Who hasn’t heard and seen the ‘The Sound of Music?’ From Salzburg you can take a wonderful tour of the locations used in the movie The Sound of Music, which includes the historical and architectural landmarks of the baroque city of Salzburg. The city made famous by its son Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
The tour begins at the Mirabell Palace located in downtown Salzburg. I’m sure you still remember the song ‘Do-Re-Mi’ which was shot here at the Mirabell Palace gardens. Doe - a deer, a female deer, ray – a drop of golden sun, me – a name I call myself. At the Leopoldskron Palace lake a boating location shooting was done, showing the Captain’s backyard scene.
At the Hellbrum Palace, you’ll find the gazebo, which was rebuilt especially for the movie fans. Then you go to view the Nonnenberg Abbey, which is an active convent today, where the ‘real’ Maria was a novice, and where Maria and the Captain married in real life. The Abbey doesn’t allow visits within its walls, but you can trudge up to the Gothic church and attend the services.
It must be mentioned that Georg Ritter von Trapp (1880-1947) was born into the era of the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. He was promoted as an officer in the imperial and Royal Navy, and was highly decorated for his achievements. His wife Agathe Whitehead expired in 1922. Georg von Trapp moved to Salzburg with his seven children.
Maria Augusta Kutschera (1905-1987) arrived in his house as a governess. A short while later George von Trapp married ‘Gustl’ Kutschera. Three more children followed. His second wife’s practical common sense and strict organisational talent shaped the life of the family. In the 1930s the family lost all of its financial assets.
The soprano Lotte Lehmann recognised the musical talents of the family choir and encouraged them to enter the folk-singing competition which was organised as a part of the Salzburg Festival programme. The house-chaplain Franz Wasner became their artistic and creative conductor, manager, chorus master, as well as composer.
Since family Trappe rejected the Nazi ideology, they fled to the USA, where they performed numerous concerts which brought the family the much-needed dollars.. It was in Vermont where the Trapp family found a new homeland. There they went on organising music camps. The family still runs the Trapp Family Lodge, which has in the meantime been turned into a hotel. The family-story provided excellent material for the film screenplays and their famous musical The Sound of Music.
While in Salzburg, the Lake District is a must-visit destination, the scenery of which can be viewed at the start of the film, and the panorama of Lakes Fuschl and Wolfgang.
You can also visit the quaint little Austrian hamlet with the Mondsee cathedral, which appears in the wedding scene of the film. Austria, it might be noted, has over 500 theatres.
Royal hunts were held in Salzburg’s beautiful Lake District by Prince Archbishops. The Austrian Emperor Franz-Joseph and his family spent their summer vacations. This area is one of Austria’s loveliest regions. You drive along the Lake Fuschi, past the castle Fuschi to the historical village of St. Wolfgang along the banks of Lake Wolfgang. You can see the winged Gothic altar created by Michael Pacher and have a swig of the local beer at the White Horse Inn.
In St. Wolfgang you take the boat across the lake to St. Gilgen, a picturesque village, where Mozart’s mother was born. The ride along the lake of Mondsee leads to Salzburg.
In winter you can ride a horse-driven sleigh across the Austrian countryside---like in a fairytale. The brisk mountain air and the jingling of the bells make it an amazing experience. That’s Austrian lifestyle for you.