Monday, August 12, 2013

Salzburg: an Incantato Favorite

The world today refers to Salzburg′s most famous son as "Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart". In fact, his name was officially "Johannes Chrysostomus Wolfgang Theophilus Mozart" with "Amadeus" being a Latinised variation of "Theophilus". Mozart himself signed in his later years as "Wolfgang Amade", and referred to himself as "Amadeus" only when he was joking.His family and friends called him simply "Wolfgang" or in the abbreviated way "Wolferl". 

Salzburg: a Baroque snapshot

The Zauberflötenhäuschen ("Magic flute house")
The so-called Zauberflötenhäuschen is placed in the gardens of the Mozarteum Foundation, more precisely in the "Bastionsgarten". Mozart wrote at least parts of the Zauberflöte, "The Magic Flute" in this little hut. Originally, it was situated in a Garden next to the "Freihaustheater" or "Theater auf der Wieden" theatre in Vienna. The story goes, that libretto-author Emanuel Schikaneder locked Mozart into the Zauberflötenhäuschen to ensure that they would meet their deadlines. Other stories talk about Mozart meeting singers in the Zauberflötenhäuschen to practice parts of the opera. After the original gardens in Vienna were sold, the duke Fürst Starhemberg donated the Zauberflötenhäuschen to the International Mozart Foundation in 1873. It was moved to Salzburg and re-erected in the Salzburg gnome garden by Mirabell castle. From there it was moved to the Kapuzinerberg mountain in 1877, where it remained until it was damaged by bombs in WWII. After the war, the Zauberflötenhäuschen was renovated and moved once again, this time to its current location in the Schwarzstraße. In July and August it can be visited with a guided tour through the Mozarteum art university.

Salzburger Stierwascher
During the period of the peasant′s riots of 1525, the city of Salzburg was under a siege. Soon the city′s population was running short of food, and fear spread when only a single bull was left within the mighty city walls. Then the commander of the defending troops is said to have had an idea: he ordered to paint the naturally brown bull with white stain and lead it up and down the city walls on display to the enemy. The next day, they would wash the bull, paint it in black and do the same thing again. The next day, they would paint the bull red, then spotted, and so on. In the end, the enemy thought that the people of Salzburg were slaughtering a bull every day, expecting that the live stocks were still large enough to feed the troops and people in the city for a very long time. Eventually, the troops that kept Salzburg under siege withdrew, leaving Salzburg to freedom. Under cheer and laughter, the bull was led to the Salzach river and washed until he appeared again in his natural brown. Ever since then, people from Salzburg are called "Stierwascher" - bull washers.

Fun facts: The tomb of Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich
Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau was the first Prince Archbishop of Salzburg who shaped the city during its Baroque prime. When his nemesis and successor Markus Sittikus forced him out of his office and even arrested Wolf Dietrich in the Hohensalzburg Fortress, did Sittikus best to make the people of Salzburg forget about von Raitenau. Although somewhat speculative, it can be estimated that this is the reason why Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau is buried at St. Sebastian Cemetery. As a Prince Archbishop, he should have been buried in the crypt of the Salzburg Dom Cathedral. He ended up outside the town centre without much honour. Legend has it, that Wolf Dietrich was buried upright, sitting in a chairsurrounded by blueprints and sketches to plan the construction of even more buildings in his beloved Salzburg. It is said that he will sit like that until Doomsday, when he will stand up and ask the Lord for mercy for himself and his enemies.

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