Salzburg: 50 Years After “The Sound of Music”

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Mirabell Garden Statue (also in The Sound of Music)

Salzburg, Austria is forever etched into our memories as a place of natural and man-made artistic beauty and as a cultural center. The rich history of this city is evident at the turn of every street corner and throughout the nearby lakes and hills. The movie The Sound of Music embraces Salzburg in the late 1930’s. This year we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the film and I have been fortunate to have recently visited Salzburg. In this blog I not only share some thoughts about the movie but also many other things that are evident to me in this vibrant area.

In comparison, much larger ViennaIMG_1853 (1) is majestic and bold but in seeking Austria’s soul, it would be found in Salzburg. On arriving by train, you can immediately look up and sense grandeur in the mountains. Yes, these are the “hills” that Maria sang about in the movie. The hills and the city are alive and in your mind you can hear her singing!

Fortress Hohensalzburg crowns the city
Fortress Hohensalzburg crowns the city

Journeying through the city, one can see boats on the Salzach River, lovers expressing their forever love by attaching their locks to the bridges, Mozart’s birthplace, the Fortress Hohensalzburg crowning “Old Town,” Mirabell Gardens with Pegasus dancing at its center, the Mozart Bridge the children ran across to play, and the small towns of Sankt Gilgen and Monsee on the shores of Lake Wolfgang… everywhere there are visions and sounds from the movie that surge into my memory!

My first visit was to Mirabell Gardens across the street from the hotel. With the Pegasus fountain centrally located, everyone was taking the “perfect” shot not only as reminiscent of the movie but also because it is a beautiful artwork. The garden’s colors just explode and several statues found there are in the movie.

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An entire blog could be dedicated to the Mirabell Gardens but I journeyed to the Lake District to see Sankt Gilgen, Sankt Wolfgang, Monsee, and Lakes Fuschl and Wolfgang. Each of these locations were included in The Sound of Music.

People were camping around, sailing on, and swimming in Lake Wolfgang and Lake Fuschl. The mountains around the lakes provide a perfect backdrop for a superb holiday in the region. And who can forget the sweeping images of these places at the beginning of the movie?

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Lake Fuschl as in the opening scene from The Sound of Music

Quaint, traditional buildings in Monsee and Sankt Wolfgang are like time capsules with their large overhanging roofs and decorations of flower boxes attached to the upper levels. Each house has its own large supply of firewood to prepare for heating during the harsh Winters that come to this area. The mountains and the lakes are breathtaking and it is easy to see why these places were chosen for the movie.

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Traditional House at Sankt Wolfgang

Of course the city and area have so much to offer as they pose for the camera’s eye. I endeavor to keep my blog entries to a reasonable length and know that this one doesn’t adequately recount my memories of this vibrant city, the home to The Sound of Music and Mozart.

Looking Downriver at Sunrise
Looking Downriver at Sunrise

Salzburg is one place that I highly recommend be included in your travel bucket list. Salzburg is an extravaganza for your soul!

There are so many more places to see from The Sound of Music and I know that these few memories of the city will be just my initial ones as I will return several more times.

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Sankt Gilgen on Lake Wolfgang as in The Sound of Music
Mozart's Birthplace
Mozart’s Birthplace

I hope you enjoyed sharing in my adventure to Salzburg and that it encourages you to want to come and visit!

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