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6 Charming Sights for Fans of The Sound of Music

Embark on a journey to Salzburg, where the magic of The Sound of Music comes to life. Explore the real history behind the film as you visit Nonnberg Abbey, where the real Maria von Trapp was a novice. Dance and sing in the iconic Mirabell Gardens, reminiscent of the beloved “Do-Re-Mi” scene. Feel the romance at the Mondsee Cathedral, where Maria and the Captain exchanged vows. Catch a unique marionette performance and witness the majestic views from Hohensalzburg Fortress.

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Music, Film and Salzburg: The Sound of Music Connection 

Do you have a favorite song from The Sound of Music? Mine is “Climb Ev’ry Mountain.” This powerful ballad, sung by Mother Abbess, urges us to pursue our dreams and overcome any obstacles that come our way. Its inspiring lyrics and emotional delivery make it an anthem of hope. 

But pause, if you’re not familiar with Salzburg, Austria, or The Sound of Music, hopefully I can help you out a bit. Salzburg, a charming city located in the foothills of the Alps and the birthplace of Mozart, also happens to be the filming location of one of the most beloved movies of all time – The Sound of Music! 

The movie has captivated audiences worldwide for decades, and Salzburg provides a unique opportunity to dive into the world of the Von Trapp family and explore the places that inspired the film. From the picturesque hills where Maria and the children sang “Do-Re-Mi” to the grandeur of the Mirabell Gardens where they danced and twirled, the city is filled with iconic locations that will transport you into the movie’s enchanting world. 

But before we embark on this magical journey, let’s take a moment to understand some of the real history behind The Sound of Music. It’s important to grasp the true story to fully appreciate the connection of this movie to Salzburg. 

The Sound of Music: The Real-Life Inspiration 

In reality, the von Trapp family did exist, and their story unfolded during a tumultuous time in Austria’s history. Just like in the movie, Captain Georg von Trapp was a retired naval officer and widower who hired Maria as a tutor for his children. Their relationship blossomed, and they indeed got married. 

Renowned for their musical talents, the von Trapp family embarked on a journey as a singing group. Their voices and performances captured the hearts of people around the world. They became celebrated for their musical talents, spreading joy and inspiration wherever they went. 

However, it’s important to note that the movie took some artistic liberties with the true events. For instance, the family did not actually escape by hiking over the mountains to Switzerland. In reality, their departure from Austria involved a train journey to Italy before eventually settling in the United States. Their decision to leave Austria was driven by their opposition to the Nazi regime and their refusal to perform for Hitler. 

Despite these differences, The Sound of Music beautifully captured the essence of the von Trapp family’s journey and their profound love for music. 

Follow The Melodies: Salzburg’s Iconic Movie Sites 

Now that we have a deeper understanding of the story’s roots, let’s discover the must-see locations and tours that will bring the magic of The Sound of Music to life in Salzburg: 

Starting with the Mirabell Gardens. Remember that iconic scene when Maria and the von Trapp children sang “Do-Re-Mi” while prancing around the fountains and statues? Well, you can relive that magical moment right here! Strike a pose and sing your heart out (I talk a lot about this beautiful place here).

Nonnberg Abbey

Now the real Maria von Trapp, upon whom the character of Maria in the movie is based, was indeed a novice at Nonnberg Abbey in Salzburg. She was sent there by her mother at the age of 18, and after a period of contemplation, decided that she wanted to become a nun. However, she was deemed unsuitable for the religious life due to her health issues. Nevertheless, her time at the abbey had a profound impact on her life and she remained connected to the nuns there for the rest of her life. 

Visit the Nonnberg Abbey and imagine walking in her footsteps and feeling the spiritual energy that inspired her journey. It’s a humbling experience that connects you to both the movie and Salzburg’s rich cultural heritage. 

Hellbrunn Palace

If Captain von Trapp’s heartfelt rendition of “Edelweiss” resonates with you, then make sure to visit the gazebo where the song was performed. Located in the gardens of Hellbrunn Palace, this spot allows you to relive the tender moment captured on screen. 


Take a short ride to the charming town of Mondsee. This is where the famous wedding scene took place at the Mondsee Cathedral. Stand at the altar where Maria and the Captain said their vows and relish the romance of this special moment. Come to think of it, this is a great place for a marriage proposal. *Hint Hint* Okay, I’m sure that’s not an original idea. 

Salzburg Marionette Theatre

For a delightful twist, catch a performance at the Salzburg Marionette Theatre. This renowned theater brings The Sound of Music to life in a truly unique way. Watch as the marionettes dance and sing, recreating the film’s most beloved scenes. It’s like witnessing the magic of the movie unfolding before your eyes. 

Hohensalzburg Fortress

And let’s not forget the majestic Hohensalzburg Fortress, perched high above the city. Not only does it offer breathtaking panoramic views, but it also has its own connection to the movie. Remember Maria’s “I Have Confidence” scene? This is where she stood, gazing out at the cityscape with unwavering determination. 

As you explore Salzburg, keep an eye out for plaques and markers that commemorate the filming locations of The Sound of Music. 

The Sound of Music Tour

In Salzburg, there are plenty of opportunities to delve deeper into the real history behind the movie by visiting the locations associated with the von Trapp family. To discover even more iconic movie scenes, such as the breathtaking Leopoldskron Palace that served as the von Trapp family home, join The Sound of Music Tour. This guided tour will transport you straight into the heart of the film, exploring the stories behind each location. Booking a tour in advance is recommended and can be easily done on the official website.

If you’re intrigued by Salzburg’s connection to The Sound of Music, you might also want to check out “12 Reasons Why Salzburg Should Be on Your Traveler List.” It’s one of my favorite urban destinations! 

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