Stiftkirche St. Peter

DESTINATIONS austria salzburg the altstadt stiftkirche-st-peter

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Stiftkirche St. Peter

The most sumptuous church in Salzburg, St. Peter's is where Mozart's famed Great Mass in C Minor premiered in 1783, with his wife, Constanze, singing the lead soprano role. Wolfgang directed the orchestra and choir and also played the organ. During every season of the city's summer music festival in August, the work is performed here during a special church-music concert. The porch has beautiful Romanesque vaulted arches from the original structure built in the 12th century; the interior was decorated in the voluptuous late-baroque style when additions were made in the 1770s. Note the side chapel by the entrance, with the unusual crèche portraying the Flight into Egypt and the Massacre of the Innocents. Behind the Rupert Altar is the "Felsengrab," a rock-face tomb where—according to a legend—St. Rupert himself was originally buried. To go from the sacred to the profane, head for the abbey's legendary Weinkeller restaurant, adjacent to the church.

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