Onward to happier things!
WARNING: This is my longest post ever. It is HUGE. Turn back now!
Salzburg! Since I never posted my pictures from when I went in November, I’ll stick a few of them into this post. This is one of them, taken from the Prince-Archbishop’s private chamber in the Festung (fortress) overlooking Salzburg. We didn’t go to the Festung this time…
But to backtrack just a moment — lest you fear that I only showed John the depressing side of Munich, here is evidence that I did not:
Here we are in the Hofbräuhaus, Munich’s famous beer hall. That is a LITER of beer. I’m not a big beer drinker, but we ordered dark beer, which was pretty good.
I hadn’t been there yet, but it wasn’t too bad — it was crowded but not uncomfortably so, and not full of too many obnoxious drunk people like I feared, although there was this awesome guy in his Bavarian dress who kept dancing very intensely to the live brass band…
And I showed him Schloss Blutenburg in the snow.
And made sure he ate some very German food. This sauerkraut was GOOD!
And here is some ice cream I ate. Food pictures will be a big theme in this series of posts.
Anyway, Sunday morning we got on the train to Salzburg, which takes a bit less than two hours. The day before, at Dachau, I’d developed some pretty bad back pain (I’d had a mysteriously pulled or strained muscle in my lower back for several days before that, but I think all the walking and standing made it flare up), and it was also stiff when I woke up the next morning. Once we got to Salzburg and started walking around, I soon realized that my back muscles were going into total lockdown mode, and everything was super tight. It hurt to stand and walk, but it was somehow manageable, and it didn’t really impact my enjoyment of the trip, it just made it a little more difficult.
Sadly, on that other trip in November, the two girls I was with had never seen (I repeat, NEVER SEEN) “The Sound of Music,” which made my enthusiastic reenactments a little confusing and embarrassing for them.
John was more game:
Here it is! That one fountain!
And in November.
You can watch the “Do Re Mi” Salzburg montage here if you want! I mean, I know we all have every frame memorized, but still.
I’ll get the Sound of Music stuff out of the way (since OBVIOUSLY it is the most exciting part) and then go on, ignoring chronology.
And in February…
The statue dudes…
Next up is Nonnberg Abbey. It is a Benedictine monastery, founded in 714 by St Rupert, a missionary monk who is buried here in Salzburg (we’ll see him in a minute), which he also founded. St Rupert’s sister or niece, St Erentraud, was the first abbess.
It is the oldest female religious house (convent) in the German speaking world, and the nuns are still here.
IT’S THE GATE.
Can’t we please speak with Fräulein Maria?? I hurt my finger! NO YOU CAN’T, SHE’S IN SECLUSION. NOT ALLOWED.
This is the view from just outside the gate:
Here are a few pictures of the convent church, which is NOT the one Maria gets married in, although at first I thought it was.
It occurred to me while I was there that this abbey — or, ahem, the Hollywood set meant to look like this abbey, which they couldn’t film in — was the first glimpse of Catholicism I ever had. I remember that scene where the Mother Abbess is talking to Maria about what a terrible nun she is, and there’s this crucifix in the background. I asked my mom, “Why is Jesus still hanging on that cross?” and my memory of her answer, which may or may not be accurate, is that she said, “It’s because Catholics don’t believe Jesus rose again.” I marveled at what horrible people these Catholics must be!
Behind St Peter’s Abbey (the male Benedictine abbey, even older than Nonnberg, founded by St Rupert in 696), the abbey’s cemetery was the inspiration for the cemetery in the movie, although they didn’t film there. (It was also built on a set.)
Come away with us, Rolf! You’ll never be one of them!
There are also these posters around, advertising an exhibition on the real von Trapp family. Personally I prefer this Captain von Trapp:
Not sure why…
So we arrived Sunday morning at about 10:45, just in time to work our way from the train station to the Dom (Cathedral) for 11:30am Mass.
The central dome.
I love the color scheme with the red and white.
Just to give you a sense of the texture of the stucco-work ceilings and walls.
We also went to find the “original” Mozart ball. There are many imitations.
In the “Furst” candy store.
This is what the official “Mozart ball” looks like.
And speaking of Mozart…
Salzburg is Mozart Land!
Here’s his old residence.
It cost to go inside, but there was a miniature model of the house in the entrance… so, being cheap, we just took pictures of the model.
It’s almost as good as the real thing!
Salzburg as it was in Mozart’s time? I think.
We also walked past a restaurant with proof that Rick Steves had been there.
Okay, we’re gonna blaze through some other churches really quick, so hang on tight (or scroll, if you are anti-churches or just bored).
This is from the November visit, inside the Franciscan church. It is a beautiful blend of Gothic and Rococo architecture…
I won’t venture to say whether rococo decoration is exactly consistent with Franciscan spirituality…
Remnants of medieval frescoes…
Into St Peter’s Abbey…
Here’s the church – a Romanesque building dedicated in 1147, with a bunch of Rococo additions. Although St Rupert founded the abbey in 696, there was already a church on this site dating from the 400s, during the time of probably the first missionary monk in Bavaria, Severinus.
The vestibule still has Romanesque features.
I really get much more excited about stuff like this, just because it’s 12th century, than I do about the fancy 18th century Rococo stuff inside…
And the vaults are just simple groin vaults!
Inside there are also some areas with uncovered medieval frescoes.
Here’s the interior.
Here’s the tomb of St Rupert.
A side altar.
Here is their nativity scene, which progresses throughout the season. Here Mary and Joseph are returning home from the temple after Jesus’s circumcision (I think).
On my last visit to St Peter’s, it was nearly dark. Here’s the tabernacle with its lamp.
The view of the Dom from the cemetery.
Up the hill on the south side of the river is the Festung Hohensalzburg. Last time I came, we went on a very long tour and I got a ton of pictures, but now I’ll just show you a few.
I believe the stone walls on the right are the older parts of the fortress. It was expanded over many centuries. The only time it was every put under siege was during the Peasant’s War, but the fortress never fell to attack. It was surrendered without a fight to Napoleon in 1800.
View from the top.
There is a lovely chapel, St George, within the castle.
This time, although it was drizzling a bit, we climbed the hill on the other side of the river to visit the Kapuzinerkloster (Capuchin Monastery). It’s the big yellow building. Before it was given to the monks, it was also a fortress. You can follow the walls along the hillsides.
At the foot of the steep flights of stairs leading up the hill between the houses, you can find the house where Joseph Mohr was born. He wrote “Silent Night.”
Going up the stairs wasn’t too bad on my back, because it forces you to lean over… it was being upright that seemed to hurt the most.
The view looking back down toward the river.
And great views of the other side!
If the borders are closed, we’ll drive up into the hills and go over those mountains on foot.
Looking to the left, Nonnberg Abbey again.
The monastery itself was hard to take pictures of from so close up.
Okay, we’re ALMOST done. The last thing we did (before we ate) was visit the “Ars Sacra” exhibit of medieval religious art from Salzburg at the Salzburg Museum. I took a ton of pictures, but I’ll just post the ones I thought turned out pretty well.
Most pieces are late medieval, from the 15th or 14th centuries.
The saints are often depicted with very high, bald foreheads in iconography because it signifies wisdom and intelligence.
This is more notable, since it’s from 1230 and looks (to me anyway) like a halfway point between Romanesque and Gothic figural art. It is still largely stylized, with the older depiction of Mary enthroned like an imperial figure with Christ on her lap — the later stuff, as above, was more tender and naturalistic, and focused on the human relationship of mother and child. But on the other hand, the carvings are almost fully three-dimensional, not reliefs. This was a tympanum in, probably, the Romanesque cathedral of Salzburg, which was started in 1181.
I’m not sure who this is — the Apostle John? — but I think his expression is so gentle. And he has no hands.
Holy sepulchres are imitations of the Holy Sepulchre church in Jerusalem and in the Middle Ages acted as substitutes for those who were unable to travel to the Holy Land in order to be closer to the events of the Passion. In some places they were integrated into the liturgy of Easter Week. This sepulchre, in the form of a Gothic reliquary shrine, was possibly equipped with wheels to include it in the Good Friday procession.
A little taste of Alpine culture.
It was then about 5pm, and we had to eat and find ways to kill time until our train left at 1:30am. My back was kiiiilling me so we quickly found a place to eat…
My “potato soup Vienna-style” with Glühwein. Mmmm, Glühwein!
I also had a slice of Mozart cake. I don’t know why it is Mozart cake — it just is.
On our walk back to the train station we found something ELSE that was awesome:
Ads for the Sound of Music tour, featuring pictures of the cast on their visits!!!!!
I love that Julie Andrews came in – oh, let’s say 1980.
And Christopher Plummer avoided it until the late 2000s, when he knew he would be dead soon. I love you Christopher Plummer!
FINALLY, AT THE END, from my trip in November, a picture of the river in the evening.