The Ancient Residence, not far from the cathedral of Salzburg, was already in the Middle Ages the seat of the archbishop-prince. Located in the heart of the city, the large complex of the Residence has about one hundred and eighty rooms and three large internal courtyards. From here the princes archbishops of Salzburg governed the archbishopric of Salzburg. Almost every prince has made changes to the buildings, but the one that most lastingly left its mark was in the 16th century, during the reign of the archbishop Prince Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, when five squares were built: the largest is the Residenzplatz , with the homonymous and majestic Baroque fountain. To build this square, 55 medieval buildings were demolished. The project is due to the Italian architect Vincenzo Scamozzi
The palace, given its magnificence, throughout the princely and monarchical history of Salzburg, was an important representative showcase; just think that Napoleon III
was accepted here by the Emperor Franz Joseph
in 1867, as well as the oath of the Emperor of Austria, Francis I, was made by the Salzburg diet, an event that marked the end of the ecclesiastical principality and the annexation of the city to the Empire. In addition to receiving diplomatic delegations visiting the city, the Old Residence hosted for almost 30 years Queen Carolina Augusta, the fourth wife of Francesco I, who established her summer residence here. We owe, among other things, the creation of the Salzburger Museum, named "Carolino Augusteum" in his honor. This sumptuous palace, and still at the service of Salzburg policy as a magnificent setting for receiving heads of state, kings and foreign personalities. The palace is accessed through a large marble portal, dominated by the coats of arms of archbishops Wolf Dietrich, Paris Lodron and Franz Anton Harrach. The main staircase leads to the Carabinieri Hall, built around 1600 at the behest of Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau.
The Carabinieri room was not only used as a waiting place for the guard but also to host theatrical performances and parties. Follow the representation rooms where the archbishops fulfilled their representation obligations. It is also possible to visit the Conference or Council Hall, the Anteroom and the Audience Hall, the most sumptuous hall of the Residence. Do not miss a visit to the Studio, the Writing Room, the Gallery, the Throne Room and the Emperors' Room, with portraits of kings and emperors of the Habsburg family. From the Emperors' Hall a corridor leads directly into the imposing late Gothic choir of the Franciscan church.
The Mozart brothers also performed in this palace, being the father of W. Amadeus, Leopold, director of the cathedral's music and therefore directly dependent on the prince. The Sala dei Cavalieri has exceptional acoustics, so much so that it is still the venue for concerts today.
It is in the Council room of the Old residence that a 6-year-old Mozart gave his first concert. The building houses the University in some rooms. Part of the building is called Ala Toscana, here is the law faculty of the University of Salzburg.