This Salzburg! This Breathtaking Church!


Wondering what the meaning of the title This Salzburg is? This Breathtaking Church is an addition by me. – A count Czernin wrote the charming This Salzburg book in 1938 which is still available at antiquarian bookstores. I am buying it for every English speaking guest who is going to visit Salzburg. It is a must! – My addition This Breathtaking Church relates to the Franziskaner Kirche right in the city, another must when you are visiting Salzburg.


From the dark to the light – this is the meaning of the Medieval architecture for those who are entering the church. It can still be experienced, although the sanctuary was much lighter in earlier days. There were more windows, not only in the height, but also around the altar. Since the 17th century side altars have been built into the Gothic niches and at the same time the windows in the walls were bricked up.


The st Francis altar in one of the niches (on the far right of the main altar) with the richest Baroque stucco work. It was the last of the side altars being decorated, including the paintings that were done by Johann Michael Rottmayr, one of the most popular painters of the time.


What a harmony from Gothic and Baroque! The choir extension with niches, windows and columns are the background for Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach´s main altar. The funny thing is that there is a portal at the Palais Lobkowitz in Vienna, also by him, where he took up the same idea with the columns and tiara like arch above. Scroll down, find photo number 2 and you know what I mean.


As a student I was almost every summer in Salzburg (I was working with the festival) and often went to the church to pray there but also to watch the many beautiful details. One of my favorites is this “house” in the church (left of the high altar), called “residence oratory”. It is in direct neighborhood to the residence where the prince archbishops of Salzburg lived who used it for themselves and for guests.


A last impression: a Salzburg silhouette with Franziskanerkirche (on the left). – Why is the quality of the photo so poor? Because it originally is a video (like the photo on top). I had to convert it as I have no video channel. I tried to capture the “Sound of Salzburg”, a kind of concerto of the church bells many times a day.

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