Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg’s Medieval Castle

I love visiting castles, so it’s no surprise that the first place we headed after arriving in Salzburg was the fortified Hohensalzburg Castle.

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

The name Hohensalzburg translates into “High Salzburg Fortress”, fitting considering the castle’s location atop Festungberg Hill directly overlooks Salzburg’s Old Town quarter.

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

Hohensalzburg Castle is not only Salzburg’s key landmark, but is the largest, fully-preserved fortress in central Europe.

Over its long history, Hohensalzburg Castle served as a fortification, military barracks, a prison and temporary residence of the prince archbishops. Today, it is open to the public, welcoming visitors year round.

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

History of Hohensalzburg Fortress

When Hohensalzburg Fortress was built in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard, it was nothing more than a simple bailey and a wooden wall.

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castletravelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

The fortress was expanded during the Investiture Controversy, a conflict between the Church and State. Gebhard wanted to protect the interests of Salzburg’s archbishops against his opponent, King Henry IV of Germany.

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

The archbishops once again took refuge in Hohensalzburg Fortress during the Hungarian War and Peasants’ War of the 15th and 16th centuries. During this time, the arsenal and granary were built and the castle’s main building was enlarged.

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

The last major modification was the addition of the Kuenberg bastion. The fortress has remained largely unaltered since then.

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

Our Visit to Hohensalzburg Castle

Austria’s oldest funicular transports visitors up to the castle, but we chose to walk instead. You’ll be happy to know that the walk up is not as hard as it looks!

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castletravelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

It’s no secret that the views from Hohensalzburg Fortress are impressive. The view we saw was good, but it could have been great if the fog and rain weren’t hiding the hills that surround the city.

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

After spending some time on the lookout, we set to exploring the castle. We visited the Royal Apartment, the Fortress Museum, Rainier Regiment Museum, and very briefly, the Marionette Museum.

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

While Hohensalzburg Fortress is remarkable in many ways (it was not once conquered by enemy troops), it wasn’t my favourite castle we visited during our five weeks in Europe.

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

Hohensalzburg felt very… functional. Its appearance was that of a strong, imposing fortress- stark and cold (which really, is what you want a protective fortress to be like!) There wasn’t much in the way of gardens or other pleasing aesthetic touches, like at Nuremberg Castle.

The unique thing though about Hohensalzburg is that inside its protective walls, it still looks and feels like an authentic medieval village.

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

While we found our visit to Hohensalzburg Castle interesting, the fortress itself didn’t wow us. Even though we left without much of a lasting impression, we still were glad we chose to spend some time exploring this historical fortress.

Photos of Hohensalzburg Castle

Here are a few more pictures of Hohensalzburg Fortress.

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castletravelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castletravelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castletravelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castletravelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castletravelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castletravelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

Tips for Visiting Hohensalzburg Fortress

  • Hohensalzburg Fortress is open year round with the following hours:
    • 9:30 am– 5:00 pm (January-April and October-December)
    • 9:00 am- 7:00 pm (May- September)
    • Last entrance to the inner rooms is 30 minutes before closing.
  • Guided tours can be made with advance arrangements for groups of 10 or more people.
  • Ticket prices for Hohensalzburg Fortress can be found here. There’s a discount for buying online.
  • For people who use a wheelchair, or have other mobility issues, the visit is difficult and arrangements need to be made in advance. There are no handicapped facilities.

*Information was correct at the time of publishing but can change without notice. Please confirm directly with service providers.

Accommodations in Salzburg

For your convenience, here is a list of hotels in Salzburg. Accommodations booked through the included link earn us a small commission, at no extra cost to you, and help support this website. Thank you!

travelyesplease.com | Discover Hohensalzburg Fortress- Salzburg's Medieval Castle

Get exclusive updates and content we only send to our subscribers.

Your email will be used for delivering our newsletter. Unsubscribe anytime using the link at the bottom of our emails.

3 comments
Add a comment...

Your email is never published or shared. Required fields are marked *

  • teresa - I love Salzburg ! It has been a great joy remembering this castle again. Great shots!November 30, 2014 – 10:52 amReplyCancel

    • Rhonda Krause - Thanks, Teresa! I’m glad I brought back some happy memories for you!November 30, 2014 – 11:00 amReplyCancel

  • Uptourist - I instantly got drawn to all of your castle posts upon reading the fairy tale castle post you did. It makes me feel like royalty to just step on one of those buildings. Did you feel the same way?March 25, 2015 – 10:02 pmReplyCancel

Welcome!

We are Rhonda and Mike, a Canadian couple who make it a priority to travel every chance we get!

We describe our travel style as "laid back luxe" and enjoy a mix of outdoor adventures and historic sites.

Learn more...

Join 106,000 Others Following Our Travels

Our Trusted Booking Sites

Support Travel? Yes Please! by booking through the sites we use and love!

Categories

Disclaimer

Purchases made through links on this site earn us a small commission, at no extra cost to you, and help support this website.