Though the Salzburger Dome is the most famous and the biggest cathedral in Salzburg, there are also other Baroque churches in the city of Mozart.

The most important two, the Holly Third Church and the Collegiate Church, are the work of perhaps the most important Austrian architect, Johann von Erlach, the same man who designed the imposing Schonbrunn Palace in Vienna. Erlach was in his youth a student of Bernini, who created the columns square in front of San Pietro Cathedral in the Vatican. Returning from Rome and Naples, von Erlach became a theoretician and practitioner of the Italian Baroque through his writings an works that were representative and admired for the Prussian and Austrian aristocracy.

Baroque is a style represented by heavy decorations, and stood for the Counter-Reform movement of the Catholic Church, thus willing to present a victorious and powerful church. Avoiding the humanist freedoms of the Renaissance, the Baroque let emotions manifest in visual forms.

The Collegiate Church (Kollegienkirche) is dedicated to the Immaculate Conception and was built for the Benedictine University. The church near Residenzplatz is impressive through its black and white decorations that look like drawings, but are as elaborate as the paintings of the Renaissance.

The Holy Trinity Church (Dreifaltigkeitskirche) has a dome with a spectacular painting by Johann Michael Rottmayr. The subject of the circular painting is the crowning of Virgin Mary by the Holy Trinity. Around the scene are represented Archangel Michael, saints, prophets, patriarchs and popes. In the above lantern, the Holy Ghost is represented in the form of a dove.

A third and smaller church built in Salzburg by Ficher von Erlach is St Mark’s Church (Markuskirche). The dome of this church is painted by Christoph Anton Mayr, representing Saint Ursula, kneeling in front of Jesus, who holds a cross, in the presence of St Mary. Above this scene are represented God and the Holy Ghost. Because the church is generously reserved to Orthodox believers at certain days and hours, today it has Byzantine icons at the place of the altar.

The contrast between the decorative Baroque and the austere Protestant churches can be seen in Salzburg by visiting the Evangelical Church, a Lutheran church, the Franciscan Church, or the Catholic neo-Gothic church of St Andrew’s (Andräkirche), shown above.

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