Places Every Sound of Music Fan Should Visit in Salzburg
Salzburg is likely to be on your bucket list if The Sound of Music is one of your favorite films. The birthplace of Mozart, this beautiful city in Europe is worth a trip by itself, or at least a great place to stop if you are traveling to Austria (Vienna is three hours away by train) or Germany (Munich is 90 minutes by train). Here are a few places that every Rodgers and Hammerstein fan should visit when they visit Salzburg.
One of the most famous musical films, The Sound of Music, which was filmed in 1965 is still very popular today. Several hundred thousand tourists flock to Salzburg, Austria to walk in the footsteps of the legendary Von Trapp family.
Fortunately, most of the places featured in the film are located in and around the city center. Stop by the Mirabellgarten, where Maria and the children sang “Do-Re-Mi” on the steps of the green arbor, on the steps leading up to Pegasus Fountain, and at several other key locations in the garden.
The archbishop Wolf Dietrich, who designed this garden in 1606 as a gift for his mistress, had it landscaped in a Baroque style with a lot of beautiful flowers, marble sculptures, water fountains and ample opportunities to reenact scenes from the movies.
Mirabell Gardens is the site of Maria and the Von Trapp children dancing around the Pegasus Fountain, leaping up and down the steps, and also running through the hedge maze tunnel, all the while admiring the magnificent Fortress of Hohensalzburg in the distance. The location of this film is accessible for free, and you should not miss it.
The Schloss Hellbrunn is home to the gazebo, where Liesel and Rolf sang “16 Going on 17” and Captain von Trapp and Maria performed “Something Good.” The yellow walls also serve as a direct tribute to Maria’s “I Have Confidence” tune, which features several popular sites in and around Salzburg, including the Residenzplatz, Residenz Fountain, and the “Horse Pond” in Karajanplatz. The cost of admission is $15, which includes audio tours.
The Felsenreitschule (Summer Riding School)
The magnificent building built into the imposing Mönchsberg in Salzburg’s Old City is the scene for the last performance by the Von Trapp Family Singers before their escape. Today it serves as a theatre and concert venue.
It was originally intended to be a cathedral but was converted by the archbishop into a riding school where tournaments were held. Today it is one of Salzburg’s most popular concert venues, where the real Von Trapps won the Salzburg Music Festival in 1936. This Sound of Music filming location was used to film scenes where the Captain sings “Edelweiss” and his family joins him on stage to sing “So Long, Farewell”.
Although the interior shots of Nonnberg Abbey were not filmed there, the exterior of the building was used in the film. It is where the real Maria once lived as a postulant.
The Nonnberg Abbey was founded in 714 and is the oldest female convent north of the Alps. Four scenes, including the nuns’ scene in the courtyard, Maria leaving the monastery, the kids visiting her at the monastery, and Nazis pursuing the Von Trapp family, were filmed in Nonnberg.
Visitors will notice that the interior of the Abbey is different from the movie. Because filming was not permitted in the historic convent, the interior scenes were shot in a Hollywood studio. A highlight of the abbey if you can get up early is to go and listen to the Gregorian chants from the nuns at 6:45 in the morning inside of the beautiful Gothic abbey.
St. Peter’s Monastery, Cemetery and Catacombs
Toward the end of the movie, the family attempts to hide from the Nazis in a cemetery during their escape. In reality, these scenes were shot at St. Peter’s Monastery, Cemetery, and Catacombs, which you are welcome to visit and enjoy a Mozart Dinner Concert in its Baroque Hall today.
The beautiful Petersfriedhof Cemetery served as the inspiration for the cemetery constructed on the set for the scene towards the end of the movie in which the Von Trapp family hide from the Nazis behind tombstones. In addition to being the resting place of Mozart’s sister, Nannerl, this is also the resting place of Max Detweiler, the “Uncle Max” from the movie.
The cemetery ranks among the oldest (and most beautiful) cemeteries in the world and is Salzburg’s oldest Christian cemetery. The catacombs carved into the rocks of Mönchsberg provide a stunning view over the beautiful Cemetery and should not be missed when you are on a Sound of Music tour in Salzburg.
Schloss Leopoldskron is about 20 minutes from the city center and serves as the lakefront facade of the Von Trapp family home. Today, the property is a hotel. The lake might look familiar to you, but that’s because the scene in which Maria and the children fall out of the rowboat when they see Captain von Trapp waiting on the shore was filmed here.
Leopoldskron Palace is regarded as one of the most important filming locations for the Sound of Music because it was used as a primary backdrop for the lakeside settings of the Von Trapp family home. Although the interior of the mansion was never filmed in the film, the palace’s gold Venetian ballroom and foyer were rebuilt in Hollywood for the interior scenes.
The palace is today a boutique hotel that offers guests a unique chance to savor the film’s location up-close and to take a peek into the actual Venetian ballroom. During your stay at this hotel, you will have the complete Sound of Music experience, as you will live in the home of the Von Trapp family in the film.
If you do not wish to stay at the hotel, you may view the Palace from a distance from the west side of the lake.
Take A Day Trip To Mondsee
About an hour away from Salzburg in the town of Mondsee is the Basilica St. Michael, the lovely church where Maria and Captain von Trapp were married in the film. In addition, the journey to Mondsee takes you past Lake Wolfgang and Lake Fuschl, which were pictured in panorama shots at the beginning of the film.
This is a must-see for any fan of the Sound of Music. Make a full-day trip out of visiting this area and stroll through the town, take a refreshing dip in the lake, visit the nearby forest, and savor some delicious seafood right beside the lake.
Mt. Untersberg is featured twice in the Sound of Music, once in the opening sequence, in which Maria is singing the “Sound of Music” and again when the family is escaping over the mountain to Switzerland while singing “Climb Every Mountain”. Fans can easily reach Mount Untersberg via bus from Salzburg in about 30 minutes and reach the top by cable car. More adventurous travelers can hike up to the top in 2 hours. At an elevation of 1,853 meters above the Salzburg basin, Mt. Untersberg offers stunning views of the region and is well worth the trip from Salzburg.
You can learn more about the Von Trapp family’s history or behind-the-scenes stories about the filming of the movie by taking part in a four-hour tour by Panorama Tours where, for about $50 Euros per person, you may sing along to all of your favorite Sound of Music songs and tour several locations featured in the film. Just look for the big bus with Julie Andrews painted on it—you cannot miss it!
For 35 Euros per adult, Fräulein Maria’s Bicycle Tour provides a great way to see the sights on two wheels, with many of the same stops on a 3.5-hour tour of the city. Diehard fans of The Sound of Music may also take a fifteen-minute bus ride from the city center to visit Villa Trapp, the real home to the Von Trapp family, which you can tour or stay in.
You may be interested in https://europeantravel.blog/austria-neuschwanstein-and-southern-bavaria-tour-plan/
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