Saturday, 25 June 2016

Salzburg - post 7: Fortress Hohensalzburg

I wanted to close this series of images from Salzburg with a few photographs taken at Fortress Hohensalzburg.

Fortress Hohensalzburg is an absolute eye-catcher peaking out high above the baroque towers of the city as you can see. The castle is an unmistakable landmark providing Salzburg’s world famous silhouette.

Fortress Hohensalzburg
You can climb the hill to the castle and walk around its perimeter, but most visitors take the funicular railway (the Festungsbahn) up the face of the cliff.

Festungsbahn - the funicular railway
Once at the top the views over the city are stunning as you will see if you check my previous posts. The castle itself is pretty impressive too though.

Fortress Hohensalzburg viewed from the cafe
One of the largest medieval castles in Europe, construction of Fortress Hohensalzburg began in 1077 under Archbishop Gebhard von Helfenstein.

The stone structure we see today has evolved a long way from the original timber fortification, of which nothing now remains.

When you start to explore the fortress though it soon becomes apparent that it is far more than just any old castle. It is more akin to an easily defended walled city, with an impregnable keep within.

There were malt houses, brew houses, bakeries, a hospital, a school... well as I said, it's a walled city so there's everything you'd expect to find and a little more too.

You'll find a central courtyard with trees and a deep water well. There's also a rear access to the main hall here... take a close look at the building below.

Notice those archways halfway up the wall? Can you guess what they were?

There's a second deep well inside the keep, so even if the outer walls were breached the defenders could still rely on a fresh water supply.

The builders were mindful of decoration too...

Quite an impressive crest, eh? But wherever you go around the fortress there are reminders of the structure's main purpose.

Although these days the munitions have been turned into art for the pleasure of the visitor.

Gun ports ring the external wall, but can you imagine trying to storm this castle in the first place? I'll pass on that idea thanks... not that I'd have had a choice in the matter back in history.

There's natural beauty here too though... Nature is making her presence felt.

Campanula are self seeding and thriving on the old stone walls.

Beautiful aren't they? And while I love natural beauty I'm also appreciative of human effort.

Passage Door