Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Austria 2016
Salzburg Celebrates 200 Years of Being Part of Austria

ISSUE DATE: 30 April 2016


In 2016 Salzburg will celebrate a very special anniversary: in May 1816 the Kingdom of Bavaria ceded Salzburg to the Hapsburgs, meaning that it has now been part of Austria for 200 years. The province is celebrating this event by putting on a special exhibition in the Salzburg Museum, Austrian Post is celebrating it by issuing a commemorative stamp. The earliest evidence of human occupation in what is now the Salzburg region dates from the Stone Age. 
Until the 5th century A.D. the area was occupied by the Romans, and later by the Bajuwaren or Bavarians. During the 8th century Bishop Rupert of Worms – now the patron saint of Salzburg – built the church of St. Peter on the site of the current cathedral and founded St. Peter’s Abbey and the Nonnberg Abbey convent. Salzburg soon became an archdiocese. 

Hohensalzburg Castle, which still sits high above the city on the Festungsberg, dates from the 11th century. From the 14th century onwards, Salzburg was an independent prince-bishopric, the archbishops also being politically powerful princes. The province was made rich by salt and gold mining.

Salzburg means "Salt Castle" (Latin: Salis Burgium).

At the time of the Counter-Reformation Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau (1559 – 1617) played an important part in Salzburg, and the buildings which he erected still characterise the city today: Salzburg Cathedral, the Residenzplatz and Mozartplatz can all be traced back to his plans, as can the Neue Residenz and Mirabell Palace. At the end of the 18th century the city became the centre of the Enlightenment in southern Germany, this period including the creative outpouring of the great musical genius Mozart, who was born in Salzburg in 1756. Following the chaos of the Napoleonic Wars, the pronouncements of the Vienna Congress and the Treaty of Munich, both the city and the province were finally restored to Austria in 1816, and thus came under the dominion of the Hapsburgs. 

The subject of the stamp is Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau’s armour. The opulent suit of armour – at that time it was not uncommon for ecclesiastical dignitaries to possess such an item for ceremonial purposes – was made up of approximately 40 individual components, which could be combined accordingly, depending upon the type of tournament. Wolf Dietrich’s armour shows no signs of wear and tear. It was probably made in Milan after his election in 1587, and is remarkable for the extravagant gilt and blackened etched decoration on all individual elements. 
In the chaos of the early 19th century, when Salzburg was definitively ceded to Austria, the armour was broken up, and the individual components are now scattered across various collections in Germany, Russia and Great Britain. The engraved stamp depicts the body armour, helm and arm braces from the Bavarian National Museum in Munich, and the armour of the Prince Archbishop is also the centrepiece of the regional exhibition “Bishop. Emperor. Everyman. 200 years of Salzburg in Austria” which will be on show at the Salzburg Museum from 30th April to 30th October 2016 to celebrate this special anniversary year. 

Stamp images thanks to Austrian Post - Österreichische Post
La Poste