Festung Hohensalzburg - castle from above © Salzburger Burgen und Schlösser

Fortress Hohensalzburg

The largest preserved Fortress of Europe

Explore almost a millennium of history in the Fortress Hohensalzburg – Salzburg’s most famous landmark. Hohensalzburg Fortress is the most striking of Salzburg’s sights. With its almost 1000 years of history it is definitely worth a visit.

History of the Fortress Hohensalzburg

As a result of the ongoing Investiture Controversy and at the behest of Archbishop Gebhard, the construction of the earliest parts of today’s fortress began. Over the following centuries, the fortress was expanded and its armaments upgraded. In order to prepare the fortress for the increasing likelihood of war, significant building work was done under Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach between 1495 and 1519. In this phase, today’s appearance of the fortress was achieved.

Over the course of its history, no enemies have managed to win the fortress in Salzburg. Besides its function as city fortification the fortress was used as a casern or a prison, e.g. during WWI.

Already in the year 1892 a water-powered funicular was built to facilitate tourist visits.

In 2016 the former proprietor of the fortress, the state of Austria, gifted it to the federal state Salzburg in celebration of the anniversary “200 Years Salzburg Part of Austria”.

Salzburg panorama © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
© Tourismus Salzburg GmbH

Must-see sight Fortress Salzburg

The Hohensalzburg Fortress is one of the largest castles of Europe and the largest preserved fortress of central Europe. Don’t miss the medieval Royal Apartments and the castle museum. Enjoy the striking view over the roofs of Salzburg and the panorama of the alps.

View from the tower of Fortress Hohensalzburg © Tourismus Salzburg GmbH
© Tourismus Salzburg GmbH

Museums and your visit

Hohensalzburg Fortress can be explored by visitors at their leisure. Those interested in the history of the fortress and the city can look forward to three museums. The castle museum provides insights into the fortress’s past and the lives lived in and around it. The puppet museum features many exhibits from the famous Salzburg Marionette Theatre. Focused on military history, the Rainer Regiment museum illustrates the past of the former Salzburg infantry regiment.

Fortress Hohensalzburg - Exhibition © Salzburg Museum - Kilian Bochnig
© Salzburg Museum - Kilian Bochnig

Concerts at the Fortress

Experience the Hohensalzburg Fortress at a dinner concert in one of the beautiful rooms. The Golden Hall or the Heraldry Hall with its gothic decorations provide the atmospheric venue for a four-course dinner, followed by a concert by the Mozart Chamber Orchestra Salzburg or the Salzburg Mozart Ensemble.

Salzburg Fortress Concerts - Golden Hall © salzburghighlights.com
© salzburghighlights.com


All around the year, the Salzburg Fortress is the venue for various events. Especially during Christmas time, the fortress is worth a visit. The courtyard houses a romantic Christmas market and daily Christmas dinner concerts in the Golden Hall promise culinary and musical indulgence.

Advent Concert Fortress Hohensalzburg - Burgsaal © salzburghighlights.com
© salzburghighlights.com

FAQs Salzburg Fortress

Salzburg Fortress provides a range options to explore and experience this century-old landmark. Take the funicular up to the Fortress, explore the Fortress Museum and Royal Apartments, attend a dinner & concert in the Golden Hall, visit the magical Fortress Christmas Market during Christmas time, and much more.

An accessible and easy way to get up to the fortress in just under a minute is taking the funicular, which makes the trip every 10 minutes. Walking up to the fortress is also possible and takes around 20 minutes.

Get the Salzburg Card - 24h for free rides with the funicular, free public transport, free admission to many tourist attractions and many other perks!


The fortress is open to the public all year around, including holidays.

Opening hours:
January-April: 9.30 am - 5.00 pm
May-September: 8.30 am - 8.00 pm
October-December: 9.30 am - 5.00 pm
24 December: 9.30 am - 2.00 pm

(Subject to alteration)

The Fortress Hohensalzburg is situated right above the Salzburg’s old town.

Mönchsberg 34, 5020 Salzburg, Austria