One of the most famous Salzburg attractions is Mirabellgarten, a large formal garden in the heart of the Neustadt (‘New City’) on the right bank of the River Salzach. A favourite place for Salzburgers to relax on Sunday afternoons, this elegant garden is world-renowned as the place where Maria taught the Trapp children to sing ‘Do Re Mi’ in the film version of The Sound of Music.
Children love to visit the stylised Pegasus statue well known from the film. But just a few steps away from this lively fountain, there’s even more for them to see and do. A few yards beyond, on the right (as you face the Festung on its mountain across the river), a short set of steps lead to the Zwergerlgarten or ‘Dwarf Garden’. Here you’ll find statues of gnomes with grotesque features, many of which were modelled on real people from the court of the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. Originally built during the reign of Franz Anton Harrach in 1715, the garden has been remodelled over the years and some of the statues lost. Those that remain, however, stand along a shady path, one of the best-kept secrets of Salzburg.
From the elevation of the Dwarf Garden, you can see the children’s playground just below. It offers children alike a place to let off some steam while their adults take a break from sightseeing. To get to it, retrace your steps to the steps behind the Pegasus statue. Turn left at the stop of the steps and follow the path down and around to the right. Its long, enclosed slide is particularly popular with youngsters. If you plan to visit Salzburg with children, be sure not to miss Mirabellgarten!