Salzburg’s connection to the international railway network in 1860 created the conditions for mass tourism. Hubert Sattler, Railway station from Kapuzinerberg, Salzburg, after 1880, Inv.-Nr. 830/49
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Tourism as an Economic Strategy


Salzburg Station opened in 1860 – an elegant sign of the city’s connection to the international railway network and signal for the latter’s crucial influence on the economic development of the impoverished city and its environs.

Politicians and entrepreneurs pursued the idea of selling the beauties of the baroque city and landscape so glorified by the Romantics to the social whirl of guests from the well-heeled European classes. “Seasonal city” and “summer resort” were the catchwords in the second half of the nineteenth century. New hotels, cafés, parks, avenues, promenades sprang up, also the Kurhaus (spa house) and a new theatre in the more recently built part of the city. Building continued with the rack-and-pinion railway on the Gaisberg, the Mönchsberg lift, and the funicular railway to the castle. The Tauern railway accessed the Alpine region. The founding of the Salzburg Festival was the crowning pinnacle of this tourist concept in the twentieth century.

Conflicts were unavoidable and are still going on: between modernisation and conservation, between exclusiveness and marketing, between the concerns of the residents and the needs of the tourism industry.

Left: Bust of the Salzburg builder Karl Ritter von Schwarz and the Salzburg Festival pavilion. Right: Four costumes of the Buhlschaft (Paramour) from Everyman
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The Festival: Art and Ritual

The main instigators in founding the Salzburg Festival were the artists Max Reinhardt, Richard Strauss and Hugo von Hofmannsthal. Right from the very first performance of Everyman in front of the cathedral façade until the present day, it has materialised as a successful synthesis of the highest artistic standards, economic interests and social ritual.

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