Quirky Culture in Salzburg, Austria
Named after it’s numerous salt mines, Salzburg flaunts its beautiful baroque architecture in the valley of towering Bavarian Alps. Salzburg was the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, home to sculptures of Alberto Giacometti, and even scenery for American film, The Sound of Music. No wonder this place brings visitors from all around the world.
My traveling partner Rigel St. Pierre and I wanted to explore the historical Salzburg, but first, we planned to visit a modern venue showcasing avant-garde architecture, historical aviation, modern art, and even, gastronomy. Sounds intriguing right? After stopping for a delicious lunch and dunkel bier, we traveled towards the edge of the city and found the colossal Hangar-7.
Designed by Austrian architect Volkmar Burgstaller, Hangar-7 lives next to the Salzburg Airport, offering a wonderfully energetic space, air-craft soundtrack, and gorgeous natural lighting. The building mimics the shape of a wing and radiates a sense of weightlessness, despite it’s 380 tons of glass and steel. Remarkably, the inside of the building exhibits a lively art collection of modern paintings with an unusual contrast of racing vehicles and aircrafts.
In contrast to the modern art experience, we were able to spend time in a historic fortress. As one of the largest 11th century fortresses in Europe, Fortress Hohensalzburg stands proud, at the top of hundreds of steps on a mountain side. Showcasing artifacts from WWI / WWII and preserved decoration in royal rooms, this castle environment was very exciting to be in. I found some old lithographs, a telephone system (which took up the space of an entire wall), and even old weapons and armor.
A great surprise within the cellar of the fortress was a small museum called “The fabulous world of marionettes.” What an unexpected pleasure. The crafted puppets were rather magical, and might I add, stars of the world famous Salzbug Marionette Theater. Without movement, the little characters seemed lively, each with a distinct personality. I can’t imagine how entertaining it is to see them actually dancing around! This among other little quirky events in the city made Salzburg a very special experience, and when I get back to the States, I’m going to sculpt a marionette of my own.