A giant baroque-styled fountain makes Residenzplatz, located in the heart of Salzburg, a real centrepiece and a popular spot for tourists and locals alike. Surrounded by the city's new and old residence palaces, the Salzburg Cathedral and a row of shops and cafes, the square is a must-see for all first time visitors to Salzburg.
In the centre of Residenzplatz sits the famous fountain, Residenzbrunnen. Originally commissioned by Archbishop Guidobald von Thun, the fountain was erected by sculptor Tommaso di Garone between 1656 and 1661 and is the largest baroque fountain in Central Europe. It includes four larger-than-life horses with pouring nostrils, three furious dolphins, laborious men and a triton wielding a conch shell to dramatically spray water towards the heavens.
The Bishop of Salzburg's palace at Residenzplatz can be traced back to the Middle Ages. When Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau held seat, he ordered a new palace to be built opposite the original one, hence the existence of the old and new residences. Today, the Salzburg Museum is located in the new residence, while one wing of the old residence is home to the law department of Paris Lodron University. The other wings of the old residences are open to the public for viewing with self-guided audio tours and guided tours available.
As well as being Salzburg's most visited site, Residenzplatz is also a well-loved entertainment spot. The forecourt has hosted the world's superstars: Neil Young, Sinead O'Connor, Elton John, Billy Joel and popular German rock star, Herbert Grönemeyer.
At the end of the year, the advent season brings the Christmas Markets to Residenzplatz, where visitors can browse for handmade souvenirs, unique gifts or just to indulge in a traditional bratwurst sausage or pastry. Sporting events, festivals and fairs are also showcased in the square throughout the year so any time you visit, there’s sure to be something to see.