Museum der Moderne

This Museum of Modern Art is up on a cliff overlooking the city of Salzburg, Austria. If you don’t feel like walking up (which I didn’t because it was pouring rain the day I went up) there is an elevator inside the cliff which will take you up for a small fee. The elevator is called Mönchsbergaufzug (Monks’ Mountain Elevator) and can be accessed through Anton-Neumayr-Platz. I paid € 2.30 for a one-way ticket, because I wanted to walk down in the rain, but they also sell round-trip tickets in case you want to go down the same way. 

Entrance hall of the museum

Here is the entrance hall of the museum. I paid € 6.00 to get in, but that was with my senior discount. You younger folks will be charged € 8.00 (prices as of 2016). The name Museum der Moderne means literally “Museum of the Modern”. The word Art does not appear in the name, so people who have a more traditional concept of art are welcome to think of the exhibits as something else, if that makes them feel better.

Mobile Office by Hans Hollein

Among the many quirky things in the museum was this “Mobile Office” by Hans Hollein (1934-2014). It was an inflatable workspace, containing a telephone, a typewriter and a drawing board (Hollein was an architect, so he needed a drawing board) that could be transported in a suitcase and then pumped full of air at its destination. He demonstrated this on Austrian television in 1969, more or less as a joke or as a comment on modern working conditions “in the age of telecommunication.”

For the benefit of the younger generation, I should point out that a “typewriter” was a machine with a keyboard like a computer, but the keys were attached to metal rods that banged metal keys against an ink ribbon in front of a piece of paper. As I have explained in my post Cutting edge technology (of bygone decades) “your text appeared immediately on the paper. If you made a mistake there were various options, but often the only way was to put in a new sheet of paper and type it all again.” I once wrote a 192-page dissertation on one of these contraptions, shortly before getting my first computer in 1983.

As for the telephone in this mobile office, it has a round finger-operated dial that was typical of telephones from the 1920s to the 1980s and beyond. As I have mentioned in my post on the Musée des Arts et Métiers in Paris, this kind of dial “used to drive us crazy at work when we had to call up a list of, say, forty-five people. If somebody wasn’t home or the line was busy, there was no way to save the number so you had to dial it all over again and wait for it to go click-click-click after each digit. (Or click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click-click each time you had to dial a 0.)”

Cactus escaping

Another one I liked was this cactus escaping from its flower pot, though I neglected to note down who the artist was.


Since this is a large museum, they have plenty of room for temporary exhibitions. When I was there, they were showing one called “Affichomanie”, about the French craze for posters in the years we quaintly used to call “the turn of the century”.

The woods on Monks’ Mountain in the rain

After leaving the Modern Art Museum, I took a walk in the rain through the woods along the top of Monks’ Mountain.

Citizens’ Fortress in the rain

The trail went through this “Citizens’ Fortress”, which was first built in the 15th century. It was manned by the Salzburger Bürgergarde, a citizens’ militia that was first mentioned in a document from the year 1488.

Salzburg in the rain, from Monks’ Mountain

On the trail leading back down into the city, there are several viewpoints where you can look out over Salzburg in the rain.

Salzburg in the rain, on the way down the mountain

I used to think it was just my imagination, but after comparing the climate diagrams for the two cities on the website I can confirm that it really does rain more in Salzburg than in Frankfurt. Both the number of rainy days per month and the amount of precipitation in liters per square meter are much higher in Salzburg, roughly 40 % higher overall. So don’t forget to pack your umbrella or your rain cape or whatever kind of rain gear you use. Fortunately Salzburg still looks really nice on a rainy day, so don’t let a bit of rain bother you, okay?

Rainy days in Salzburg

My photos in this post are from 2016. I revised the text in 2017.

See more posts on the city of Salzburg, Austria.

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