Autumn 2021. In theory we could travel to other continents, but destinations we had in mind such as Japan or the United Kingdom were impossible to plan ahead. Instead we organised a rail trip to Eastern Europe, travelling to Berlin, Gdańsk, Wrocław, Karlovy Vary, Pilsen, Bratislava, Poprad, Vienna, Linz and Salzburg. By travelling to Germany, Poland, Czechia, Slovakia and Austria, we explore an area which was in the (not too distant) past bonded together by the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation and by Austria-Hungary.
Besides Hohensalzburg Fortress, the Salzburg Residenz and Salzburg Cathedral form together the cultural tourism hotspots of Salzburg. Together, they are marketed as DomQuartier. You visit them together.
“The DomQuartier is a unique cultural highlight in the heart of Salzburg City. In the magnificent state rooms, history comes alive, while a museum tour also allows you to enjoy imposing views of the city itself”, the website says.
The DomQuartier comprises the Cathedral and the Residenz, once the center of the prince-archbishops’ power, along with Benedictine St. Peter’s Abbey. With a single entrance ticket, visitors have the opportunity to marvel at four different Salzburg museums.
The historical rooms of the DomQuartier also house various collections focused especially on the Baroque history of the city.”
First mentioned about 1120, for centuries the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg resided at the Residenz and used the palace to present and represent their political status.
In the sixteenth century, several changes and additions to the structure were made. The bishop’s palace took on its present Renaissance appearance under the auspices of Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau between 1587 and 1612.
In the early seventeenth century, work began on the south wing, which included the addition of the large staircase and the Carabinieri Hall, a section that connected the palace to the Franciscan Church and a large courtyard.
The successors of Wolf Dietrich continued to expand and refine the palace through to the end of the eighteenth century.
Throughout the centuries up to the rule of the last Prince-Archbishop Hieronymus von Colloredo (1772–1803), the palace served as archiepiscopal residence, as well as a place of public gatherings and state affairs, all taking place in a setting that reflected power and grandeur.
Upon Salzburg’s secularisation in 1803, the Residenz building served as a domicile of the Austrian imperial dynasty, as for Emperor Francis‘ widow Caroline Augusta of Bavaria, and of the Habsburg-Tuscany branch.
After World War I, a plan to assemble an art gallery was proposed by the Residenzmuseum.
Salzburg Cathedral or Salzburger Dom is the seventeenth-century Baroque cathedral of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Salzburg. It’s dedicated to Saint Rupert and Saint Vergilius.
Saint Rupert founded the church in 774 on the remnants of a Roman town, and the cathedral was rebuilt in 1181 after a fire.
In the 17th century, the cathedral was completely rebuilt in the Baroque style under Prince-Bishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau to its present appearance. Salzburg Cathedral still contains the baptismal font in which composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was baptized.
The starting point for the tour are the baroque state rooms of the Alte Residenz with typical state rooms features.
In addition, the terrace above the Cathedral Arches reveals breathtaking views of the Salzburg historic district as well as the city mountains.
A walking tour of the DomQuartier continues through the rooms of the Cathedral’s Northern Oratory.You get to see the organ loft, which is pretty special.
The Southern Oratory, for its part, is home to the Cathedral Museum. Displayed there are artworks from the Gothic to Baroque periods, pieces that originate both from the Cathedral itself as well as other churches in the Salzburg Archdiocese.
Visits to the DomQuartier then continue through the Cabinet of Curiosities and the Long Gallery. The tour ends at St. Peter’s Museum, which presents sacred treasures and artistic masterpieces from the collections of St. Peter’s Archabbey. In these parts, you can’t take photos.
The DomQuartier is huge and you will walk a lot. We had the Dutch-speaking audioguide, using the same system as the museums in Vienna. Unfortunately, sometimes, the audioguide didn’t match hat we saw. As if the route and the exhibited pieces had been altered but the text hadn’t.
Is it worth it? Yes.
2021 Rail Tour of Imperial Europe
- POTSDAM 2021 | Schloss Sanssouci.
- 1945 Potsdam Conference’s Cecilienhof Palace.
- Potsdam 2021.
- REVIEW | InterContinental Berlin.
- BERLIN 2021 | Pergamon, ‘Das Panorama’.
- BERLIN 2021 | Humboldt Forum in the Berlin Palace.
- BERLIN 2021 | The Bundestag in the Reichstag.
- Berlin 2021.
- By train from Berlin to Gdansk via Szczecin.
- Stopover in Szczecin.
- REVIEW | Restauracja Ritz in Gdańsk.
- REVIEW | Holiday Inn Gdansk.
- GDAŃSK | Museum of the Second World War.
- GDAŃSK | European Solidarity Centre or Europejskie Centrum Solidarności.
- A walk through Gdańsk.
- Gdańsk 2021.
- POLAND | PKP Intercity Gdansk to Wroclaw via Warsaw.
- Wrocław Museum of Architecture.
- The Dwarfs of Wrocław.
- Poland 2021.
- By train from Wroclaw to Karlovy Vary.
- Karlovy Vary.
- REVIEW | Hotel Imperial Karlovy Vary.
- Czechia’s Great Spa Town of Europe Františkovy Lázně.
- CZECHIA | Pilsen Historical Underground Tunnels.
- CZECHIA | Pilsner Urquell Brewery Tour.
- CZECHIA | Pilsen.
- CZECHIA 2021 | Cheb and its castle.
- Hotel room for one.
- By train from Karlovy Vary to Prague via Pilsen.
- Czechia 2021.
- RegioJet from Prague to Bratislava.
- Bratislava Castle.
- REVIEW | Crowne Plaza Bratislava.
- Bratislava on a rainy Monday.
- ZSSK Fast Train Tatran from Bratislava to Strba.
- The Tatra rack and electric Railway from Strba via Strbske Pleso to Poprad tatry.
- SLOVAKIA | AquaCity Poprad.
- REVIEW | Hotel Seasons AquaCity Poprad.
- Slovakia 2021.
- Poprad – Bratislava – Vienna with ZSSK’s intercity train.
- VIENNA | Restaurant Steirereck.
- REVIEW | InterContinental Wien.
- VIENNA | Luxury Sisi’s in Schönbrunn Palace.
- The Hofburg in Vienna.
- Vienna’s Furniture Museum.
- Vienna 2021.
- Pöstlingberg & Grottenbahn in Linz.
- REVIEW | Motel One Linz.
- AUSTRIA | ÖBB RailJet from Linz to Salzburg.
- BAVARIA | Lokwelt – Locomotive World in Freilassing.
- REVIEW | Hotel Sacher Salzburg.
- SALZBURG | Mirabell Palace and the Mozart Residence.
- SALZBURG | Hohensalzburg Fortress.