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With 180 rooms the Residenz is very spacious; it is not associated with any particular architect nor does it have a uniform building concept. The first complex of buildings on this site dates back to the 15th century; Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau (ruled from 1587 to 1612) instigated a general renovation of the temporal residential and prestigious palace at the end of the 16th century. While this work was in progress he had a southern wing built on the side of the cathedral square with a magnificent staircase and the hall which admittedly not until the 18th century took its name from the life guard, the Carabinieri Saal. Johann Ernst Graf von Thun (ruled from 1687 to 1709) commissioned Johann Michael Rottmayr to decorate this hall with magnificent ceiling paintings.
Markus Sittikus von Hohenems (ruled from 1612 to 1619) had previously had the wing on the side of the Alter Markt and the building adjoining the Churfürststrasse built. After completion of the building of the cathedral the two-storey Residenz appeared to be too low and so Guidobald Graf Thun (ruled from 1654 to 1668) added an extra floor and the attic (1664).
The inner courtyard of the Residenz is more or less enclosed on four sides and is an inviting location for comparatively intimate enjoyment of artistic performances in the open air. Mozart Serenades were given here from the 1920s; from 1953 to 1970 small-scale opera productions were staged here, for example Mozart’s La finta giardiniera, Così fan tutte, Die Entführung aus dem Serail, Lucio Silla, Zaide and Bastien und Bastienne. In 1614 Monteverdi’s “Favola in musica”, Orfeo was probably the first opera to be performed north of the Alps and it took place in the Residenz in Salzburg. The idea was for this opera to experience a revival in 1993. However, it began to pour with rain and so the performance had to be transferred to the Carabinieri Saal which also has a special atmosphere of its own but the acoustics are a problem, and so in 1997 it was decided to make a temporary roof for the courtyard in case of inclement weather.
Performances last took place in the Residenz in 2007: Heiner Müller’s Quartett in the Carabinieri Saal.