In May of 2018, we had a great time on our trip to Munich checking out Hofbrauhaus, Dachau, and the BMW Factory. One day we took a road trip down to Salzburg, Austria. For those you don’t know, Salzburg was the setting for most of the iconic sights from the Sound of Music. It also happens to be the fourth-largest city in Austria and the capital of Salzburg state. But it also happens to be one of the most beautiful places we have visited. The Alps are incredible and different than the Rockies here in Colorado. Since we were so close, we just had to make the trip.
One of the first places we visited was Maribell Palace. This happens to be one of the first stops on many Sound of Music tours. As it is so popular, it was quite busy at times. However, it is beautiful and I learned something I didn’t know before our trip. Apparently, the palace and gardens are listed as a cultural heritage monument and part of the Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg UNESCO World Heritage Site.
When you first walk up toward the gardens you come up to a gate where you get a whole view from above. It is so cool. Of course, you can’t miss the huge horse and fountain in the middle of the gardens. I was so excited as several scenes from The Sound of Music were filmed here. Maria and the children sing ‘Do-Re-Mi’ while dancing around the horse fountain and using the steps as a musical scale. It was so cool being there and sort of being a part of history.
We finally made our way down and took several pictures of the gardens and area. It was really pretty but we couldn’t spend too much time as we were trying to beat the rain that was coming that afternoon. I definitely would love to go back and spend more time exploring. Hopefully one day we will be able to visit again.
The next place on our stop was to see the Nonnberg Abbey. We knew we weren’t allowed to visit inside so we just found a good spot to stop and take a few pictures. We found this awesome place on the other side of the Salzach River and were able to see it as well as the Hohensalzburg Castle. The whole area was breathtaking.
The Nonnberg Abbey is a Benedictine monastery and was founded in 714 A.D. by Saint Rupert of Salzburg, It is the oldest continuously existing nunnery in the German-speaking world. Today the monastery complex is a protected monument and part of the Historic Centre of the City of Salzburg, a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1996. It was amazing to be able to see two UNESCO World Heritage Sites.
Scenes shot at the Nonnberg Abbey include the opening part where nuns go to mass and Maria returns late. The performance for the song “Maria” was staged in the courtyard of the Abbey. Another scene was when the children came to Abbey’s gate to ask Maria to return to their home. The escape scene, with the cars parked outside the Abbey gate, was also shot in the original spot.
While in the area we definitely had to go see the Schloss Frohnburg Palace. For those that have not seen the movie, the Frohnburg Palace serves as the entrance to the Von Trapp family home. Maria arrives here at the end of the“I Have Confidence.” song.
Today, Frohnburg is home to the Mozarteum, a music conservatory. Since its renovation, it has not held a meeting room for 60 people and a concert hall for 80. These rooms can be rented by outsiders, but the castle itself is not open for sightseeing. It was still pretty just walking around outside and taking some pictures.
We left there and made our way to Hellbrunn Palace. As we made our way there, the rain we were trying to beat caught up with us. We made our way there, but it made our trip twice as long and we were unable to do a tour due to the time 🙁 While we were disappointed but walked around some and tried to make the most of it even with the rain. Everyone talks about the trick fountains and I thought it would be cool to see what they were all about. Maybe next time.
Apparently, Hellbrunn Palace was built in 1613–19 by Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, and named for the “clear spring” that supplied it. Hellbrunn was only meant for use as a day residence in summer, as the Archbishop usually returned to Salzburg in the evening; therefore, there is no bedroom in Hellbrunn. I thought that was interesting, a palace with no bedroom. Hmm.
Happily, I was able to see something on my list I had really wanted to see, the Gazebo from the Sound of Music. It is located in Hellbrunn Park located on the grounds of Hellbrunn. It is the same gazebo where Liesl and Rolfe sang “16 Going on 17” in the Sound of Music. It´s also a romantic place for getting married. We didn’t see anyone getting married that day, especially with it raining off and on, but it was really beautiful.
The park is 60 hectares of green spaces, flower beds, meadows, ponds, and a big playground for children. And of course, you can’t miss the unique mountain panorama. Again it is just beautiful would love to see it in the spring sometime.
Even though we dealt with some traffic, some rain, and didn’t get to do a tour, we enjoyed seeing the Schloss Frohnburg Palace and the Hellbrunn Palace. Both are unique and I hope to be able to see those crazy trick fountains one day. If I do I will come back and update this post.
Salzburg is an amazing city and I can see why the Sound of Music looked so beautiful in the movie. It really doesn’t do it justice, and if you are in the area you should make sure to check out some of these historic sites. There is definitely something special about the area.
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