The Sound of Music, 1965
visit The Locations
Salzburg: Flights: Salzburg WA Mozart Airport
Several companies offer Sound of Music tours which visit the locations:
Bob’s Special Tours (tel: 0662. 872484)
Panorama Tours, Mirabell Square (tel: 0662.871618)
Stay at: Villa Trapp, Traunstraße 34, 5026 Salzburg (tel: +43 (0) 662.630.860) (rail: Bahnhof Aigen)
WWII actioner Where Eagles Dare, with Clint Eastwood and Richard Burton, was filmed at the village of Werfen, about half an hour by train from Salzburg. The European hotel in Just Married, with Ashton Kutcher and Brittany Murphy, is the same castle.
The Sound of Music filming location: the entrance to the Von Trapp mansion: Schloss Frohnburg, Hellbrunner Allee, Salzburg, Austria
The film of the phenomenally successful Rodgers and Hammerstein musical was shot on lots of real locations around Salzburg, Austria, though plenty more were recreated in the 20th Century-Fox studios in Hollywood.
The opening aerial shots are Salzburg’s glorious Lake District, the Salzkammergut. The castles you can see are Kloster Höglwörth, an old monastery on a peninsula in Höglwörther See; and Schloss Anif, off E55 a few miles south of Salzburg.
The mountain, atop which Maria (Julie Andrews) makes her first twirling appearance, is Mehlweg, near the Bavarian village of Markt Schellenberg, about six miles from Salzburg. Don’t be too disappointed – the birch trees and the babbling brook were added for the movie.
The Sound of Music filming location: Maria’s abbey: Nonnberg Abbey, Nonnberg Gasse, Salzburg, Austria
Convent interiors were recreated in the studio, but the exterior really is Maria’s abbey. It’s Nonnberg Abbey, Nonnberg Gasse, where you can visit the courtyard and peek inside the chapel (which looks nothing like the interior recreated back in Hollywood).
The film cheats a little with the exterior, too. As you’ll find if you visit, the real Nonnberg Abbey doesn’t look out over the picturesque old town of Salzburg, but to the nondescript southern suburbs. The reverse shot, of Maria leaving the abbey, filmed way across the city on the Humboldt Terrace (seen later in the Do Re Mi number), in front of the Museum of Modern Art, which since 2002 has stood atop Mönchsberg Cliffs on the site of the old Cafe Winkler.
The Sound of Music filming location: the view 'from' the abbey: Winkler Terrace, looking over Salzburg toward Nonnberg Abbey, Salzburg, Austria
As Maria leaves to take up her post with the Von Trapp family, I Have Confidence in Me was filmed in Salzburg’s Old Town, in the Residenzplatz, where you’ll see the Domplatz arches, through which Maria enters, and the Residenz Fountain, in which she splashes.
The Sound of Music filming location: Maria splashes in the Residenzbrunner on her way to the Von Trapp house: Residenzplatz, Salzburg, Austria
The ‘Villa Von Trapp’ is a combination of two different Salzburg locations. The tree-shaded lane, where Maria alights from the bus, is Hellbrunner Allee, running south from the old town. Here you’ll recognise Schloss Frohnburg, a 17th century country house, now the Mozarteum Music Academy, which was used for the intimidating gates and front entrance of the villa which Maria nervously approaches.
The Sound of Music filming location: Maria arrives at the Von Trapp mansion: Hellbrunner Allee, Salzburg, Austria
The lakeside terrace, though, was filmed at Schloss Leopoldskron, a rococo castle on Leopoldskroner Teich, a small artificial lake on the southwest of the town. Now a seminar and conference centre, you can view Leopoldskron across the lake from König Ludwig Strasse.
The Sound of Music filming location: the rear, lakeside terrace, of the ‘Von Trapp’ mansion: Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg, Austria
The real Villa Trapp, by the way, is in Aigen, a suburb just to the southeast of the Old Town of Salzburg. Since 2008, it’s been open as a hotel, Villa Trapp, Traunstraße 34, 5026 Salzburg. There’s a rail service to Bahnhof Aigen.
The little footbridge over which the von Trapps skip at the beginning of the My Favourite Things montage of Salzburg is Mozart Steg, north of Mozart Platz. They quickly move on to Domplatz, in front of Salzburger Dom (Salzburg Cathedral); Kapitelschwemme, the Baroque horse pond once used for watering and cleaning horses, in Herbert von Karajan Platz; and the market on Kajetanerplatz, just north of Nonnberg Abbey, where Maria demonstrates her tomato juggling skills.
They finally head off for a picnic in the meadow above the village of Werfen, 25 miles south of Salzburg in the Salzach River valley (where you can also visit the castle from wartime action movie Where Eagles Dare).
The Sound of Music filming location: the Do-Re-Mi carriage ride: Nonntaler Hauptstraße, Salzburg, Austria
Photograph: wikimedia / Gakuro
Do-Re-Mi begins at the picnic, returning to Salzburg atop the Monchsberg Cliffs, on Humboldt Terrace which you can reach from the Monchsberg elevator in Anton Neumayrplatz, at the end of the Gstattengasse shopping street, and continuing with a carriage ride south from St Erhard Kirche, the Parish Church of St Erhard, along Nonntaler Hauptstraße, which you’ll find directly beneath Nonnberg Abbey.
The Sound of Music filming location: The Do-Re-Mi steps in the Mirabell Gardens, Salzburg, Austria
The number climaxes at Mirabell Gardens, on Schwarzstrasse, over the Salzach River behind Schloss Mirabell, where you’ll find the fountains, statues and, famously, the flight of steps on which the children hop.
The Sound of Music filming location: The Sixteen Going On Seventeen gazebo: Schloss Hellbrunn, Salzburg, Austria
The Von Trapp gazebo, used for Sixteen Going On Seventeen, once stood in the grounds of Leopoldskron, but constant trespassing resulted in it being moved and reconstructed in the ornamental gardens of Schloss Hellbrunn, Morzger Strasse, toward the south of Salzburg. And another cheat. It was recreated, slightly larger, back at 20th Century-Fox in Hollywood for the interior shots.
The Sound of Music filming location: Maria’s wedding: St Michael’s Church, Mondsee, Austria
Maria’s wedding, which took place in Nonnberg Abbey, was filmed in the baroque, twin-towered St Michael’s Church, Wredeplatz, in Mondsee, about 15 miles east of Salzburg on the E55/E60.
The Sound of Music filming location: Maria’s wedding: Mondsee Cathedral, Mondsee, Austria
The Anschluss scene, Austria’s enforced unity with Nazi Germany, was staged back in the centre of Salzburg itself in Residenzplatz.
The music festival, at which the von Trapp family perform their disappearing act, is at the Felsenreitschule (‘Rock Riding School’), Hofstallgasse 1, a 1400-seat theatre built in what was a rock quarry for Archbishop Johann Ernst von Thun in 1693, and used as the archbishop's riding school. It’s one of the sites of the Salzburg Festival.
The Sound of Music filming location: The Von Trapp Family performs at the music festival: Felsenreitschule, the ‘Rock Riding School’, Salzburg, Austria
Despite what some overenthusiastic tour guides might tell you, the cemetery in which the von Trapps hide from the Nazis is a Hollywood studio set, though its design is clearly based on St Peter’s Graveyard, which you can see just off Kapitelplatz.
The mountain over which the family finally escapes to freedom is above the village of Obersalzburg with views of the Untersberg in the distance, near the village of Rossfeld, on the 319, 12 miles south of Salzburg.
• Many thanks to Lieselotte Mayrhofer; and to Bryan Crawford of Edelweiss Tours for help with this section.
View The Sound Of Music (1965) in a larger map