Of all cities in the world, it is Salzburg, nestling among snow-capped mountains and hosting a range of superb Christmas markets, that provides the most seasonal setting for the weeks that lead up to Christmas. The first snow flurries, the smell of wood smoke, and the Glühwein available at kiosks on street corners, all contribute to the pre-Christmas magic of this beautiful city. Appropriately, since the central theme of this tour is music, we begin our experiences in Salzburg just after the feast day of St Cecilia, the patron saint of music. However, Salzburg is blessed, musically, by quite another saint-like figure, that of Mozart, who was born there in 1756, and just about every important building in the city makes a connection with the great composer. Our explorations of Salzburg and its music take us not only to the Mozart Geburtshaus, the Mozart Wohnhaus, the Cathedral - where Mozart was organist - and to St Peter's Church where Mozart presented the C minor Mass, but farther afield, to Wolfgangsee, Mondsee Abbey, and to the little chapel at Oberndorf, where the carol Silent Night was performed for the first time. This is a tour full of Austrian tradition and pre- Christmas atmosphere, all enhanced by staying at a first class hotel in the heart of the city.
After our direct flight from London, we are met at the airport by Peter and Tom who will take us by coach to our hotel in Salzburg where we will stay five nights. After we have had time to settle in and for lunch, we assemble for an introductory lecture by Peter. This evening we enjoy dinner in the hotel restaurant.
Our morning lecture is entitled The Musical Connections of Salzburg, after which we leave the hotel on foot and make our way over the Makartsteg (foot bridge) to visit the Mozart Geburtshaus, situated in Getreidegasse. Mozart was born here in 1756 and today the apartment contains one of the finest collections of Mozart memorabilia in the world, including all of the principal portraits of Mozart done before the age of 18. We then make our way to St Peter's Abbey, where Mozart famously presented his great Mass in C minor, in 1783, with his wife starring as principal soprano soloist. Following lunch at St Peter's Stiftskeller, we spend the afternoon in another house in which Mozart lived, the so-called Dance Master’s House. As the Mozarts became more affluent, they upgraded their accommodation in Salzburg, moving to first floor rooms - which included a ballroom - in Makartplatz. It was here that Mozart lived with his family from 1773 to 1781 and the permanent exhibition in the house provides a range of interesting details about the history of the house, Mozart’s Salzburg years and the general life of the Mozart family. The remainder of the afternoon is free, but in the evening we visit one of Salzburg's Christmas Markets.
This morning's lecture will be devoted to a discussion about the lives of Mozart's mother and sister - Anna Marie Mozart and Maria Anna Mozart - and this will act as a convenient prelude to visiting the Court House at St Gilgen (now a museum) where Mozart's mother was born, and where - coincidentally - his sister began her married life with Baron Johann Baptist Berchtold zu Sonnenburg. After our private tour of the museum, Peter will give an organ recital at the Parish Church of Saint Egidius at St Gilgen. After lunch at a restaurant overlooking the beautiful waters of Wolfgangsee, we then visit the ancient village of Hallstadt, famous for its production of salt, and for its 16th century Alpine houses and alleyways. Depending on Salzburg concert schedules, there is an optional concert this evening.
After the morning lecture on the Prince Archbishops of Salzburg and the composers who worked for them, our time until lunch will be spent visiting on foot the Salzburg Residenz, a palace located at Domplatz and Residenzplatz in the historic centre of Salzburg. The building was first mentioned c1120, and was for centuries not only the place where the Prince-Archbishops of Salzburg lived, but also where they showcased their political status. Afterwards, we enjoy a concert at the cathedral by the resident organist followed by a tour of the cathedral. Lunch will be at the Festungsrestaurant, followed by free time or the chance to explore further the extensive Christmas market.
Today, our lecture is all to do with the famous Christmas carol, Silent Night - probably the most famous Christmas song ever written. We begin our day with a visit to St Michael's Basilica at Mondsee, and a private tour of Mondsee Abbey. This magnificent building was founded in 748 AD, but its re-modelling and present appearance owes much to the regeneration work undertaken by Abbot Bernhard Lidl (no connection with the supermarkets of that name) in the 18th century. Following our morning discussion on the history of Silent Night, we make the journey to Oberndorf, where the carol was first performed in 1818. After lunch at a restaurant in Orbensdorf, we visit the socalled Silent Night Chapel - Peter may even sing a verse or two of the carol there - as well as the Silent Night Museum, located in the priest's house. In the evening we enjoy a private drinks reception before a farewell dinner together.
After breakfast we check out of our hotel and make our way by coach to our designated airport for our return journey home.
Tour limited to 24 passengers
5 lectures by Peter Medhurst
Thomas Abbott - professional tour manager & art historian
All excursions, entrance fees, guided tours & gratuities for hotel & restaurant staff included
Centrally located first class Salzburg hotel
Welcome & farewell dinners included
Included light lunches on Days 1 to 5
Direct scheduled flights from London
Executive coach on Days 1, 3, 5 & 6
Audio headsets included on Days 2 to 5
St Peter's Abbey
Dance Master’s House
Salzburg's Christmas Markets
Court House at St Gilgen – guided tour
Parish Church of Saint Egidius, St Gilgen - organ recital by Peter
Ancient village of Hallstadt
Salzburg Cathedral guided tour & concert by resident organist
Silent Night Chapel
Silent Night Museum
St Michael's Basilica at Mondsee
Mondsee Abbey – guided tour
We stay five nights at:
• 22 November tour - 4* superior Imlauer Hotel Pitter (https://imlauer.com/hotel-pitter-salzburg/)
• 28 November tour - 5* Hotel Bristol (www.bristol-salzburg.at)
Both family owned hotels are in the very heart of Salzburg, near the Mirabell Gardens, and offer first class accommodation. A welcome dinner is included at the hotel with another included dinner preceded by a private drinks reception at an excellent local restaurant on Day 5. All rooms are en suite and feature television, telephone, hairdryer, mini bar and an in room safe. NB All rooms for single occupation are double rooms at Imlauer Hotel Pitter. Only a limited number of double rooms for single occupation are available at Hotel Bristol with the others being single rooms – you may pay a further supplement to guarantee single occupation of a double room at Hotel Bristol.
Click Here to download the Brochure and Booking Form and then post the completed Booking Form with your deposit payment as instructed on the Booking Form. Please note that you cannot book this holiday online. Once you receive a Confirmation & Invoice from us as confirmation of your booking, you can pay the final balance by following the instructions set out in your Confirmation & Invoice.
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