Salzburg Castle [Festung Hohensalzburg] holds a commanding position on Festungsberg Hill. It is one of Europe’s largest medieval castles. This fortress was built in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard to protect Imperial troops of the Holy Roman Empire. Ring walls and towers were built by Burkhard II of Weißpriach in 1462. The castle was further expanded under the reign of Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach [1495 to 1519].
The fortress has only been under siege once: In 1525, a group of miners, farmers, and townspeople tried to oust Prince Archbishop Cardinal Matthäus Lang, but failed to take the castle.
During the twentieth century the fortress was used to hold Italian prisoners of war during World War I and Nazi activists in the 1930s before the Anschluss with Germany.
Today, the castle can be accessed via a funicular railway or a short hike. The castle offers a great view of Salzburg and there are several informative displays about medieval weapons, life in the fortress, torture instruments, and puppetry.
Sources and more information:
- Salzburg Castle [Visit-Salzburg.net]
- Hohensalzburg Castle [Wikipedia]
- Hohensalzburg Castle Austria [Official Tourist Website]