The Elisabeth-Vorstadt is a district in central Salzburg, to be found roughly between the central station (Hauptbahnhof), the River Salzach and the Neustadt area (near the old town). The Elisabeth-Vorstadt was historically called Froschheim, a term now used only for the stretch of land along the Salzach. The district has a population of approximately 7.500 people, making it a rather densely populated one.

There are three periods you have to know about in order to understand the Elisabeth-Vorstadt: Firstly, the late 19th century, when the area was first developed. The old 17th century bastions were removed, the station was built (around 1860) and urban planners outlaid a master plan for a new district named after Empress Elisabeth. Railroad workers moved into the area.

Secondly, the 1920ies. The working class population of the Elisabeth-Vorstadt was left-wing and wanted to get rid of Imperial references, to the name Froschheim was temporarily used again. Building activities increased: Note the high number of communal, expressionist apartment blocks - similar ones can be found in Vienna, after which their little cousins in Salzburg were modelled. Note also the Kiesel, now a shopping mall, back then home to a publishing and printing business. The building was designed by Wunibald Deininger in 1926 and adapted to house a shopping mall by Wilhelm Holzbauer in 1989. There are also a few noteworthy villas west of the Haunspergstraße that date back to this period.

Thirdly, World War II and the post war period. Due to the vicinity of the Elisabeth-Vorstadt to the station, large parts in the north were flattened by allied bombings. The Hotel l′Europe was destroyed and re-built in a rather ugly manner in the early 1950ies as "Hotel Europa". Only after 2000, the hotel′s architecture was slightly altered to make it more appealing. Note that around the same time, the statue of Empress Elisabeth (which had been removed in the 1920ies) was taken back to its original location. The Elisabeth-Vorstadt became an immigrant area in the post-war years.

Since the 1990ies, there were several attempts to re-develop the area, and progress has obviously been made especially around the Südtirolerplatz (the square in front of the station). The area along the main traffic routes are still a bit dodgy, though. New administrative buildings were erected recently and cultural venues such as the Jazzit have helped to improve the image of the area. In general, large parts of the Elisabth-Vorstadt (especially near major roads) are still considered to be cheap and not overly attractive. Note that the route to the Basilica of Maria Plain passes the Elisebeth-Vorstadt, you might find references to this on some houses.

Further Reading

Elisabeth-Vorstadt on the German Wikipedia

City of Salzburg, Official Website

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