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Today, Salzburg's pride in Mozart shows itself best not in museums but in live
concerts.
Salzburg is a world class destination for live musical performances.
Each summer it hosts its famous Salzburg Festival. But Salzburg's busy all year long
with over two thousand live performances in churches and palaces
like this.
We're heading into the Mirabell Palace to hear a string quartet play
play in a splendid baroque hall.
Mozart performed for the prince-archbishop right here.
And this evening the Twins Quartet from Moscow
play Mozart's Eine Kleine Nachtmusik.
The surrounding Mirabell Gardens,
laid out in 1730,
are a favorite with locals and tourists alike.
Enjoying the
garden/cathedral/castle view,
it's easy to imagine how the prince-archbishop must've reveled in such a vista
that reminded him of all his secular
as well as religious power.
We're heading two hours southeast of Salzburg to my favorite Salzkammergut town
on my favorite Salzkammergut lake.
The tiny train station is across Lake Hallstatt from the postcard-pretty town
by the same name: Hallstatt.
Stefanie (a boat) meets each arriving train and glides scenically across the lake into town.
Lovable Hallstatt is a tiny town bullied onto a ledge between a mountain
and a swan-ruled lake.
Apart from the waterfall
which rips through its middle
Hallstatt is an oasis of peace.
With the scarcity of level land, tall homes had their front door on the street level top floor
and their water entrance several floors below.
The town, which originated as a salt mining center, is one of Europe's oldest,
going back centuries before Christ.
There was a Hallstatt before there was a Rome.
In fact, because of the salt mining importance here, an entire age —
the Hallstatt era,
from about 800 BC to 400 BC — is named
for this once important spot.
If you dug under these buildings, you'd find Roman and pre-Roman Celtic
pavement stones from the ancient and prehistoric salt depot.
This cute little village was once the salt-mining namesake of a culture that spread
from France to the Black Sea. Back then, salt was so precious because it
preserved meat,
and Hallstatt was, as its name means, the "place of salt."
A steep funicular runs up the mountain to Hallstatt's salt mine.
It's one of many throughout the region that offer tours.
At the mine, visitors slip into overalls, meet their guide
and hike into the mountain.
While this particular tunnel dates only from 1719,
Hallstatt's mine claims to be the oldest in the world. In the tour you'll learn the story of salt.
Archaeologists claim that since 7,000 BC, people have come
here to get salt. A briny spring sprung here, attracting Bronze Age people.
Later, miners dug tunnels to extract the salty rock.
They dissolved it into a brine, which flowed through miles of pipes,
the oldest hewn out of logs, to Hallstatt and nearby towns, where the brine was, and
still is, cooked until only the salt remained.
A highlight is riding miner-style from one floor down to the next, praying for no
splinters.
Through the centuries, Hallstatt was busy with the salt trade. Since it had no
road access, people came and went
by boat. You'll still see the traditional Fuhr boats, designed to carry heavy loads
in shallow water.
Herr Alfred Lenz makes the town's traditional boats from a two hundred
year old design.
The oar lock is still made of the gut of a bull.
Alfred claims an hour
on the lake is worth a day of vacation.
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Salzburg, Austria: Salzburg and Surroundings

3453 Folder Collection
VoiceTube published on March 29, 2013
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