There’s plenty to satisfy your cultural yearnings at the Salzburg Residenz. This palatial museum is where you’ll see one of Rembrandt’s best-known paintings, Mother Praying, and is the venue of the Salzburg Palace Concerts. It was the home of Salzburg’s archbishops for hundreds of years.
Start your visit with a self-guided audio tour, included in the admission price, for an overview of this 180-room palace. The tour lasts approximately 45 minutes and is available in eight languages. Strolling the opulent halls, you’ll follow in the footsteps of princes and statesmen that came to visit the archbishops in medieval days.
Archbishop Konrad I set about building a palace that would serve as a bishop’s residence in 1232. He named it the Residenz. The present baroque building was commissioned by Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau in the 16th century.
Your tour quickly takes you to the second floor Carabinierisaal, a cavernous hall previously used for theater performances and banquets. From here, you’ll meander through a collection of rooms that display the grandeur of the palace, the most impressive being the Audienzsaal (Audience Hall). Frescoes depicting Alexander the Great adorn the high ceilings.
The Residenz is also well known as a music venue. The Ratszimmer (Councilor’s Room) is where Mozart played his first court concert in 1762 at the age of six. The archbishops also invited Mozart and other musicians to perform in the Rittersaal (Knight's Hall). This room is still used today as part of the Salzburg Palace Concerts. Check the official Residenz website for the concert schedule.
The third floor houses the Residenz Gallery. Here, you’ll find work by European artists from the 16th to 19th centuries, including Rembrandt’s Mother Praying. The gallery can be visited independently or as part of the Stately Rooms and Gallery audio tour ticket.
The Residenz is situated in the center of Salzburg’s Old Town, directly across from Salzburg Cathedral. You can get to the Old Town by bus from Salzburg’s main train station. From the Residenz, it’s a short walk to other major city attractions, including Mozart Square and Getreidegasse.
The palace is open every day of the year. The gallery is closed on Monday.