Salzburg is a city in Austria long associated by the 18th century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Since the mid 20th century, it has also become synonymous with Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, The Sound of Music, which features many of the sights in the city. The well-preserved historic center of Salzburg is today a UNESCO World Heritage Site.
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Salzburg is located on the banks of the Salzach River, close to the boundary with Germany. It is about 150 km to the east of Munich and 300 km to the west of Vienna. It covers 65 sq km (25 sq mi), on an average elevation of 424 m (1,391 ft). The city has a population of 148,000 (2011 estimate). It is the fourth most populous city in Austria after Vienna, Graz and Linz.
Salzburg experiences a Continental climate. The warmest month here is July, when the average temperature rises to 24.4°C (75.9°F). It is also the wettest month, with 157 mm (6.2 in) of precipitation. Coldest month is January, when it drops to -4°C (24.8°F). Some snowfall can be expected between December and March.
Human settlement in the Salzburg area has been traced to the Neolithic Age, with evidence of Celtic settlements in the 5th century BC. The Romans merged the disparate settlements in the area in 15 BC to create the city of Juvavum, which was given municipium status in AD 45. The present city dates to around AD 700, when Saint Rupert was made the local bishop. He renamed Juvavum as Salzburg.
Religious conflict between the Catholics and Protestants was to rear its head in 1731, on the 214th anniversary of Martin Luther's nailing of his 95 Thesis on the Wittenberg School door, when the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Salzburg signed the Edict of Expulsion, forcing all Protestants to either recant their non-Catholic faith or else be banished from the city.
Protestant landowners were forced to sell their land and livestock were dumped on the market. The Catholic archbishop also confiscated long belonging to Protestants for his own family, and ordered the Protestant books and Bibles burned. What followed was an exodus of Protestants to the cities in Germany controlled by Protestant princes. Many of the Protestants resettled in East Prussia as well as in present-day Slovakia, Serbia, Hungary, Berlin, Hanover, the Netherlands and some emigrated to Georgia in the United States.
Salzburg came under Bavarian rule in 1809, remaining so until the Congress of Vienna in 1815, when it was restored to Austrian rule. It became part of Austria-Hungary in 1866, then as part of German Austria in 1918, the First Austrian Republic in 1919, and the German Third Reich, when when Austria was annexed into Nazi Germany in 1938. Following the war, Salzburg was made the capital of the State of Salzburg, and remains to until today.
The Salzburg W.A. Mozard International Airport is located about 20 minutes from the city center. It receives flights from major cities in Europe. There is a trolley bus service from the airport to the city.