For myself and probably countless others, Sound of Music is one of the most iconic films of all time. The Sound of Music has been captivating audiences all over the world for fifty years, with its unforgettable musical numbers, the wonderful Julie Andrews, and of course, the dazzling Austrian landscapes that served as the perfect backdrop to the romance, excitement, and warmth of the film.
It is no wonder that the allure of the Sound of Music attracts over 300,000 tourists to Salzburg’s beautiful region each and every year. With countless tours, musical tributes, and landmark filming locations, Team Coco checks out all of the real-life filming locations in and around Salzburg, for a definitive guide to Salzburg’s very own Sound of Music.
Felsenreitschule / The Summer Riding School
During our visit to Salzburg, we got treated to a private tour of the Felsenreitschule or the Summer Riding School, where they filmed the Von Trapp family’s final performance and escape from the Salzburg Festival. Built into the rocky facade of the Mönschberg itself, the Felsenreitschule’s stone archways are the perfect example of the harmony of nature and city-life in Salzburg, and a milestone in innovative theatre design. Today, the Felsenreitschule is still one of Salzburg’s most important concert venues, and is a testament to the city’s undeniable love for music.
Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron
The Villa Von Trapp was one of the most dominant sets during the film, and a lot of its outdoor scenes were filmed at the exquisite Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron. Just a short drive away from Salzburg’s Old Town, the Schloss Leopoldskron is an extraordinary palace hotel with twelve modern suites, two town-houses, and fifty-five rooms in the estate’s Meierhof. With seven acres of beautifully manicured grounds, a stunning baroque library designed by Max Reindhart himself, and exquisite lake and mountain views, the Schloss Leopoldskron is definitely worth a visit, regardless if you are a Sound of Music fan or not.
Located right at the heart of the historical district, the Mirabell gardens served as the setting for Julie Andrew’s spirited rendition of Do-Re-Mi in the film. Originally built by Prince Archbishop Wolf Dietrich for his mistress in 1606, the Mirabell Palace is not only popular for being a Sound of Music filming location but also for being one of the world’s most beautiful wedding venues. Its pink marble Halls has been host to many young lovers in Salzburg, wishing to tie the knot in style. Die-hard Sound of Music fans will notice the Mirabell steps where the Von Trapp children were dancing on, as well as the tunnel where all the kids ran through at the beginning of the song.
St.Michael’s Church at Lake Mondsee
The picturesque Lake town of Mondsee is not only home to idyllic country views and azure waters, but is also the location of the famous St.Michael’s Church; which was the filming location for Maria and Captain Von Trapp’s wedding scene during the film. After basking in the majesty of the Cathedral’s blush hued interiors and secretly humming “How do you solve a problem like Maria” to yourself, enjoy a stroll around the charming town of Mondsee for an Austrian coffee and Apple Strudel, there no better way to spend the afternoon.
The Gazebo at Hellbrunn
Who can forget Liesl and Rolf’s “I am Sixteen going on Seventeen” number set in that unbelievably romantic gazebo at the beginning of the film. The same gazebo was also where Maria and Captain Von Trapp shared their first kiss during the song “Something Good”. While not its original location during filming, today, this gazebo can be found in the Hellbrunn Palace. Besides the gazebo, this seventeenth century Palace features beautiful Late renaissance architecture, acres of gorgeous gardens, and a series of mischievous trick fountains. These natural powered fountains will drench any unsuspecting visitors with surprise jets, mysterious grottos, and mechanical theatres — all powered by the natural water pressure of Hellbrunn Mountain.
The Sound of Music Trail Werfen
Last but not least — no Sound of Music themed visit to Salzburg would be complete without a trip to the glorious hills of Werfen. This beautiful little town is nestled between the mountains of Hochkönig, Tennengebirge, and the Hagengebirge and so offers the most breathtaking mountain vistas around. Take the Sound of Music Trail and retrace the Von Trapp’s steps up the Gschwandtanger – where Maria teaches the Von Trapp Children about the basics of do-re-mi. This gentle hike is about 1.4 kilometres long, and ends atop a hill with amazing alpine views, with the 900 year old Hohenwerfen castle in the background.
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