Salzburg, the city where Mozart lives on every street

by Victor Grigore, Webphoto.ro

Salzburg is to classical music what Memphis Tennessee is to rock and roll. You don’t see fans with side whiskers, but it’s clear that everybody has a white wig somewhere in the closet at home for special occasions. And the entire city is preserved in the Baroque shape that the brilliant child admired so much. You can stroll through the narrow streets like Getreidegasse, with cobblestone and shops at any entrance. Here you can see the place where Mozart was born, now turned into a museum, and taste the delicious chocolate balls he used to like so much, which also bear his name now.

There are a lot of Baroque churches, starting with Salzburger Dome, who has a nice plaza in front, and continuing with Collegiate Church and Holy Trinity Church, both works of influential architect Ficher von Erlach. Further away from the historic center, but dominating the skyline on the banks of the Salzach river is the Lutheran Church, belonging to the Protestant minority.

But the Baroque decorations spilled outside the Catholic churches to be found in plazas and the facades of shops and coffee bars. The Baroque Fountain, by Tomasso di Garona, on one side of the Salzburger Dome, is one of the largest in Europe, and decorated with horses that emerge from the water. Horses are very important to the small Austrian city.

Like in Vienna, you can have a ride in a carriage pulled by a pair of haflingers, the brown horses with yellow hair. There are also two wells of horses, with statues and frescoes, also designed by Ficher von Erlach.
Another Italian style fountain is the Fountain of Neptune, that has the hill castle as a background. A more recent and mysterious monument is the Sphaera, a golden ball with a little boy sitting on top, done by Stephan Balkenhol. Many like to think that the two tons ball also represents the chocolate candy (Mozartkugel) and that the little boy is Mozart on top of the musical world.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart influenced not only the destiny of his hometown, but also the sound of classical and contemporary music. He lived only 35 years, but his amazing creativity allowed him to write over 600 musical works, including symphonies and concerts. Mozart practically invented the international concert tours in his childhood, which he spent amazing the aristocrats, who would listen him playing the piano at the royal courts from Bavaria, Vienna, Paris, Prague or Zurich.

Mozart wrote his first composition when he was only four years old, and his first opera at twelve. The most famous operas by Mozart were: Don Giovanni, The Magic Flute, The Marriage of Figaro. Mozart was not amazing only in music, being able to speak in fifteen languages. He influenced many artists, from Ludwig van Beethoven, to Frederich Chopin, Tchaikovsky. During his life he earned a lot, but spent without any limit. Despite the legend that he died extremely poor, he left his family a fortune that would be today’s equivalent of a few hundreds of thousands of dollars. While for Salzburg today, Mozart is probably the main economic asset.

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