Posted on November 16, 2015 by Andrea Six
Salzburger Park is a half-acre piece of land next to Emmett Park that lies on Bay Street between the Lincoln and Abercorn Streets, marked by a sign, the Salzburger Monument of Reconciliation and its historical marker.
It was at this very place, on March 12, 1734, that first group of German-speaking Lutherans, known as the Salzburgers, landed in Georgia and were welcomed by General James Edward Oglethorpe. They were exiled from their homeland in Austria, because of their religious beliefs (they were Lutheran Protestants) in 1731, and after making their way to America, they temporarily stayed in Savannah before moving to their new home, Ebenezer, in what is now Effingham County.
The Salzburger Monument of Reconciliation
The most notable part of Salzburger Park is the towering stone with engravings of people along with their story. The monument was made out of green serpentine stone from the Hohe Tauern region of Austria, where the Salzburgers came from.
In 1984 Albert Winter visited Savannah from Salzburg noticed that there were no monuments to Austrians or Germans. He must have known someone special because soon after Anton Thuswaldner, a renowned Austrian sculptor, chiseled the exile story of the Salzburgers into stone, after receiving a commission from Dr. Hans Katschthaler, then Governor of the State of Salzburg.
Once finished, the piece was given to the Georgia Salzburger Society by the people of Salzburg, and first displayed in front of Christ Lutheran Church on the Salzach River in Salzburg, Austria in May 1994.
Then on September 5, 1994, the Salzburger Monument of Reconciliation was shipped from Austria, unveiled and dedicated to the Georgia Salzburger Society and given to the City of Savannah. Two years later, on February 9, 1996, the historical marker was dedicated and placed on the site near the monument. On July 9 of the same year, the half-acre site was officially named Salzburger Park, after the Georgia Salzburger Society petitioned the City Council of Savannah and it was unanimously approved.
For more information about this monument, you can contact the Georgia Salzburger Society at (912) 754-7001 or [email protected]