Walking through the streets of Salzburg’s “Altstadt”, one is immediately plunged into an era of splendour. Sophisticated and colorful baroque facades line intricate streets, lane ways and squares of this beautiful city. Majestic spires and cupolas of churches , reminiscent of the medieval and renaissance periods of European history, transform the skyline. Walking down Kapitelgasse, and looking back down this beautiful lane I could not but admire the classical beauty of Salzburg with its exquisite buildings, simplistic yet elegantly designed.
Walking slowly through an old narrow lane way in the Altstadt, I paused in awe. Unique facades unlike anything I had experienced, lined narrow winding paths. The street, almost hidden, renown for its archaic goldsmiths peddling their antique craft connected numerous arcades to the Old Marketplace. Beautifully designed and decorated medieval and baroque facades complemented by colourful bouquets lined the elegant buildings. The picturesque and archaic surroundings manifested a feeling of nostalgia, a sense of timeless beauty whispering within one’s heart.
The Venetian bay was calm, as the sun cast forth its luminous rays upon the quiet town stirring in the early hours of the morning. The beauty of the Renaissance era was manifested splendidly against the calm deep blue of the ocean. I paused in awe and looked out yonder in profound reverie. In a moment of serenity, I pondered, how the creative beauty of mankind blended so perfectly with the majesty of nature.
The faint echo of my footsteps disappeared into the silence. An aura of sanctity so profound manifested itself within the monastery. The buildings seemed archaic, yet the passing of centuries had merely enhanced their beauty. Decaying yet dignified, the monastery walls and church were marvellous to look upon in their simplistic beauty. As I stood looking upon an archaic facade, a monk with flowing black robes suddenly came up to me full of joy and smiling. His speech resonated with a beautiful melody, rich and resonant. I could not help but look upon his face in wonder. The thought fleetingly crossed my mind “Is he slightly mad?”. After a few moments, looking upon the purity of his disposition, I felt ashamed of my thoughts and merely stood in silence. The monk radiated a childlike innocence and joy, yet his words were filled with wisdom and love as he gave me his blessing and wished me well upon my journey. I stood for a long time in silence, not wanting to leave, sensing that I was in the presence of someone special. It was with a heavy heart that I eventually walked away deep in thought. I often think of this unknown monk. The purity of his warm eyes and loving words have left me a lasting impression. A monk living a simplistic life dedicated to prayer and fasting yet somehow filled with profound peace and joy.
The scent of fresh air following rainfall was still lingering in the cold winter wind, as I ascended the winding cobblestone road leading into the heart of the city. Archaic pathways opened up into splendid squares, surrounded by elegant buildings decorated with a brilliant array of vibrant colours, emphasising the cultural splendour of Germany’s medieval cultural heritage.
Walking along the narrow cobblestone street I paused before an old wooden brown door decorated with cast iron adornments. Unperturbed, I pushed the door, which groaned heavily and proceeded up the dimly lit passageway. The sound of people walking in the street dwindled as I wound my way up a narrow ancient corridor, until arriving at an archaic stairwell. I looked up in wonder at the winding staircase; the yellow glow along the walls was penetrated by the gentle blue of the sky breaking through in the distant heights. Faded walls with a multitude of cracks permeated their surface forming an archaic tapestry. Every line seemed to manifest a mysterious tale, centuries old. The simplistic beauty of this renaissance stairwell stirred the depths of my imagination, making me yearn for a bygone era.
A rugged path hewn out of solid rock meandered its way down the quaint old town. Various paths, as if out of a children’s fairytale seems to pop up when least expected to my delight. Turning back, I was struck by the brilliant blue widow shutters contrasted against a faded stone wall. Pausing for long moments, I pondered how the architecture blended beautifully with the sky and land, simple, rugged yet naturally beautiful.
Pausing along the banks of the old town I looked out across the river. The night air gently caressed my face as the sound of the water flowing soothed my thoughts. The golden glow of lights illuminated the bridge brilliantly as it stretched forth, traversing the great expanse of water decorated with dancing lights. A sense of adventure stirred my heart, as I crossed the vast iron bridge, stepping onto an archaic cobblestone road. The transformation was immediate as I entered the old section of the city. Disappearing into a secluded street, I paused and looked down the empty street, illuminated by the warm glow of street lamps. Beautiful facades of buildings from a bygone era manifested their magnificence in the stillness of the night.
Walking hurriedly through the city square, I skirted the narrow walkway dodging the pedestrians while simultaneously glimpsing the diversity of their facial expressions, something which never ceased to amaze me. The smell of cigarettes and croissants, mingled with the aroma of coffee and sound of traffic as the city stirred from its slumber. Suddenly, I found myself standing by a riverbank. The transition was amazing. On one side of the river, cafes, bookshops and artisans peddled their wares. In stark contrast, across the bridge, archaic buildings, with beautiful facades reflected the creative splendour of the Renaissance mysteriously lined the river.
Walking hurriedly through the city square, I skirted the narrow walkway dodging the pedestrians while simultaneously glimpsing the diversity of their facial expressions, something which never ceased to amaze me. The smell of cigarettes and croissants, mingled with the aroma of coffee and sound of traffic as the city stirred from its slumber. I glanced up in the sky, noticing the soft radiant aura of sunrise and hastened quickly down the road, looking quickly left and right before madly dashing across the main thoroughfare. Suddenly, I found myself standing by a riverbank looking beyond a river of blue, fast flowing water towards the old city. The transition was amazing. As the sun’s rays cast forth their gentle light permeating the morning mist heralding sunrise, a myriad of vibrant colours illuminated the distant shoreline. Archaic buildings, resplendent with beautiful facades simplistically but elegantly ordained, created a truly picturesque scene, manifesting the creative splendour of the Renaissance.
The narrow village paths lined with colourful restaurants and intricate bouquets adorning the decaying medieval walls, straddled the main stream meandering through the centre of the town. A ring of forested mountains complemented by a crystal clear lake embraced this medieval picturesque town huddled within the footsteps of the Alps. Centuries old towns with cobblestone streets, ramparts, archaic castles and cathedrals from the medieval and renaissance periods with colourful facades and hidden passageways plunged one literally into the tales and story books of ones childhood. Flamboyant characters such as Molière and D’Artagnan suddenly came to life, manifesting the sophistication and elegance of French Culture.
Crossing the busy road, I walked briefly up a narrow path before suddenly turning right. The transition was amazing to behold. An archaic cobblestone street opened up into a beautiful square. Ornate Renaissance buildings complete with antiquated wooden iron gilded doors plunged me into a bygone era. A beautiful fountain caught my attention. Moving slowly towards it, oblivious to the sounds around me I gazed at the depiction of “The Baptism of Christ by St. John the Baptist”. The solemnity and reverence in the statues’ expressions struck a chord in my heart. For long moments I gazed upon the figure of Christ, He whom I loved most and reflected on the most beautiful manifestation of sacrifice and pure love. Eventually I turned away and was greeted by a most beautiful facade. The cobblestone street gave way paying homage to a large archaic wooden door magnificently framed by multiple roman arches, a reminder of Lyon’s glorious past.