Each year, more than eight million tourists visit picturesque Salzburg to seek out Mozart’s birthplace and the locations where The Sound of Music was filmed. Nestled between Munich and Vienna, Salzburg combines the flair of an Alpine village with the convenience and opportunities of a cultural metropolis. In 1997, Salzburg’s Old City was selected as a UNESCO World Cultural Heritage Site in order to protect and preserve the baroque character of the city.
The annual Salzburg Festival, one of the most vibrant and prestigious music and theater festivals in Europe, draws thousands of visitors to Salzburg. The Festival, which coincides with the Salzburg Institute Summer School, regularly features musicians such as Ricardo Muti, András Schiff, Renée Fleming, Anna Netrebko as well as the Vienna Philharmonic Orchestra and the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra.
Moreover, unlike other culturally rich cities in Europe, Salzburg has played a demonstrable role in church history. Known as the “German Rome,” Salzburg is home to the oldest monastery, St. Peter (696 AD), and nunnery, Nonnberg Abby (714 AD), north of the Alps. From Salzburg early missionaries were sent to evangelize the territories east of the Alps, including parts of today’s Hungary. As a result, Vienna’s oldest church was named after St. Rupert, Salzburg’s first bishop. The Lutheran Reformation proved fruitful in Salzburg, much to the chagrin of the Catholic archdiocese which between 1731 and 1732 forced more than 20,000 of its Protestant citizens to emigrate.
Today, Salzburg is largely shaped by Catholicism, but the city’s openness to ecumenical dialog is undeniable. Studying in Salzburg offers students both a vibrant academic experience in a city with an incredible musical and cultural heritage, and the intellectual and spiritual challenge of collaborating with churches and Christian institutions.
Salzburg Festival Video
Learn about the annual Salzburg Festival.
36 Hours in Salzburg
The New York Times highlights things to do and see in Salzburg.
A Silent Night in Salzburg
Gregor Thuswaldner, Salzburg Institute co-director and associate professor of linguistics, tells the story of the world's best known Christmas carol.