Salzburg is the fourth-largest city in Austria and the capital of the federal state of Salzburg.
Salzburg's "Old Town" (Altstadt) is internationally renowned for its baroque architecture and is one of the best-preserved city centers north of the Alps. It was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1997. The city has three universities and a large population of students. Tourists also visit Salzburg to tour the historic center and the scenic Alpine surroundings.
Salzburg was the birthplace of 18th-century composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. In the mid‑20th century, the city was the setting for the musical play and film The Sound of Music.
Traces of human settlements have been found in the area, dating to the Neolithic Age. The first settlements in Salzburg continuous with the present were apparently by the Celts around the 5th century BC.
Around 15 BC the Roman Empire merged the settlements into one city. At this time, the city was called "Juvavum" and was awarded the status of a Roman municipium in 45 AD. Juvavum developed into an important town of the Roman province of Noricum. After the Norican frontiers collapse, Juvavum declined so sharply that by the late 7th century it nearly became a ruin.
The Life of Saint Rupert credits the 8th-century saint with the city's rebirth. When Theodo of Bavaria asked Rupert to become bishop c. 700, Rupert reconnoitered the river for the site of his basilica. Rupert chose Juvavum, ordained priests, and annexed the manor Piding. Rupert named the city "Salzburg". He traveled to evangelise among pagans.
The name Salzburg means "Salt Castle". The name derives from the barges carrying salt on the Salzach River, which were subject to a toll in the 8th century as was customary for many communities and cities on European rivers. The Festung Hohensalzburg, the city's fortress, was built in 1077 by Archbishop Gebhard, who made it his residence. It was greatly expanded during the following centuries.