Ursulinenplatz, Salzburg Old Town

The Ursulinenplatz in the Old Town of Salzburg is named after the Ursulinen nunnery, which could be found here until the nuns moved to Aigen in the 1970ies. The square is dominated by the Baroque church Markuskirche on one side and a pretty row of burgher houses on the other side. It ends at the Klausentor gate, which is rather a tower and part of the Medieval city walls of Salzburg. The Ursulinenplatz got its name only in 1962; until then, it was considered to be merely a continuation of the Gstättengasse (which it is, effectively).

The traffic at the Ursulinenplatz is rather intense. It is therefore not a square where many people would stay and rest. The houses at the Ursulinenplatz are built right into the walls of the Mönchsberg. This has been the case since the Middle Ages and proved to be disastrous in 1669, when large parts of the cliffs collapsed and buried hundreds of people. 230 were killed, a church was destroyed and the damage was enormous. There is a plate that commemorates this disaster. This also means that most of the buildings were erected after the late 17th century. Today, geologists check the cliffs of the Mönchsberg twice a year for lose rock.

The church that was destroyed was located at today′s Ursulinenplatz 3. It was called "Kirche im Bergl" or simply Berglkirche. After its destruction, it was re-built under the rule of Prince Archbishop Max Gandolf von Kuenburg. The interiors were made under Prince Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun, the successor of Max Gandolf. Around 1800, the building was given up and made an ordinary residential house.

The Nagelschmiedhaus is an exception to the rule that we described before: It was not hit by the stones in 1669 and survived the landslide. It dates back to 1553, was probably built by Martin Gravenauer and was also called "Grafenauerische Behausung". It is older than the other houses on the Ursulinenplatz. The Windenmacherhaus on Ursulinenplatz 7 has at least a Gothic core. At the centre of the Urusulinenplatz, a Mozart memorial was placed in 2005. Made by Markus Lüpertz, the "Hommage to Mozart" was a project by the Salzburg Foundation and caused much controversy.

Further Reading

Ursulinenplatz and Gstättengasse on the German Wikipedia

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