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SALZBURG

Salzburg is a city in central Austria, near the German border. If you have seen the movie The Sound of Music, you may think you know all there is to see in Salzburg. But there is a lot more to this compact, courtly city than Julie Andrews and as Mozart's birthplace.

The Mozart family lived in Mozarts Geburtshaus in the heart of Salzburg from 1747-1773, where W.A. Mozart himself was born on 27 January 1756. The house is now a popular museum devoted to Mozart and his family, with interesting memorabilia and letters. Mozarts Wohnhaus or Mozart’s Residence was reconstructed after being destroyed during World War II and was opened to the public in 1996.

Its "Old Town", with its world famous baroque architecture, is one of the best-preserved city centres in the German-speaking world and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Once the summer palace of the Archbishops of the Salzburg Schloss Hellbrunn has lots of clever fountains and pretty gardens. When you take the tour stand next to the guide otherwise you will get wet. Hellbrunn is surrounded by vast gardens, including a good children's playground with swings and flying fox, and a cold wading pool, and is a perfect place for a picnic or a long walk through the green. In the Steintheater (Stone Theater), the first opera in Middle Europe was conducted.

Located on top of a mountain, the Hohensalzburg Fortress offers breath-taking views of Salzburg and the Alps. One area of the fortress offers visitors the chance to look down on a field below to find only one house, the executioner's residence. It was believed to live anywhere near the executioner was bad luck. Inside the fortress is a museum of medieval weapons, life on the fortress, and torture instruments.

Located right next to the Salzach river and the Mozarteum University of Music and Arts lies Schloss Mirabell where you can find a beautiful castle with gardens, built by an archbishop for his beloved courtesan. Watch out for the "Garden of Dwarfs" and the Garden of Roses. Inside, you find the marble stairs of Raffael Donner, and the world's most beautiful wedding hall, the Marble Hall.

For almost a century, Salzburg has hosted the world famous Salzburg Festival, with operas, concerts, and theater plays in different locations throughout the city. It was founded by Hugo von Hoffmansthal, Max Reinhardt and Richard Strauss in 1920. It takes place in July and August, the most famous piece is the "Jedermann" ("Everyman") by Hugo v. Hoffmansthal, being conducted in front of the Dom (Cathedral) every year.

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