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Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria, famous for its Alpine setting. Salzhburg's "Old Town" (Altstadt) was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997 and has internationally renowned baroque architecture in one of the best-preserved city centers north of the Alps. It is the birthplace of Mozart and the setting of the film musical "The Sound of Music."
Despite being a non-secular province with a Catholic Archbishop as the head of the state, the history of the Jews in Salzburg goes back several millennia. The first Jewish settlers arrived in the city when it was still under Roman rule and called Juvavum as a provincial town. Documents from the 12th century report the presence of a Jewish quarter and a street called "Judengasse" ("Jews alley"), near the Cathedral that is still called by that name today. There is also a record of a synagogue in the 13th century.
By 1492, Jews of Salzburg were expelled from the city. This ban prevented the development of a Jewish community until well into the 19th century, by then Salzburg had become part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. Many central figures of Salzburg's intellectual and cultural life from the late 19th century until Austria's annexation by Nazi Germany in 1938 were Jewish or of Jewish origin, such as Stefan Zweig, Max Reinhardt, Theodor Herzl, or Carl Zuckmayer.
Salzburg's Jewish community was decimated during the war and never fully recovered. Today, it consists of about 100 members. The synagogue was re-opened after the war and is still the center of Jewish culture and worship in Salzburg.
If you would like more information on our Jewish heritage tours in Salzburg, contact us now: