The Rainberg is a hill in Salzburg and sometimes considered to the be smallest of the "Stadtberge" (city hills). Historically, it was the part of Salzburg with the first settlement in the Neolithic Age since 4500 B.C. Later, Celtic tribes developed a fortified town on the Rainberg that continued to be the centre of gravity for proto-Salzburg until the Romans took over and shifted the city to today′s Altstadt. The Rainberg is part of the district of Riedenburg, which is also the old name of the hill.
For visitors, the Rainberg is not open - it is a nature reserve and access is prohibited since 1955. It is surrounded by late 19th century villas, which were developed after 1880 in Historicist style. The hill is composed of the "Salzburger Konglomerat" rock, a conglomerate of mainly lime stone rubble that was mined here for millennia. From the early Middle Ages until it became a nature reserve in 1941, the Rainberg was one of the most important quarries for Salzburg.
Importance of the Rainberg
Especially during the Baroque age and in the second half of the 19th century, much of the conglomerate that was used for building originated from here. There are several tunnels in the Rainberg, of which some were developed to serve as bunkers. A few of them are still being used. Not the first time that the Rainberg was of strategic importance; another interesting instance for such an importance was in the peasant wars of 1525, when rioting farmers had their headquarter on the Rainberg during the siege of the fortress.
The Rainberg has an interesting micro-climate: It is very warm and thus home to rare species of animals and plants. In the Baroque age, there were vineyards on the Rainberg. In 2008, local boy scouts started a project to commemorate this tradition by planting vines on the flanks of the nearby Mönchsberg (at the Richterhöhe). One side of the Rainberg has been used as a meadow for many centuries; to maintain the vegetation, cattle is required to feed in this area. This is achieved with goats that are kept here only for conservationalist reasons.
Hidden Treasures of Salzburg
Wikipedia on the Rainberg in Salzburb