The Sound of Music has always been my favorite movie, as you might have guessed from the blog’s title. It was the first movie I got to go see in a movie theater as a toddler. I remember my excitement when I would hear its annual network airing advertised on TV. In our family, only The Wizard of Oz created as much excitement. I think its combination of music, breathtaking scenery, suspense (could they escape the Nazis?), and romance made it the perfect movie for me.
So, when I had the opportunity to visit Salzburg, Austria, where it was filmed, I jumped at the chance to take The Sound of Music tour and see several locations where it was filmed.
Sound of Music Tour
We saw the outside of the house where it was filmed, but learned that actually two houses were used in the filming (Frohnburg and Leopoldskron Castle) – one for the inside, and another for the outside.
We saw the gazebo where Liesl and Rolf sing “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” – and at the time you could actually go inside and leap around like they did on the benches (I have learned that because of vandalism you can no longer go inside the gazebo)! The gazebo was on the grounds of Leopoldskron Castle at the time of the filming, but now it has been moved to Hellbrun Castle.
We visited the church where the wedding takes place in the movie (Pfarrkirche at Mondsee) – although we were told that the real wedding took place in the Salzburg convent (not nearly as grand).
We drove past the Rock Riding School (the building where the family sings “Edelweiss” just before fleeing) and stopped at Mirabell Gardens, where Maria and the children were playing during “Do Re Mi”.
Some interesting facts we learned during the tour:
- When they married in 1927, Maria was 21 and Georg was 46. They went on to have three children of their own in addition to the seven Georg already had.
- The graveyard where the family hides while being pursued by the Nazis was not actually in the convent, although it appeared to be in the movie.
- The family didn’t flee over the mountains to Switzerland, as the movie showed, because that border was closed.
Throughout the tour, the movie’s soundtrack was playing on the bus. Hearing the music as we drove through Austria’s spectacular scenery was a memory I’ll keep forever!
The tour was fascinating for a real aficionado of the movie, like me. I highly recommend it if you ever visit Salzburg!
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