November 4, 2009

Salzburg, Austria: Residenz

The Residenz building, located in the center of town near the Dom (cathedral), is where the Prince Archbishop lived and held events. As per usual, we had audio guides included in our visit to the palace. Again, the Salzburg card, at about thirty-six euros per person for three days, was incredibly worth it.

Then again, if you don't like listening to all of those guides and would rather people-watch, then perhaps you'd be better off just looking around. In most cities, if this is more your style, then I would immediately tell you to forgo the cards and just look at the free stuff. In Salzburg, I think it could still be worth it. You get free transport around the city and entry to almost every site/museum in town. You could easily spend twelve euros a day getting around and seeing just a couple of things...and no one said you have to listen to the guides. As much as I enjoy learning about old stuff and the like, I certainly have pushed the fast-forward/stop button when I just don't care to listen.

Further proof of this is the fact that when Rocket Man and I visit museums, we are far more likely to make a fast walk-through and marvel at only that which really catches our eyes rather than read every.single.thing. in the place. Our fathers can take the blame for this approach. They read everything. As in absolutely everything. Which is a feat, indeed, but not one which we are inclined to repeat everywhere we go.

We love you Dad and Dad. And we appreciate the places you've taken us and what we learned.

Well, except for the battlefields.

I mean, you've seen one and you've seen them all.

Especially when you're a kid.

Ahem. Moving along...

Upon entry to the palace, tourists are greeted by a large room with huge marble doorways on either end. This is where, if one so chooses, a concert can be appreciated during your stay in the city. I am sure you can all see the musicians' stands set up and a few of them getting ready for an afternoon performance:

The staircase at the far end of the room is beautiful in its construction, but it serves a dual purpose. In addition to its beauty and function, it is also a musical instrument. That's right. Each of the brass banisters are tuned to a different note and can be played.

I found that to be excellent. What kid, no matter their age, could resist that?

Next is a close-up of the fabulous marble doorway at the other end of the room. The reddish-brown stone is something I had never seen before. Austria certainly has some interesting mining opportunities. Marble and crystals indeed.

Much of Salzburg is done in a baroque style. While Rocket Man and I were somewhat aware of what this means, we weren't one hundred percent on the details. Luckily Salzburg also has a baroque museum, which made things more clear for us. The Residenz had typical ceilings for the style, painted with many depictions of the life of Alexander the Great:

All over the palace were beautiful crystal chandeliers which of course required a photo or two:

Ooohhh, sparkly.

I am sure that many of you have heard of the slightly famous musician who was born and grew up in Salzburg. He was a bit of a child prodigy. There were a few rooms in the palace in which he performed, one of which I am fairly certain was at the age of six or so.

That would be Mozart for those of you who are going eh?

If you look in the back left corner of the above photo, you can see a large cylindrical ceramic object. Basically, these are the fireplaces within the palace. They are ovens made to heat the rooms.

In the back of each is a small door where servants can stock the fire with coal to keep the place warm. So that the workers do not interrupt there is a doorway and passage in the walls that leads to the back of the stove where they can work unseen.

The tour takes you in a round-about path so that you end up in the same room in which you began your tour. The vast room is certainly impressive. There were tapestries and other impressive items within the rooms of the palace, but you can usually find those things in any royal palace you visit. I tried to point out the things that are different or better than things I have seen in other cities. Granted, we haven't visited that many in all, so I am sure some of this is a repeat of somewhere.

Anyway, that is all for the Residenz. Tomorrow I shall talk a bit about our first two evenings in the city.

I know, I know; you are waiting with bated breath...

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