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From: 2013.09.19 To: 2013.09.24
Like many festivals with religious roots, Rupertikirday in Salzberg has become a day or two off work and an excuse for drinking with friends and family. However it's also when Salzberg was founded and Christianized. The story goes like this: back in the eighth century, a war-torn Roman city called Juvavum was chosen by a bishop named Rupert as the site of his new basilica and pagan conversion project. The city, ripe for change since it was going through a difficult postwar starvation, was quick to see Rupert was going to boost the local economy, and admired him for he was said to be a kind, helpful soul. Rupert ordained locals into priests and built a basilica, and voila, a Christian city named "Salzburg" was born. Interestingly, the new name was more related to the local economy than Christianity. Salzberg translates to "salt-tower," and refers to the tollhouses on the Salzach river in the city that used to collect money from the passing barges transporting salt. Nowadays, the city is more memorable as the birthplace of Mozart and the stage for "A Sound of Music." While the holiday intends to honor Rupert, it's also a celebration of Salzberg through the ages. And that's seconded by the fact that good food, street performances, festive music and carousal rides offer lasting, timeless fun.