Salzburg Cathedral first existed as an 8th-century Romanesque building, but this building burned down twice in 1127 and 1167. An even larger Romanesque building was later erected, becoming the largest church north of the Alps, but the building also burned down in 1598 and was finally demolished in 1606. The present Baroque building was constructed between 1614 and 1628, during the Thirty Years' War. In October 1944, the cathedral dome collapsed during an air raid on Salzburg. From 1945 to 1959, the cathedral was renovated and the dome rebuilt. The building is now a UNESCO World Heritage Site together with the historic city centre of Salzburg.
St. Peter's Abbey is the oldest abbey of the Benedictine congregation in Austria and the oldest in the German-speaking area. It was founded by St. Rupert around the year 696 as a base for the mission of the inhabitants of the Eastern Alps. In 1622, Archbishop Paris von Lodron erected the University of Salzburg under the Benedictine monastery, which remained closely linked to the abbey until the end in 1810.
The Franciscan church, which owes its name to the fact that it belongs to a Franciscan monastery, is one of the oldest churches in Salzburg's Old Town. It was built in the 8th century and until 1139 it belonged to the Benedictine Monastery of St. Peter. Between 1130 and 1583 it was the church of the convent of the Benedictine nuns' wives of St. Peter's, and after 1189 it was the parish church of the city until 1628. The present church building dates from the 12th and 15th centuries, which can be seen with the original Romanesque nave basilica with its cross-ribbed vault, followed by a delicate late Gothic choir with a star-shaped vault of the same width as the nave. In 1592, the church was handed over to the newly called Franciscans as a monastery church.