It is Tuesday, June 26, and we officially have less than one week left in this beautiful city. I, along with others in the group, have been frantically planning to try and fit in as much as possible before we leave early Monday morning.
The entirety of this trip has been eventful, riveting, and leaving me wanting more; however, my favorite moments have stemmed from the relaxed days I have spent simply strolling through Salzburg.
For some reason, I went into this week unsure about whether or not I have taken in the city enough up to this point. We have gone so many places, but I want more of Salzburg! With only a week left, it is crunch time.
Yesterday, I finally had my day of “taking it all in.” After class, a group of us spontaneously decided to visit Old Town and spend the day touring the Salzburg Residenz Palace. This is a spot I would recommend any Salzburg-visitor to go to.
All of Salzburg’s history lies within the decadent walls of the Palace (and Cathedral) that offers stunning views of the city and a plethora of unknown information about the town.
The Residenz sits right in the heart of the city and was the source of power during the time of the prince-archbishops. The moment you see the towering churches and large buildings, all you can think of is: might. You understand just from this that Salzburg was a place of power.
We walked up to the lady at the ticket counter to purchase our tickets, and she was as nice as could be – the cost for our tickets was only 10 euro for students!
Once we got our tickets, we walked up a long and elaborate staircase to enter into Carabinieri Hall (pictured below). The hall was built in 1600 and served as a room for state gatherings, a banquet hall, and theater.
As we made our way through the detailed halls, it didn’t take much to realize this was one of Salzburg’s most important buildings. I learned that it was in this building that Salzburg’s rulers truly shapes the future of the city and used it to conduct multiple affairs of the state.
We eventually moved on to the terrace above the Cathedral arches, which gave us a pretty view of the city center. Yesterday was a bit of a cloudy and rainy day, but that did not stop Salzburg from being beautiful (as always).
We also went through the “North Oratory” which featured some special exhibitions.
My favorite part, personally, was the Cathedral Organ Loft! About halfway through the tour, we made our way down a staircase and out onto the Cathedral’s choir spot. It provided us with amazing views and emphasized the detail used to adorn the interior of the church. (Fun fact: Mozart was known for playing the organ at Mass on Sundays – he played here!)
Afterwards, we made our way through the Cathedral Museum, Chamber of Art and Wonders and the Long Gallery. All of these had a variety of art treasures from 1300 years of history and provided guests with a unique perspective of Salzburg’s religious background.
Nearing the end of it all, we quickly went through the St. Peter’s Museum – the museum had an exhibition of the spiritual specialties of the oldest abbey in the German-speaking world.
We wrapped up our tour in about three hours. It took out a good chunk of the afternoon, but was splendid considering the cost and the weather.
We still had time before we were headed for another obligation, so we decided to step inside of St. Peter’s Church – one I had not visited yet. It was by far my favorite church that I have stepped foot in during the trip.
Right as you walked in, it opened you up to beautiful green lining, tall ceilings, and walls that appeared to be art gallery. Painting after painting decked each wall from side to side. The sunlight shining through brightened up the altar and enhanced the church’s spiritual closeness. I have always said that a good church will make you look up – up in the direction of God. It definitely did this!
We left the church around 4:45 p.m. and pondered what to do with our time. It ultimately resulted in us following our professor’s lead who promised us he was taking us to a good spot…and he wasn’t wrong. Right on the dot at 5, we found an open spot that gave us a clear view of all the city churches. The bells rung loudly and proudly as we sat to soak in the city views!
Overall, it was a beautiful day that truly helped me to enjoy my home away from home. We are getting down to a short five days left. The trip has gone by so fast, but I intend to cherish every moment I have left.