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about Salzburg

Salzburg (population 145,000 in 2003) is a city in western Austria and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg (population 520,000 in 2003). The geographic coordinates of Salzburg are 47.81 degrees north, 13.04 degrees east.

The city is regarded for its baroque architecture, extensive history, and as a gateway to the Alps.

Salzburg geography

The city is set on the banks of the Salzach river. It resides on the northern boundary of the Alps, with a dominant view of mountains to the south, contrasting with rolling plains to the north. The first in the Alpine chain is the Untersberg mountain, at 1972m in height, which is only a few kilometres from the centre of the city.

The inner city, or old town, is dominated by its baroque towers and many churches. The area is bound by two small mountains, the Monschsberg and Kapuzinerberg.

The city is approximately 150km east of Munich, and 300km west of Vienna.

Salzburg history

Indications are the first settlements at Salzburg began with the Celts.

Around 700, the Roman Empire founded Juvavum on the site of modern-day Salzburg. Juvavum was an important town of the Roman province of Noricum. A Roman Catholic diocese was formed in the town, which later became an archdiocese responsible for Bavaria.

The economic wealth of the town during this time was based on salt-mining. The town's name derives from salz, the German word for salt. The town's river was a main artery for conveying salt that was mined in nearby mountains.

Successive archbishop princes moulded the town, with the most influential being Wolf Dietrich who was largely responsible for the shape of the city today. His influence saw the creation of the towering Salzburg cathedral, the Mirabell Garden, and other landmarks.

During World War II, the city was lucky not to sustain heavy damage from Allied bombing runs. The towns bridges and the dome of the cathedral were demolished, however much of the town's baroque architecture remained intact. As a result, it is one of the few remaining examples of a town of its style.

In 1965, the movie The Sound of Music was filmed in Salzburg and the state of Salzburg. The movie was based on the true story of Maria von Trapp, a Salzburg-based nun who took up with an aristocratic family and fled German occupation. Although the film is relatively unknown to Austrians, the town draws a large percentage of visitors who wish to relive the movie by visiting the filming locations.

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This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Salzburg".

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