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London, England, United Kingdom
August 31, 2011
From journal A great Stay in Austria
July 24, 2003
Most visitors stop at St. Peter’s to visit the graveyard or catacombs and a look inside the church is often neglected. This ornate church features fascinating examples of Baroque art in addition to a beautiful organ. My first impression of the church was that it is a little bit tacky. The abundance of gold statues, red velvet and colorful carnations are a bit much. But as I wandered through the church, I started focusing on one thing at a time and what I found was an over-abundance of wonders compounded in the small church. Too many wonderful things can never be that bad.
The church was updated in the 17th and 18th centuries in the elegant baroque style that stands today, but the west doors date all the way back to 1240. A rococco ceiling caps the interior with its gold trimmed designs snaking above. Almost every inch of the church is covered with artwork. Several paintings are inlaid inches apart, high up along the walls above the church pews. The octagon dome also has artworks inlaid on each of its eight sides. The Salzburg Madonna, dating from the 1400s, is in the left chancel.
Many alters along the sides of the church appear to still be in use. Fresh flowers are placed behind the locked gates of the highly decorated memorials. Many of the altar paintings were done by Kremser Schmidt, the premier artist of the day. You will not be able to miss the organ with several gold statues standing atop some of its many silver pipes. Additional organ pipes are embedded in the walls down the length of the church. The ceiling above the organ draws your attention with its fresco of angles and decorative plaster designs.
The cemetery behind St. Peter’s, shaded by pines and weeping willows, is the elegant, even romantic resting place of Salzburg's noblest families. It is the oldest Salzburg cemetery still in use and the present layout of the churchyard dates from 1627.
Most of the unique grave markers have a white enamel centerpiece painted with rich colors and surrounded with detailed black ironwork. Many of these have a lamp dangling from the post supporting the elaborate design, which gives the grave an eerily homey appearance. Ornately carved gravestones are present as well. The occupants’ graves are very close together with their burial plots haphazardly laid out. The brightly colored flowers placed on many of these graves and flourishing green plants throughout give the cemetery a wild appearance.
The catacombs are built into the cliff above this cemetery and a small fee is charged to tour them.
From journal Salzburg: Baroque Splendor
July 4, 2002
From journal Salt of Salzburg
June 26, 2001
The church is a former monestary and there is an adoration chapel where we spent a peaceful minute in silent prayer. In the vestibule of the church there are machines where for a few coins you can listen to the history of the church and its treasures.
From journal 2 Days in Salzburg