Erzabtei St Peter

Monastery in Salzburg
Image by eFesenko / Shutterstock
Image by eFesenko / Shutterstock

A Frankish missionary named Rupert founded this abbey-church and monastery in around 700, making it the oldest in the German-speaking world. Though a vaulted Romanesque portal remains, today’s church is overwhelmingly baroque, with rococo stucco, statues – including one of archangel Michael shoving a crucifix through the throat of a goaty demon – and striking altar paintings by Martin Johann Schmidt.

Take a stroll around the cemetery, where the graves are miniature works of art with intricate stonework and filigree wrought-iron crosses. Composer Michael Haydn (1737–1806), opera singer Richard Mayr (1877–1935) and renowned Salzburg confectioner Paul Fürst (1856–1941) lie buried here; the last is watched over by skull-bearing cherubs.

The cemetery is home to the catacombs – cave-like chapels and crypts hewn out of the Mönchsberg cliff face.