Wednesday, July 18, 2007


Economical and cultural center of western Áustria, Innsbruck is a beautiful city surrounded by the Alps. Capital of the state of Tirol, the city has already been the center of the Holy Roman Empire in the 15th and 16th centuries. Today it is an important center of winter sports, but visited all year round.

Innsbruck was the third city of an itinerary made by train in Austria and Switzerland in May 2007. The historical center is compact e must be explored on foot. The nearby attractions can be visited using the public transportation.

The Maria Theresia Street, in the center of the city, is the main street. The historical center is situated on the north extremity of the street. On the south extremity is situated the Triumphal Arch, inspired on those of Rome.

In the Maria Theresia Street is situated the St. Anna's Column, built in 1706. On the left, a detail of the base of the column with the mountains the surround the city as background.

In the historical center we can find buildings from various periods of history, restaurants e commerce. The architectural style of the buildings and the contrast with the Alps mountains offer excellent subjects for photography.

One of the most photographed attractions of the historical center is the Golden Roof - a luxury three stage balcony, where the emperor Maximilian I used to watch the tournaments on the square bellow.

The City Tower, also situated in the historical center, is a former prison built in the 15th century. From its top it is possible to appreciate the view of the center, the surrounding areas and the mountains around.

The St. James Cathedral, of baroque style, was heavily damaged during the Second World War and was totally restored.

The city is situated very close to Alps Mountains, offering beautiful views in every direction. Therefore, a visit to Innsbruck will not disappoint a dedicated photographer.

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Friday, July 13, 2007


Berchtesgaden is a quiet medieval alpine village situated in Bavaria, south Germany, close to the Austrian border. The village is situated among the peaks of the Watzmann mountain, which, according to a local legend, were once an evil royal family turned into rocks by God as a punishment.

Berchtesgaden is only 25 km from Salzburg. I visited the village for just some hours in May 2007, during my visit to Austria and Switzerland.

Typical alpine houses can be found in Marktplatz, in the center of the village. At one end of Marktplatz, a 16th-century arcade leads to Schlossplatz where is situated the Stiftskirche (Abbey Chuch), from 1122, and some of the oldest constructions of the town.

Left: the façade decoration of a house of Marktplatz.

The National Park of Berchtesgaden is a region of exuberant beauty, 5 km south of the village. There is situated the Königsee lake with steep mountains on its shores.

Saturday, July 7, 2007


Salzburg is the fourth largest Austrian city, capital of Salzburg State and situated amongst one of the most panoramic alpine sceneries of Europe. Originally a principality of the Holy Roman Empire, Salzburg was separated from Bavaria in the 14th century e joined Austria in 1816.

Salzburg was the second city of an itinerary made by train in Austria and Switzerland in May 2007. The attractions of the historical center can all be visited on foot.

Crossed by the Salzach River, the historical center of Salzburg is famous for its impressive e well preserved baroque architecture. The Hohensalzburg Fortress dominates the city. This is the biggest well preserved castle of central Europe.

A visit to the Hohensalzburg Fortress is mandatory. From its 122 meters of altitude, the fortress offers breath taking views of the historical center, the regions close to the city and the Alps.

Salzburg attracts, till today, tourists who wish to visit the sites which were used to shoot the 1965 film Sound of Music.

The front part of the Leopoldskron Palace was used as the residence of the Von Trapp family. The scene when the children fall in the water was filmed in the Lake Leopoldskron, in front of the palace. From the lake, we have privileged view of one of the landmarks of Salzburg: the Untersberg Mountain, situated between Germany and Austria.

The façade of Hellbrunn Palace has also been used as the residence of the Von Trapp family. Next to Hellbrunn, the Frohnburg Palace and the road in front of it were used as the back entrance of the family residence.

The glass pavilion used on the film, was reconstructed in the gardens of Hellbrunn Palace. The Residenz Square and Residenz Fountain were used in some sequences of the film with Maria.

On the film, the Mozart Bridge is crossed by Maria and the children as they stroll around the city. The entrance of Nonnberg Convent, where Maria was a novice, is shown in different takes along the film.

Maria and the children are seen dancing the gardens and stairs of Mirabell Palace on the film, scenes which still inspire new generations of fans.

The church where the marriage of Maria and Capitan Von Trapp was filmed is situated in the little town of Mondsee, not far from Salzburg. In real life, the marriage took place at the church of Nonnberg Convent.

Salzburg and its outskirts offer some unique opportunities for capturing great images. A dedicated photographer will not be disappointed with a visit to this beautiful city.

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