Salzburg was originally known as Juvavum, a trading stop on one of the Roman Empire’s most important routes. It declined during hard times after the Goths’ attack on Rome, and as the western part of the empire declined, so did Salzburg. All that remained was a small village.
In 696 AD the city was revived. Bishop Rupert was so fond of the area’s beauty that he re-named it Salzburg after the river Salzach, and made it an Episcopal See. His successors, the bishops Wolf Dietrich, Markus Sittikusand, and Paris Lodron, were instrumental in creating the Salzburg we know today, especially its majestic Baroque churches, palaces, and castles. Most of the cultural treasures, including the Altstadt (the Old Town) and the Hohensalzburg fortress, are in the western part of the city known as Salzachufer.
One of the world’s most outstanding geniuses, Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, was born here in 1756. His place of birth, Hagenauer Haus, still stands to this day.
After World War II, Salzburg became one of Austria’s most important commercial centres as well as one of its largest tourist destinations. One of the major reasons was the 1964 film, "Sound of Music."
The new Salzburg, with its banks, railway and bus stations, Mirabellplatz and many cheap hotels has sprung up on the right side of the river Rechtes Salzachufer.