Salzburg is a city in Austria, near the border with Germany's Bavaria state, with a population of 157,000 (2020). It was the setting for the movie The Sound of Music, so you may think you know all there is to see in Salzburg if you have seen the movie. Admittedly, it is difficult not to burst into song when you're walking along the Salzach River, or climbing up to the Hohensalzburg fortress, which looms over the city. But there is a lot more to this compact, courtly city than Julie Andrews and Wolfgang Mozart, who was born here.
Salzburg, which has been inhabited since the Neolithic period, is the fourth-largest city in Austria (after Vienna, Graz and Linz) and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg. In 45 AD, it was a Roman establishment. The Bavarians took over in the 6th century. At the end of the 16th century, under Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, the transformation of the medieval town into the "Rome of the North" began, with new buildings following the Italian baroque style. The buildings from this era are mostly in the "Old Town", as it is known today. The old town is one of the best-preserved city centers in the German-speaking world and was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. Salzburg became part of the Austrian empire in 1816. It frequently ranks favorably in quality of life rankings.