Salzburg: Inside the Fortress


inishing my tour around the exterior of the fortress, it is time to see what is inside.

The inside of the castle is a museum that documents the history of the fortress and castle life. These range from archaeological excavation discoveries including the remains of the wall of a Roman fort, a medieval heating system, and twelfth-century Romanesque arcades exposed during reconstruction work.

It is commonly thought that the inside of castles were very similar to the outside – grey stone – as the entire structure is made of the same material. However, our modern perceptions are not necessarily correct. The walls – both inside and out – of the castles would have been covered with plaster and then whitewashed. Then, using the available pigments from the area, paint could be made to paint designs on the walls and ceilings. Certainly, this is seen on the outside walls of the Fortress and this knowledge shines a different light on what we think life was like – at least for the wealthy – in the medieval ages.

Several of the original doorways of the interior have been uncovered showing both the beautiful color and delicate painting that would have graced the walls of the rooms. The changing styles also give glimpses into how long these structures have stood there succumbing to the changing fashions of the years.

The Fortress Museum also has on display weapons and armor, instruments of torture, a complete castle kitchen, Gothic furniture, and sixteenth and seventeenth-century handicrafts as well as historical military musical instruments.

This rather interesting display of life size stick figures clad in armor and arranged in poses of war is a reenactment of a scene from the 30 Years War.

Finishing the tour of the museum, I weave my way back through the Fortress and wait in line for my turn on the railway to take me down to the city below. The hour getting late and I have a few more sights I would like to experience before the end of my time in Salzburg.