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Salzburg Bundesland, in English called the State of Salzburg, is one of the nine states contributing to Austria's territory. Salzburg is located in the central part of the country, bordering the German state of Bavaria to the west and north. The northern and eastern borders of the region are shared with the state of Oberösterreich. Salzburg neighbors Steiermark to the east, Kärnten on the south, and Tirol on the southwest.[1] The capital city of the federal state is also called Salzburg and is located on the border of Germany. Salzburg is Austria's fourth largest city and poses as a cultural, historical, and economic hub within the country. The city is often nicknamed the "City of Mozart," as it is the birthplace of the aforementioned world-famous composer.[7] Across the Salzburg Bundesland territory stretches the Central Alp mountains and Alpine foothills. Skiing, hiking, cycling, and other outdoor activities are popular among the tourists and visitors coming to the region.[14] Historically, the Salzburg area is known for mining copper and gold but, most famously, salt, based on which the city and the surrounding area got its name.[1]

What Salzburg is known for

Salzburg Bundesland, or the State of Salzburg, was named after its capital city, which shares the same name. The word Salzburg can be translated to English as a "Salt Castle."[7] As the name of the area suggests, Salzburg territory has been known for salt mining for centuries. However, salt isn't the only mineral mined in the area. Salzburg's economy began to grow since copper and later gold deposits were found and exploited in the area over the years.[1]  

Salzburg State's capital, also named Salzburg, is one of the region's predominant historical and cultural attractions. The city is located in the northern part of the region, on the borders of Germany. Among the historical sites of Salzburg belongs, for example, the castle Hohensalzburg, which is reportedly one of the largest castles in Europe. The fortress was built in the 11th century and is nowadays open to the public, offering various tours.[8] In the city center of Salzburg can be found Mirabell Palace & Mirabell Gardens, which is said to be the most romantic place in Salzburg. The palace and gardens were built in the 17th century and remain one of the admired places in Salzburg to this day.[9]

The "City of Mozart" is a common nickname for the capital city, Salzburg. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, a world-renowned Classicist composer and pianist was born and spent most of his life in the said city. Often regarded as a prodigy as he started to compose music by the age of five, Mozart is reported to belong among the greatest composers of Western music.[10] In Salzburg, tourists can visit Mozart's birth house as well as the house where he lived and composed. The birth house functions today as a museum, showcasing Mozart's life and work.[11] Salzburg and local businesses pride themselves on the connection to the composer. For example, the university in the city and the orchestra are called Mozarteum, in honor of the composer.[12]  Among local businesses, the best known is a candy called Mozartkugel, which is produced handmade in the city of Salzburg to this day.[13]

Except for the historical and cultural sights in the region, Salzburg is covered in mountains and hills, which mostly belong to the Central Alps mountain range. With a high abundance of protected and conserved areas, the Salzburg area is visited during the summer months for a considerable number of hiking, cycling, and rock-climbing options. One of the famous natural sights in the region is the Krimml Waterfall, located in Hohe Tauern National Park. Krimml, with a height of 380 m, is the highest waterfall in Austria. Various touristic trails lead through the national park and to the waterfall.[15] During winters, the mountains in the area are covered in snow. Thus, together with a number of ski resorts, the region poses as a major ski destination for tourists.[14] 


The mountainous landscape of the Alps forms the vast majority of the Salzburg territory. Five geographical districts contribute to the Salzburg area. The northern part of the region constitutes the so-called Flachgau, which consists of the Alpine foothills and Osternhorn Group belonging to the Limestone Alps. To the south of the Flachgau is located Tennengau, formed by the Salzach Valley and Limestone Alps. Another three districts contribute to the southern part of the Salzburg area. To the west stretches the Pinzgau district, the middle area is covered by the Pongo region, and the Lungau district represents the southeastern area. Those three southern regions together form part of the Hohe Tauren mountains as well as part of the Nidere Tauren. Both mountain ranges belong to the Central Alps and are often referred to as the "Inner mountains" of Salzburg.[3]

The mountainous landscape of the State of Salzburg is an area of nature protection and conservation. Many different nature parks and reserves can be found in the territory. Located in the southern parts of the Niedere Tauern Mountains is the Riedingtal Nature Park, one of the conservation areas in the Salzburg territory. The Niedere Tauren is protected by the state as a conservation area. In the said mountain range is also located Lake Prebersee, with an altitude of 1,514 m above sea level. The lake is inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List. In the Nockberge Park of the Niedere Tauren mountains is the largest pine, larch, and spruce forest in the Eastern Alps. Lastly, among the predominant protected areas in the Salzburg territory is the Hohe Tauern National Park. Hohe Tauern National Park is said to be "an island of nature in the heart of Europe" for its abundance of endemic and protected species.[4]

Salzburg Bundesland has two different climates within the region, one of which is a warm, humid continental climate that prevails in most of the region. However, a subarctic climate is typical for mountainous areas of the territory.[5] The warmest month in Salzburg is July, with an average daily temperature of 25°C, while January is the coldest month, with an average temperature of 3°C. February tends to be the driest month in Salzburg, with an average of 59 mm of rainfall. The most precipitation falls during July, with an average of 160 mm.[6]


The State of Salzburg is said to have been inhabited since prehistoric times. Mountainous areas, as well as Alpine foreland, were settled due to a considerable abundance of mineral wealth. Copper mining was predominant during the Bronze Age, whereas salt was mined in the area mainly during the Iron Age. Celts then settled the territory and later became part of the Roman Empire. In the 5th century, Germanic tribes invaded the region, most of which became inhabited by Bavarians.[1] 

Salzburg territory was part of the Duchy of Bavaria until 1328. In the 13th century, Archbishop Eberhard II von Regensberg started to build a dominion of Salzburg counties and districts, which led to Salzburg's absolute independence as a state within the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation. Salzburg played an essential role during Middle Ages, as it was located between Bavaria and Habsburg Monarchy. The prince-archdiocese of Salzburg has been accounted among the wealthy regions of Europe for the deposits of salt and gold, which have been mined there for centuries. During that time, the volumes of mined raw materials were the largest in Central Europe.[2] 

In 1850, Salzburg became the crown land of Austria, which later led to the establishment of its own parliament. By the end of World War I, the State of Salzburg became part of German Austria, which later became the Republic of Austria. However, in 1921, over 99% of the Salzburg inhabitants voted for Salzburg to become part of the German Reich, yet that was against the Austrian constitution and thus didn't end up happening. Like the rest of Austria, Salzburg was under the Nazi Germany dictatorship from 1934 to 1938. During that time, the biggest weapon factory in the country was located in the city of Hallein in the Salzburg territory. After the end of World War II, Salzburg became part of the US occupation zone until 1955.[3] 

Nowadays, the State of Salzburg is one of Austria's least populated areas, even though the population density has gradually increased over the years. Most people living in the area belong to the Roman Catholic Church. To this day, salt mining is among the region's predominant industries. Other significant areas of the industry are connected to beer, textiles, clothing, leather, and the production of musical instruments.[1] 

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