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The Mighty Fortress Hohensalzburg: A Symbol of Medieval Power in Austria

Updated: Jul 20, 2023

Mighty Fortress Hohensalzburg

The Hohensalzburg Fortress is Salzburg's most prominent structure and top tourist destination. The biggest and best-preserved of its sort in Central Europe, the imposing 900-year-old clifftop fortress over the Baroque city centre's roofs.

Hohensalzburg is a place where you can easily spend a half-day seeing the interiors, going through the different museums, and taking in the spectacular views of the city. Pick a bright day, get there early to avoid the crowds, and don't forget your camera or mobile phone for some memorable photos to make the most of your experience. During his time the Archdiocese of Salzburg became very powerful and prosperous due to the salt trade, and silver and gold mining.

History of Fortress Hohensalzburg

The fortress was constructed in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard I to demonstrate the strength of the Catholic Church and defend the principality. The first plan was for merely a straightforward center structure within a wooden-walled courtyard. Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach developed the basic structure of the Fortress Hohensalzburg into what it is now between 1495 and 1519. The extension of the defenses of the fortress made Hohensalzburg one of the biggest strongholds in all of Europe. The beautiful state apartments in the fortress are outstanding examples of secular Late Gothic architecture.

Exploring The Fortress

Exploring The Fortress

The 8-acre Hohensalzburg complex consists of several wings and a courtyard. Turn right as you emerge from the funicular to reach the observation terrace. You can now see the Prince's rooms if you purchased an all-inclusive ticket. The Golden Chamber, with its breathtaking Gothic wood carvings and seats along the walls covered with grapes, greenery, and animals, is the most gorgeous chamber. The Golden Hall boasts a gold-studded ceiling that resembles a starry sky and was formerly the site of opulent feasts. The Archbishop's bed-chamber even includes his own water closet and a secret staircase.

In addition, several museums are accessible with your ticket:

Fortress Hohensalzburg Museums

Fortress Hohensalzburg Museums

Going to the Museums is one of the best things to do In Salzburg, read what you can do when going to Fortress Hohensalzburg.

Prince’s chambers & Magic Theater - One of the attractions of any trip is to explore the enigmatic Prince's Chambers of the fortress Hohensalzburg. Learn about the fascinating history of Salzburg's rulers and subjects while exploring some of Europe's best-preserved secular Gothic structures. Your visit will be one to remember thanks to the multimedia exhibit and the new magic theatre. The Armory - The fortress canons, weapons, and equipment were originally stored in the armory. It is one of four armies that have been employed over the course of the fortress's history. A contemporary exhibition space was created in the castle courtyard's main armory in 2019. Since then, tourists have benefited from the chance to see a bygone era of armament, explosive gunpowder, intricate fortress architecture, and shot and cannonball factories. The Panorama Tour - A real visual treat is the new Panorama Tour at Fortress Hohensalzburg. Enjoy stunning vistas of Salzburg's cityscape as well as artistic insights into the fortress's and town's past. Learn about stories and special items like the Salzburg Bull. Watch as the light dances across the golden musical instruments, wrought iron, and rock salt. The historical and cultural backdrop of each room's core element is used to convey the story of that space. The castle museum- Selected exhibits from the medieval holdings of the Salzburg Museum are on display in the Castle Museum, along with substantial audiovisual displays, to provide insights into the history of Salzburg and the purpose of the fortress. Twelve rooms are included in the tour, which is organized into categories that emphasize various facets of the Middle Ages while spotlighting Salzburg's art, culture, and history through specific people and occasions. The Rainer Regiment Museum- In order to preserve the legacy of the old Salzburg house regiment, the imperial and royal infantry regiment "Archduke Rainer," no. 59, the Rainer museum has been located in Hohensalzburg Castle since 1924. Its beginnings can be traced back to 1682. Innviertel and Hausruckviertel in Upper Austria were given to the regiment as recruitment districts after the Duchy of Salzburg was ultimately ruled by Austria in 1816. The Puppet Museum- Discover the fascinating world of puppets, numerous artifacts from the renowned Salzburg puppet theatre in Schwarzstraße can be found in this museum. Try your hand at puppeteering to learn more about the origins of this unusual art form.

Getting There
Getting There

The Hohensalzburg Castle is situated 653 feet above the city's historic center on the Festungsberg. Starting at Festungsgasse, it is a steep 15-minute walk or a one-minute trip up in a glass funicular. Go early in the morning or late in the day to avoid large lines. It is possible to bypass the line if you have a Salzburg Card ( available at the Information offices).

Getting Your Ticket

In the summer, the stronghold is open from 8:30 a.m. to 8 p.m.; the rest of the year, it is open from 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tickets may be purchased at the cash registers, although booking online is more affordable. Depending on what you want to see and when you buy your ticket, there are many ticket categories. The ticket costs may fluctuate every year as per government policies.


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