Ferdinand-Hanusch-Platz, a square in the Old Town

The Ferdinand-Hanusch-Platz is a square in the city centre of Salzburg, it intersects with the Griesgasse and is an important traffic hub. Locally, it is known as a hang-out for punks and bums, which is a typical Salzburg-contradiction giving the posh surroundings. The square was named after Ferdinand Hanusch (surprise), a social democrat who lived between 1866 and 1923. He is considered to be an important literary figure and a key-player in the Austrian tradition of socialism.

Originally, the area of today′s Ferdinand-Hanusch-Platz was outside of the city walls. Note that some sections of the walls have been preserved and implemented into the houses of the Griesgasse. To grant access to running water, "filthy" businesses like the fish market and the butchers of Salzburg were transferred here in the early 17th century. Whilst the butchers were transferred first to the Elisabeth-Vorstadt and later to a slaughter house in Bergheim, the fish market was moved to today′s Furthwängler Park.

The site of the fish market was decorated with a waterman well, which can still be found between the Kollegienkirche and the Festival Hall. However, the most famous fish store of Salzburg is still at the Ferdinand-Hanusch-Platz: The "Fisch Krieg", a shop built in 1923. It is worth a closer look, since the architecture is quite nice and typical for its period. Note that the lion well on the outside of the building incorporates a Medieval lion′s head.

Much of the Ferdinand-Hanusch-Platz was occupied by the so-called "Mississippi-Steamboat", built in 1955; the infamous construction housed shops, a café and a public toilet and was hated quite passionately by most people in Salzburg. It was considered to be one of the most distasteful examples of post-war architecture and demolished in 1974. A few years earlier, the AVA-Hof was built, the shopping mall that is now at the most central part of the Ferdinand-Hanusch-Platz.

The 1968 building was meant to be demolished and re-built in a more sensitive manner in the 1990ies, but the plans proved to be too expensive due to the very strict conservational regime that applies in this part of the Altstadt. The site of the AVA-Hof was once occupied by the Thürnitz, army barracks built in the 17th century. Supposedly, the Thürnitz was the oldest army barrack in the modern sense of the World outside of Italy. It was demolished in 1873.

Further Reading

Ferdinand-Hanusch-Platz on SalzburgWiki (German)

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