Karolinenbrücke (Caroline Bridge) in Salzburg

The Karolinenbrücke or Nonnntaler Brücke is a bridge over the River Salzach on the southern edge of the Old Town of Salzburg. It is one of the three most important bridges for car traffic in Salzburg, with the other two being the Staatsbrücke and the Lehener Brücke. The Karolinenbrücke is a relatively new one. However, a ferry service has existed here since 1722. In the mid-19th century, the predecessor of today′s Staatsbrücke was in very bad shape and due to be replaced by a new construction.

In 1856, a proposal was made to compensate for the closing of this bridge by building a small, wooden, provisory bridge upstream at the site of today′s Karolinenbrücke. The city of Salzburg did not want to take on the financial burden of building this bridge and refused the grants for the project until 1858. The following year, the building company of a certain Carl Andessner completed the construction, the bridge was opened by the widow of Emperor Franz I, Carolina Augusta - after whom it was named.

Construction of the Second Karolinenbrücke

25 years later, this wooden bridge had decayed. Since both population and traffic had increased since the construction of it, a demolition without substitute was out of question. Instead, a steel bridge was built until 1884, which was also called Karolinenbrücke.

This was the time of the Fin de Siecle, a period of massive investments and a rapid modernisation - back warded Austria caught up with Western Europe. In the course of this, a tram was started in Salzburg in 1886 and developed in subsequent years. It soon turned out that the delicate steel bridge could not hold the heavy trains. In 1914, the city decided to build a new Karolinenbrücke.

However, due to WWI, the fall of the Empire and the Great Depression, the construction work did not start until 1938. The current Karolinenbrücke was opened one year later. In 1990, the pedestrian and cyclist lanes were extended. In 2006, bended steel pillars reinforced the Karolinenbrücke, which is now vital for heavy traffic almost all day long.

Hidden Treasures of Salzburg


German Wikipedia on the bridges of Salzburg

SalzburgWiki on the Karolinenbrücke (German, but with pictures)

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