10 of Salzburg's Most Impressive Buildings

Salzburg City
Salzburg City | © Weinhaeupl W. / Österreich Werbung
Culture Trip

The elegant, winding streets of the historic center of Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site, are decorated with pretty facades and charming churches – but, there are also some more unusual architectural landmarks to be found.

Mozart’s Birthplace

Perhaps not so impressive architecturally speaking, but, the history behind this abode in the Old Town makes it one of the most memorable buildings. Amadeus Mozart, one of Austria’s most celebrated composers – if not the most, was born at No. 9 Getreidegasse in Salzburg, Austria on January 27th, 1756. The house, which remained in the possession of the Mozart family until 1773, is now a monumental shrine to the world-renowned prodigy, with thousands of loyal fans visiting every year to pay homage to the country’s most famous resident.

Birthplace of W.A. Mozart in Salzburg

Getreidegasse 9, 5020 Salzburg

1. Heizkraftwerk Mitte


Salzburg isn’t purely decorative facades and delicate Baroque spires. If looking for architecture that breaks the aesthetic mold, look to the city’s old caloric power plant – a brutalist beast of a structure that stands boldly on the outskirts of the city centre. The architects behind this controversial and stand-out building are Marie-Claude Bétrix und Eraldo Consolascio, who caused a commotion when their vision was revealed to the Salzburg locals – with many claiming it was an eyesore on Salzburg’s skyline. Take a visit and decide for yourself.

Museum of Modern Art

This striking building sits atop of rocky hills above the old town, blending artfully into the organic surroundings. Designed by German architect Friedrich Hoff und Zwink, the building’s interior has some unique features, including a glass staircase in which a 19th-century water tower can be viewed through and an exterior created using marble stone from Untersberg in Germany. The work inside is split between four levels, each an elegant and stylish gallery space.

Museum of Modern Art from afar

Mönchsberg 32, 5020 Salzburg

2. Hohensalzburg Fortress

One of the largest fully preserved castles in Europe, the Hohensalzburg Fortress is perched above the modest hill of Festungsberg. Built at the request of the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg, the enormous medieval structure is comprised of various wings – each added at various points in history. With a rich and fascinating past and spectacular views from the hill, it has become one of the city’s most popular tourist attractions.

Hohenwerfen Fortress | © Österreich Werbung, Photographer: Volker Preusser

3. Hangar-7


Red Bulls Hanger-7
© Lucas Vallecillos / Alamy Stock Photo
Owned by the multi-million founder of energy drinks company Red Bull, this magnificent glass structure was originally constructed to house his personal collection of aeroplanes. Each piece of glass that makes up the 1,754 pane dome was custom-made in China, artfully arranged in a swirling pattern. Located directly next to Salzburg Airport, the hangar can now be visited free of charge.

Europark Shopping Mall

Opened in 1992 and designed by Italian architect Massimiliano Fuksas, this shopping centre is one of the largest in Western Austria. Notable for its unusual facade that stands out against the traditional buildings of the old town, the Europark is primarily made up of glass and natural space to create an illusion of being an organic landscape. Massimiliano Fuksas, whose other works include the Vienna Twin Towers and the Armani Ginza Tower in Tokyo, won prizes for his design in 1994.

Europastraße 1, 5018 Salzburg

4. Mirabell Palace

4. Mirabell Palace
© Österreich Werbung / Diejun

Constructed in 1606 by Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich, the name of this elegant palace takes its name from an Italian woman’s name, two words combined to mean ‘admirable’ and ‘beautiful.’ Inside, the extravagant marble hall, with a lavish ‘Angel staircase’ in the centre, is considered to be one of the most impressive wedding halls in the world and hosts many of the city’s classical music concerts.

Mirabell Palace in Salzbur | © Österreich Werbung / Diejun

St. Martin Chalet Resort

Not all of Salzburg’s highlights are in the city centre, with some charming Alpine architecture found in the surrounding mountains. This particular resort, located in the Lungau region, is comprised of delightful, dinky wooden chalets arranged around charming gardens, complete with fruit and vegetable patches in the summer. The chalets are of quintessential Austrian style, reminiscent of those seen in Salzburg based movie, The Sound of Music.

Das Huettendorf im Goeriachtal, Lungau

St. Martin 186, 5582 St. Michael, Austria, Austria, 5582

5. Leopoldskron Palace


Leopoldskron Castle Salzburg City
© Österreich Werbung / Weinhaeupl W.
This wedding cake style palace, one of the settings where The Sound of Music was filmed, has been turned into one of the city’s most historic and exclusive hotels. Constructed in the 1700s, this dramatic abode is surrounded by elegant gardens and set in front of an idyllic lake – with gorgeous views of the Alps and the grand Hohensalzburg Fortress. Art collector Count Laktanz, who is known for being one of the original sponsors of Mozart, filled the palace with an extensive collection of works – featuring paintings by Rembrandt, Rubens, Dürer, and Titian.

6. Salzburg Cathedral

Cathedral, Building

Decorative ceiling of Salzburg Cathedral
© John Mason / Flickr
This 17th-century Baroque masterpiece, known in German as the Salzburger Dom, is one of the finest buildings in the Old Town area of the city. The facade is made of Untersberg marble and adorned with elaborate decorations featuring large stone sculptures of Saints. Extensive damage was caused to the building in World War II, when a bomb fell through one of the domes, and had to be restored to its former glory throughout the 1950s.

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