View into the room of burghers of the nineteenth century. The newspapers lining the walls illustrate the topics of the age
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Stagnation and a New Dawn

 

There are many squares, also of great beauty, which are so little trodden on that we see grass growing in the nicks between the flags and cobbles.

 

These are the words of Franz Schubert in 1825, when describing the misery that Salzburg suffered in the early nineteenth century. The reasons are legion: in the course of the Napoleonic Wars, Salzburg is plundered and bled dry through war payments to the occupying power. In 1816, it loses its status as capital of the region to Linz; in 1818, it is subject to the ravages of a great fire, and political life falls victim to the repressions of the pre-March era.

 

After centuries of rule by prince archbishops coming from outside, and years of foreign administration, the Salzburg populace have to go through many difficulties to regain “their” city and “their” Land, the Province of Salzburg. Increasingly self-confident and striving for autonomy, they are aware of their own history.

 

Founding of the Museum in 1834

They collect works of art and souvenirs of their “homeland” for a new museum, and fight resolutely to regain the status of regional capital. This process of appropriation also includes the dedication of the Mozart monument in 1842, which marks the beginning of the Mozart cult and shows no sign of abating today.

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Salzburg: Rome of the North

Josef Rosenegger, garden architect, owner of the beautiful country estate of Bürglstein on the other side of the Salzach, and by chance an amateur archaeologist. He discovers Roman antiquities at Bürglstein and exhibits them. Johann Michael Sattler paints the excavation site (the picture next to Rosenegger’s portrait). With great business acumen he turns Bürglstein into an international attraction and is proud to receive crowned heads and numerous Salzburg visitors. The Bavarian king buys many Roman finds from him. This starts off a flurry of excavations. Salzburg has its sensation at last: it is actually built on the remains of the major Roman town of Iuvavum. The people now felt doubly justified in calling themselves citizens of “Rome of the North”.

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