The Hohensalzburg Fortress is a medieval fortress in Salzburg Austria at the top of the mountain Festungsberg . Built at the request of the Prince- Archbishop of Salzburg with a length of 250 meters and a width of 150 meters, it is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe . The fortification is similar to that of Hohenwerfen castle , both the eleventh century.
The construction of the fortress began in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard von Helfenstein . The original design is just a motte with a wooden wall . In the Holy Roman Empire , the archbishops of Salzburg were already powerful political figures and expanded the castle to protect their interests. The conflict between Gebhard and the Emperor Henry IV , Holy Roman Emperor during the Investiture Quarrel influenced the expansion of the castle, to assert more power relative to Pope Gregory VII and anti – king Rudolf of Rheinfelden .
Prince Archbishop Leonhard von Keutschach enlarged the castle during his tenure from 1495 until 1519. In 1515 , his coadjutor Matthäus Lang von Wellenburg designed the Reisszug a primitive funicular allowed to transport cargo to the upper courtyard. The line still exists but restored . It is probably the oldest operating track in the world.
The fortress was gradually expanded during the following centuries. The walls and towers were built in 1462 by the Prince-Bishop Burkhard Weisbriach .
The fortress was actually besieged during the German Peasants’ War in 1525, when a group of miners , farmers and townspeople tried to oust Prince Archbishop Matthäus Lang but failed to take the castle . In 1612 , the deposed Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau died in prison. During the Thirty Years War , the archbishop of Paris Count Lodron strengthens the city’s defenses , including Hohensalzburg Castle . It adds several parties, such as stores of powder and additional watchtowers.
During the Second Coalition of the Napoleonic Wars in 1800 , the fort surrendered without a fight to the French troops under General Jean Victor Marie Moreau. The last Prince -Archbishop Hieronymus von Colloredo – Mannsfeld then fled to Vienna.
In the nineteenth century , the castle was used as barracks , storage depot and dungeon before being abandoned as a military outpost in 1861. At the end of the century , the castle was renovated and became a major tourist attraction with cable Festungsbahn opened in 1892 , leading the city to Hasengrabenbastei .
In the early twentieth century , the fortress was used as a prison , including the detention of Italian prisoners of war during World War I and Nazi activists in the 1930s .
In 1977, the Austrian Mint issued a coin for the 900th anniversary of the castle. In 2006 , it was chosen as the main reason for the Austrian commemorative coin April 5, 2006 . This was the first part of the series ” great abbeys of Austria .” It shows the Benedictine convent of Abbey Nonnberg .
Today , it appears as one of the best preserved castles in Europe.