By Katie Stanley
On Friday the 15th of March, those of us who hadn’t already bought plane tickets for the weekend gathered in the classroom early in the morning to participate in a research project under the organization called “Salzburg Research” (http://www.salzburgresearch.at/). Salzburg Research is a research and technology firm which, among other topics, has been investigating methods of E-tourism and connecting people to the history of Salzburg. The project we participated in was one concerning cultural heritage —what it means to us and how we as foreigners have seen it displayed in Salzburg. Our section was just part of a greater EU project called Creative CH ( creative-heritage.eu), which seeks to discover new ways to connect culture to science and technology, as well as the everyday person.
After a short introduction and questionnaire, we were granted the opportunity to embark on a walking tour of Salzburg, but with a twist. Our eager guides, one from the Salzburg Town Archive, wanted to show us Salzburg through a different lens: the perspective of “Americans in Salzburg.” Though most Americans are not aware, the United States had a strong presence in Salzburg post-World War II, and the metaphorical fossils of that occupation are still hidden throughout the city. These were the remnants pointed out to us as we traversed the now very familiar streets of Salzburg. Our guides also provided us with packets of old photos, showing the same buildings we saw on the tour, yet of how they looked in a time long past.
There was, for example, a snapshot of American soldiers in front of the iconic Café Tomaselli, or the photo of Linzergasse 29, destroyed by a bomb. Though rather cold in the eternal snowfall of a Salzburg winter, we were intrigued to see and learn the history of our new second home. The guides were engaging and empathetic, so we were able to learn much about a new dimension of Salzburg.
For more information about the project, visit the website: creative-heritage.eu