Lonely Planet review
Salzburg's most visible icon is this mighty 900-year-old cliff-top fortress, one of the biggest and best preserved in Europe. It's easy to spend half a day up here, roaming the ramparts for far-reaching views over the city's spires, the Salzach River and mountains. The fortress is a steep 15-minute jaunt from the centre or a speedy ride in the glass Festungsbahn funicular .
The fortress began life as a humble bailey, built in 1077 by Gebhard von Helffenstein at a time when the Holy Roman Empire was at loggerheads with the papacy. The present structure, however, owes its grandeur to spendthrift Leonard von Keutschach, prince-archbishop of Salzburg from 1495 to 1519 and the city's last feudal ruler. Highlights of a visit include the Golden Hall where lavish banquets were once held, with a gold-studded ceiling imitating a starry night sky. Your ticket also gets you into the Marionette Museum and the Fortress Museum ; the latter showcases Roman artefacts, Gothic furniture, armour and some pretty gruesome torture instruments.
The Golden Hall is the backdrop for year-round Festungskonzerte (Fortress Concerts), which often focus on Mozart's works. See www.mozartfestival.at for times and prices.