rambling around Hohensalzburg Fortress
The most outstanding fortification on the Festungsberg Mountain and the Mönchsberg Mountain is of course the Hohensalzburg Fortress - however, the fortress is by far not the only fortification on these mountains. A stroll around Mönchsberg is a great opportunity to explore ancient walls and will provide you with some magnificent views on Salzburg and the surrounding scenery.
Walls and fortifications existed on the Mönchsberg since the 13th century. The most narrow part of the mountain towards the Fortress was secured by a mighty wall, which was extended by the citizens of Salzburg in 1487. The so-called "Bürgerwehr" ("Citizen defence") is just above the Gstättentor Gate. It matched the ancient city limits. The passage through this wall was built between 1630 and 1640.
With the threat of the Thirty Years War, Prince Archbishop Paris Lodron continued with securing Salzburg heavily from all sides. The Fortress and the neighbouring Mönchsberg became the core of the bastion of Salzburg.
Neglected by "normal" Salzburg tourism
If you get from the Festungsberg ("Fortress Mountain") to the Mönchsberg Mountain, you pass through a mighty gate called "Katze" ("Cat"). It was built in the local conglomerate rock in 1635. It should secure the access to Salzburg from this side.
In 1863, when most of the fortifications were either re-modelled or more commonly removed, the walls securing the Katze were partially opened again, another hole made in 1870 and now called "Bürgermeisterloch" ("mayor′s hole") leads to the Richter Plateau.
This hill top was named after Professor Eduard Richter, a geographer who lived from 1847 and 1905. By the Richter Plateau you can see the south of Salzburg, the edge of the Alps and the Salzburg valley, and - right by the plateau - two powder towers from the 14th century that are now used by local societies.
There are more walls on the northern edge of the Mönchsberg Mountain leading to the district and parish church Mülln. They are secured by the "Monikapforte" gate with a guard post and a wooden bridge and the Augustinerpforte allowed traffic to pass under the watchful eyes of the Prince Archbishop′s soldiers.
More Major Sights in Salzburg
Mönchsberg panorama photo - opens new window
Museum of Modern Art on the Moenchsberg - opens new window