Salzburg Castle, or as its correctly known Hohensalzburg Castle, sits high atop the  Festungsberg mountain overlooking the beautiful city below.  It is one of the largest medieval (11th century) castles in Europe, measuring an estimated 250 m (820 ft) long and 150 m (490 ft) wide.  I was lucky enough to visit the castle whilst Inter-Railing around mainland Europe with a couple of mates back in 2010.

Salzburg Castle

salzburg castle

The history of Salzburg castle

First built in 1077 under order of Archbishop Gebhard I of Helffenstein, the castle was set to protect the Salzburg Archbishops, their work and possessions from attack and plunder.  This was a honorable intention however the Hohensalzburg Castle is actually a very underused castle in terms of defence from attack.  Only in 1525 has the castle ever come under attack, as a group of miners, farmers and townspeople tried to oust Prince-Archbishop Matthäus Lang.  Alas they failed.  All other prince bishops have spent their time in relative safety within the castle walls.

The castle you will see today is not the same castle that was constructed in 1077.  The castle has since been expanded and refurbished on many occasions. After some seriously hard building work under the rule of Archbishop Leonard von Keutschach (around 1500) the castle was finally completed and is now the castle you see today.

Location and getting up the mountain

Salzburg castle isn’t hard to miss once you reach the city.  It looms large over all that surrounds it.  Its fairly high up so unless you have your walking boots on, you may wish to take the castle lift (also known as the funicular) up to the top.  We did!

In 1515 prince bishop Matthäus Lang von Wellenburgin documented a short description of the funicular, a very early and basic version of the railway that serviced freight access to the castle. Now modernised, the funicular is probably the oldest operational railway in the world.

Funicular in Salzburg

Photo credit:

Visitor Info

The below is current info at the time of writing, please check the Salzburg Castle official website for the most up to date details.

Prices  2012/2013 Ticket inc castle lift to castle Ticket inc footpath to castle
Adults € 11,00 €  7,80
Reductions € 10,10 €  6,90
Children (6 – 14 years) €   6,30 €  4,40
Groups – children/youths €   5,80 €  4,10
Families € 25,50 € 17,70

Tickets also include audio guided tours and access to the site museum.

Opening times:
January to April and October to December 9.30 – 17.00
May to September 9.00 – 19.00
Advent weekends and Easter 9.00 – 18.00

The views from Salzburg Castle

There is quite a lot to photograph once atop of mt Festungsberg and within the castle walls.  I was being particuarly rubbish upon the day of our visit, due in no small part to a late night, and didnt take as many pics as I should have.  From those I did take however, the ones that really stood out were those of the views over Salzburg.  The sunshine and clear skies probably played a huge role in making those photos stand out.  The cannons were pretty cool too.

Be sure to click on the last of these photos as its widescreen.

salzburg castle

salzburg castle

salzburg castle

salzburg castle

salzburg castle

salzburg castle

*I’m widescreen, click me!