Paul Wallach’s large scale, site-specific sculpture DOWN TO THE GROUND occupies an area of 2000 square meters on Salzburg’s Krauthügel at the base of the city’s historic fortress. Comprised of 70 white concrete blocks rising 40 cm from the ground, the full form of DOWN TO THE GROUND can only be appreciated from the imposing heights of the Hohensalzburg Castle walls.

The sculpture from this perspective reveals itself as a four-pointed star radiating from the green meadow of the Krauthügel in spring and summer and disguised in winter when the snows have fallen. Our universal spatial conceptions are abruptly inversed as we look down upon a star shining upwards. Inscribed into the landscape, the work resolves into what the artist has described as a “ landscape drawing”.


The sculpture for the Krauthügel, Wallach’s hitherto largest project, weighs a total of 200 tons and if aligned vertically its 320 meter perimeter would reach the top of the Eiffel Tower. Despite its monumental dimensions, DOWN TO THE GROUND is also intended to be experienced at a human scale. Openings at either end of the star allow visitors to traverse the sculpture’s inner space. Art historian Doris von Drathen describes the work as: “a composition, an open invitation to be explored physically as a place to sit down, lean on, or wander through, a designated space for emptiness, a framed lawn, an intensification of the celestial dome above, a dancing equilibrium for those who climb onto its edges, a place delineated and yet open, a topology of the non-territorial.”

Experiencing the installation on different levels is fundamental to the artist: “The movement of the visitors, and the viewpoint of their observations lie at the core of the work’s conception. The site of the work is not only the field, but also the space that unfolds between fortress, field and mountain. The conscious observation of the encompassing space requires the visitors’ physical movement. The expanse of the field and the height of the mountain combine with my work to render this space palpable.” (Paul Wallach)

Wallach’s sculpture was installed in March 2018 as the culmination of the Salzburg Foundation’s five-year “Krauthügel Art Project” and was realized in cooperation with the Bonn based Foundation for Art and Culture and St. Peter’s Archabbey, Salzburg.

Since it’s installation, the popularity of DOWN TO THE GROUND has been extended far beyond the confines of Salzburg by way of a dedicated live cam which beams a continuous live stream of the artwork throughout the world.

A time-lapse video, chronicling the installation of the work and its transformation throughout the seasons and times of day can also be found on this website.

Down to the Ground 

time lapse video 03.2018 – 03.2019

John Cage – In a Landscape (1948)
performed by Yvar Mikhashoff



Artistic and Project Direction:
Walter Smerling
Karl Gollegger
Salzburg Foundation
Die Stiftung für Kunst und Kultur

Krauthügel Estate:
Erzabt Korbinian Birnbacher OSB, Erzabtei St. Peter, Salzburg

Generous Supporters of Down to the Ground:
Harriet Appel
Familie Jürgen Donicht
Martina Eichner
Véronique Jaeger, Galerie Jeanne Bucher Jaeger, Paris
Angelika and Hans-Jörg Hofer
Jean-Marie and Carlota Painvin
Rudolf Zrost/Leube Baustoffe

Construction and Realization:
Andreas Knittel
Baumeister Ing. Johannes Heissenberger
Johann Staudinger/STS Fertigteile GmbH
Andrea Bombonati

Website, Tech & Video production:
Jakob Guggenberger/Show2Go

Georges Poncet

Drone Photo:
Doktoro Drone – AirNail

Special Thanks:
Festung Hohensalzburg, Burgen und Schlösser Betriebsführung
Waltraud Forelli-Wallach


Imprint & Copyright

Paul Wallach

Any kind of comercial use of the works displayed on this website or parts of them is strictly forbidden.