Mirabelle Gardens and the Old Town

LINKS to pages in the Salzburg site and to the Colin Day Travelling Days series:

1 : Mirabell Gardens and Old Town
2 : Mozart Birthplace
3 : University Church and Cathedral
4 : Funicular and Fortress
5 : Cemetery and St Peter Abbey (Basilica)
6 : Theatre,Residenz and Sachertorte


The coach party meets the excellent official Salzburg Guide at the entrance to the Mirabell gardens (below).

The author, having previously visited Salzburg (please see a record of that visit here, decided to make the Fortress, Mozart's Birthplace and St Peter's Church the main destinations on this occasion although other places were also visited and recorded.


The world-famous Mirabell Gardens were built along a north-south axis and oriented towards the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Salzburger Dom cathedral. The original gardens were re-modelled according to plans by Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach under the reign of Prince Archbishop Johann Ernst Thun in 1689. Only some decades later, Franz Anton Danreiter altered them again in 1730, shaping what is now considered to be one of the most beautiful Baroque gardens of Europe.

The "Grand Parterre" is the oldest part of the Mirabell Gardens that is still preserved. In the heart of the garden, you will see a large fountain, with four statue groups around it: the rape of Prosperina, rape of Helena, Aeneas and Anchises, and finally Hercules and Antaeus (shown here). These statues were made by Ottavio Mosto in 1690.



Christian Doppler's family were stonemason's who had a successful business in Salzburg, Austria from 1674. The prospering business led to the building of a fine house in the Hannibal Platz [now named Makart Platz] in Salzburg, near to the river. Christian Doppler was born on 29 November 1803 in this family house and, of course, the family tradition would have had him grow up to take over the stonemason's business. However his health was never very good and he was quite frail so he could not follow in the family tradition.

At the end of his studies at the University of Vienna in 1829, Doppler was appointed as assistant to the professor of higher mathematics and mechanics at the University, Professor A Burg.

He published four mathematics papers during his four years as Burg's assistant, his first being A contribution to the theory of parallels. He received an offer of the post at the Technical Secondary School in Prague which he took up in March 1835.

Later he was offered the professorship of mathematics, physics and mechanics at the Academy of Mines and Forests in Banska Stiavnica and then on 17 January 1850 he was appointed as the first director of the new Institute of Physics at Vienna University.


On the 25 May 1842 Doppler presented a paper which related the frequency of a source of light to its velocity relative to an observer. Doppler derived the principle in a few lines treating both light and sound as longitudinal waves (incorrectly as far as light is concerned) in the ether and matter, respectively.

However, as early as 1845 experiments were conducted with musicians on railway trains playing instruments and other trained musicians writing down the apparent note as the train approached them and receded from them. In 1846 Doppler published a newer version of his principle where he considered both the motion of the source and the motion of the observer.

No other work by Doppler came anywhere close in matching the importance of his publications on the Doppler principle. Doppler's time as the first Director of the Institute of Physics at Vienna University was a short one. He was appointed by Imperial Decree on 17 January 1850. Doppler's health, however, continued to deteriorate with severe chest problems and, in November 1852, he travelled to Venice in the hope that the warmer climate would bring about some improvement. It was not to be, however, and by March 1853 it was clear that he was sinking fast. He died on 17 March 1853 in Venice.


We cross the Salzach river and make our way into the old town. The Getreidegasse, with St Blasius Church and the lift to the Mönchsberg look out in the background (left).


The Salzburg symbol (left) relates to a legend of a long siege of the fortress when only one bull was left unkilled. Its hide was speckled. To fool the enemy, the bull was driven across the bastions within the view of the opposing forces. Next day the bull was painted white and driven in a similar way. That evening it was washed and painted black and exposed to the enemy. This was done for several days and the enemy was led to believe there were still reserves of provisions in the castle following which it aborted the siege and left.

The Salzburg Bull is still the emblem for many events and organisations today, not least a famous energy drink.

"17 May 2009 : Red Bulls join the likes of Manchester United, Barcelona and Inter Milan in becoming league title winners this weekend. Red Bulls Salzburg take league crown with two matches still to play.

"It was a weekend that will be recorded in football history books across Europe. Red Bull Salzburg have matched Manchester United, Barcelona and Inter Milan in winning their domestic championship."


Some expensive shopping (above and left) and a now familiar 'human statue' (below).


The house in Getreidegasse 9 was the living place of the Mozarts between 1747 and 1773 and here Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born on the 27th of January 1756.


       We enter the building...........

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