Residenzplatz is a large public square in the center of Salzburg’s Old Town. The two palaces of Residnezplatz are excellent examples of Baroque and Renaissance architecture, and the square itself is an important venue for cultural events. This central meeting place of Salzburg was designed in the late 16th century.
The centerpiece of the square is the illustrious Residenzbrunnen (Residence Fountain). This is Salzburg’s grandest fountain and you may recognize it as a backdrop in scenes from the 1965 movie The Sound of Music. The intricate horse, dolphin and Atlas sculptures are the work of Italian artist Tomasso di Garone. This is a great spot to stop and rest, and join the groups of sightseers taking photos of the famous fountain and surrounding buildings.
Each side of the Residenzplatz is home to historic Salzburg landmarks. On the west side, there’s the Residenz, a regal palace dating back to the 13th century. You can visit some of its 180 rooms on a self-guided audio tour. Mozart played in the Rittersaal, a room which is still used for the Salzburg Palace Concerts. Make sure to check out the Residenz Gallery’s fine collection of European art.
On the east side, next to Mozart Square, you’ll find the New Residence. There are several interesting museums to explore, including the Panorama Museum. Stand on a platform and admire Johann Michael Sattler’s round painting that depicts Salzburg in 1829. It has an 85-foot (26-meter) circumference.
The north side of the square is occupied by a row of houses. There’s also a charming café and bakery here, perfect for a mid-morning break. The square’s southern side leads to Domplatz and Salzburg Cathedral.
A good time to visit Residenzplatz is in December to take advantage of the colorful Christmas market set up around the fountain. Browse stalls filled with alpine and Christmas crafts, and try some mulled wine and local food while enjoying the festive atmosphere. In September, St. Rupert’s Fair celebrates Salzburg’s patron saint. Children are sure to enjoy the carousels and merry-go-rounds.
Located in the Old Town, Residenzplatz is a short walk to many of Salzburg’s main attractions. You can get to the Old Town by bus from Salzburg’s main train station. The nearest bus stops are Mozartsteg/Ruolfskai and Rathaus.