of Mozart’s works donated the funds to erect the monument. The monument to Mozart in Mozartplatz was unveiled in 1842 in the presence of his two sons.

Mozartplatz today is a place where visitors to Salzburg get their photographs taken. Next to the marble base of the statue is a Roman mosaic found by workers while erecting the monument. Several souvenir stores, coffee shops, a tourist office, and an information office are located around the square.

Why You Should Visit:
Great place to visit after dark and often there are musicians playing near the statue.

7) Mozartsteg

The Mozartsteg is a filigree art nouveau iron bridge over the Salzach River connecting the Rudolfskai and Giselakai areas of Salzburg. The pedestrian bridge gained international fame after being featured in the 1965 Hollywood film, The Sound of Music.

The Mozartsteg was built in 1903 by a private group called the Mozartstegverein. The bridge was the result of the efforts by a wealthy owner of a cafe, Georg Krimml who lobbied and donated the funds for its construction. His object was to increase customer traffic to his café, the Café Corso. It was inaugurated by the Governor of the Duchy of Salzburg and the then Mayor of the city.

The Mozartstegverein group owned the bridge until 1920 and charged a toll. The small toll house ceased to function in 1921. It still exists and is now a store that sells crafts and jewelry. It was purchased by the City of Salzburg in 1921 and converted into a bridge for pedestrians and cyclists. In the movie, the Sound of Music it was the footbridge over which the Von Trapp children skip. Today, the picturesque Mozartsteg is a spot for photographs by tourists and part of the tours that take visitors around locations where the Sound of Music was filmed.

***The Sound of Music Movie***
A definite must-visit on The Sound of Music tour of Salzburg, Mozartsteg (or Mozard Bridge) is an art deco footbridge opened in 1903 linking the Old Town and Stone Lane (Steingasse), and named after Salzburg’s legendary resident, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.

In the film, it is across this bridge and along the grassy riverbank nearby that Maria and the kids cheerfully skip while pointing at the sights during the instrumental ending of the song “My Favorite Things”.

Walking Tours in Salzburg, Austria

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Old Town, Right Bank Walk

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Tour Duration: 1 Hour(s)
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