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Travel & Holidays in later life


In the courtyard of the Mozart family residence, now a museum.

For over 50 years Mozart Week has been the centrepiece of Salzburg’s celebrations of its most famous son. It’s also one of the premier Mozart events in the world.

In 2006 the year of Mozart's 250th birthday both Vienna and Salzburg honoured the composer with a year-long festival called Mozart2006. This delivered a packed programme, performing virtually every work that the composer ever wrote. 

Dates for Salzburg’s Mozart Week vary slightly but it is always around the anniversary of the composer’s birthday on January 26. 


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By car across Germany, Salzburg is 710 miles from Calais; Vienna 835 miles. The two cities are directly linked by 196 miles of motorway. 

Cheap flights are available Stansted-Salzburg by Ryanair. 


More information: Austrian National Tourist Office,
9-11 Richmond Buildings, London W1D 3HF. Tel: 0845 101 1818. 

Obertauern Ski Holidays Obertauern is a little known treasure of the Salzburg ski region, deservedly gaining in popularity with British guests.

Travelsphere escorted holidays


Numerous other events follow through the year, including chamber music and soloist concerts, besides opera and orchestral works under the baton of leading conductors.

For music-lovers it's a great excuse for visiting Austria. But even if you're not a classics fan, there's still much pleasure in the sights, scenery and life-style of this fabulous city.

The big central event is the annual Salzburg Festival with programmes spread across a dozen venues. It's not just Mozart. Among the performances of opera, for instance you might find Weber's  Der Freischütz  or Tchaikovsky's Eugene Onegin. 

For dedicated music-lovers, the Salzburg Festival is the dream of a lifetime. Conductors, stage-directors, orchestras, singers, actors and virtuoso instrumentalists of world renown can be seen and heard from late July to early August. Even the most eminent opera stars come together to rehearse productions intensively for several weeks. Run-of-the-mill performances have no place.

However, if the musical scene is not your prime interest, it's better to go earlier or later to Salzburg, when the city is less tightly jammed and hotel rooms less expensive.

Throughout the year, numerous other special events, concerts and exhibitions are held at varied locations. The Mozarteum Orchestra can usually be heard performing Mozarts works at weekend concerts. 

Three-course Mozart Dinner Concerts
are featured every evening at the Stiftskeller St. Peter restaurant, with musicians in period costume. The restaurant claims to be the oldest in central Europe, founded in 803 by the monks of St. Peter's Monastery and still owned by them.
A corner of Salzburg Castle which overlooks the city centre
Outside those main events, over a hundred other performances will include serenade concerts by candlelight, organ recitals in the cathedral, Sunday masses with orchestra and choir at the Franziskanerkirche

Any time of the year, there are photogenic scenes almost anywhere you point a camera - within the age-old city streets, along well-tended paths beside the river or on the hills, all within a few minutes of the centre.

In the heart of the old city, the prime shopping street is called Getreidegasse. The narrow cobbled street - pedestrianised like most of the ancient centre - is festooned with painted wrought-iron craft and shop signs.

At number 9 is Mozart's birthplace, kept as a museum. The rooms feature a unique collection, including the composer's clavichord and first violin, and models of early stage sets from several of his operas.

  There are Mozart memories all over town. Centred in Mozartplatz is a large statue of the composer, in the next square to where the young genius often played in the State Rooms of the archbishops' Residence.

Close by is Cafe Tomaselli, Salzburg's oldest coffee-house dating from 1703, where Mozart often played billiards. Later, his widow married a Danish diplomat, and they lived above the Cafe.

The ancient centre of Salzburg is hemmed in by a 400-ft sheer rock formation topped by a fortress, built from 1077 in its present shape, then enlarged and remodelled over the centuries.
Mozart Foorbridge across Salzback River, with loudspeakers playing his music all the way across
Bridges across the fast-flowing River Salzach link to the later spread of the city. For tourists, the most popular crossing is the Mozart Footbridge which has loudspeakers every ten metres, playing his best-known operatic arias. 

This leads directly to the Mozarteum music academy, the Marionette Theatre where puppets perform to recorded Mozart operas, and the Mozart family home on Markartplatz from 1773 to 1787, now a museum.

In the same area is the garden of Mirabell Palace, built around 1610 by Archbishop Wolf Dietrich for his mistress and their twelve children. The grounds and Greek-mythology statues were later designed by a top architect called Fischer von Erlach, to include an open-air theatre and a Bastion Garden populated with stone dwarfs. 

In the prime Residence Square, surrounded by buildings where Mozart often performed. During the heightof summer, backpackers dip their feet in the Pegasus fountain. A superb view looks across to the backdrop of Salzburg Castle.

In Vienna, the city is not so rich in Mozart sites. He lived there ten years, but moved around to eight different addresses which mostly have not survived.

For Mozart pilgrims the highlight is the elegant apartment on first floor of no. 5 Domgasse, just round the corner from St Stefan's cathedral. That's where Mozart composed the 'Marriage of Figaro'.

  To mark Mozart2006, the city converted the entire building into a Mozart Centre, occupying all six floors. Popularly called Figaro House, it opens daily from 10-20 hrs.



SALZKAMMERGUT - Sounds of Music with plenty of salt

TYROL - by coach tour

VIENNA - Waltzing around the capital

"Books to read - click on cover pictures" or click on the links below

Salzburg Insight Compact Guide - A useful 104-page pocket guidebook, with good photos. All you need for a short visit.

Fodor's Vienna to Salzburg - Most useful if you plan to visit both cities, and to explore the superb mountain and lake scenery in between the two.

The Mozart Compendium: A Guide to Mozart's Life and Music - In his short but varied life, Mozart had an extremely interesting career. Follow through all the twists and turns of his colourful story. 

Austria Green Gulde - An excellent general guide in Michelin's familiar green format.

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