Sound of Music Tour, Salzburg

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Sound of Music Tour, Salzburg

Guided Tour

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Review of "Sound of Music Tour, Salzburg"

published 31/03/2007 | Writing321
Member since : 13/08/2005
Reviews : 46
Members who trust : 54
About me :
Lois, Kiwi working as UK Live-in Carer. I have to leave Ciao due to pain preventing me using my laptop for long. Have tried just reading but it is not working out. Thanks to all who read, commented and supported my reviews and membership... Lois
Pro Great way to see Salzburg sites
Cons None
very helpful
Is it worth visiting?
Transport links
Family Friendly

"The hills are alive with the Sound of Music"

Mondsee Cathedral, the wedding scene was here.

Mondsee Cathedral, the wedding scene was here.

No visit to Salzburg would be complete without a tour on the Original Sound of Music Tour especially if you are a fan of the 42 year old movie.

It is a good way to see the main city attractions and to get out into the mountains while learning how the movie was made and the differences from the original von Trapp families life experience and to see what director Robert Wise and composers Rogers and Hammerstein did to their story.

For me the Original Sound of Music Tour was truly a memorable experience but one tinged with sadness as the extremely able and friendly tour hostess exposed the movie as a bit of a fake, for me, who did not know that the real von Trapp family's life was little as it is presented in the movie.

She started off by telling us we could sing whatever songs we liked from the movie, all over Salzburg, and the locals would be little impressed as they did not see the movie until 2000, even though it was first released in 1965.

Apparently they were familiar with the two movies which the Broadway ''The Sound of Music ''stage show was based on - one of them being ''The Story of the Trapp Family Singers'' by Maria von Trapp. Then of course along came a movie and it was pepped up somewhat to meet box office attraction and to spin a good story. For political reasons it never made it to Austria for decades.

Some other movie differences: she said the real von Trapp children took to the new governess, a nun called Maria, with no animosity - they loved her. At the end of the movie the family escaped the searching Germans as they hid in a cemetery and then trekked over Untersberg Mountain to escape. In fact, they packed a backpack and went into town to the Salzburg railway station, bought a ticket and travelled to Italy, then London and eventually America.

Our tour guide said had they hiked over the mountain (almost impossible) they would have come across a German war site teeming with enemy and Baron von Trapp would certainly have known that. And, another one to throw in here: Uncle Max never existed in the life of the real von Trapps!

Just a little aside, another little gem learned on the tour. Our guide told us that one of the children could not swim so there had to be special arrangements made for her when they were doing the ''falling out of the boat'' scene. One wonders what today's Health and Safety would do about that.

Anyway now I will share how the tour takes you to some of Salzburg's main attractions which were filming sites. Some of them were replicated faithfully and filming was carried out in 20th Century Fox Studios in America.

If you book The Original Sound of Music tour you will be picked up at your hotel and taken to the depot opposite Mirabell Palace and Gardens. It is in the gardens where Maria and the children danced around the Pegasus Statue/fountain,(there since 1913, the works of Kapar Gras from Innsbruk 1661) up the steps singing Do-re-mi ---so that is a very good place to start.

First stop is Leopoldskin Castle where you get out of the bus and go for a stroll around the lake so you can look back at the white building where only the front was used as a ''family house'' but no filming was done inside here. The tour guide reminds you that is the frontage where the Baron and his city girlfriend watched as the children all fell out of the boat in their glee at seeing their father back from his month away in the city. The venetian room from this castle was copied and used as the ballroom in the movie. As you stand at this lake - behind you is Untersberg Mountain which features in the movie and is most dominant in the Salzburg scenery.

Then it is off to the 17th century Hellbrunn Castle where the glass pavilion now stands a re-creation to satisfy the fans which still return over 40 years after the movie was filmed. (I was part of a full bus - still keen to see all that is The Sound of Music.) Here's the place to sing ''I am 16 going on 17'' if you feel you must.

(On the way to Hellbrunn Castle you see a big yellow house which is the actual house which they used to ''live in'' in the movie - so you learn the ''house'' was actually filmed as a front at Leopoldskron Castle and the back - the rest of it - the yellow house.

Off to Nonnberg Abbey - (Nonnberg Gasse) well you don't go inside it on the tour but you park below it and have a photo opportunity. Tour guide explains it is where the real Maria von Trapp lived as a postulant and returned to only to return to the family and fall more in love with the Baron - enough to accept his proposal and return to the abbey to be married. In the movie they were married at another cathedral which we look at later.

Then you leave the city and head for the lakes and mountain sites which feature in the movie. St Gilgen and Lake Wolfgang, on the way you see the scenery which opens the movie at Lake Fuschl. A beautiful part of Austria and there is plenty of time for the tour guide to share the life of the real von Trapp family, most interesting for people like me who did not know much about it.

At Mondsee you visit the Mondsee Cathedral where the movie wedding was filmed and it was truly beautiful, stunning and so architecturally right for a wedding. You have a lunch break here and then on the walk back to the bus you pass the trees where the movie children swung and frolicked through the trees in their clothes made from green print curtains.

On the way back to Salzburg you watch a short excerpt from the making of the movie, fronted by Charmaine Carr who plays Lizl She speaks about her role and other interesting facts about making the movie. One thing is that she injured her ankle during the gazebo scene, after slipping on the slippery floor. She wanted to carry on with the scene so her ankle bandage was made-up and camera angles altered so her injury wouldn't show.

The Original Sound of Music Tour was a wonderful way to see sights, the lakes and mountains to learn some of the von Trapp family history, to see where some of the movie was made and to help me absolutely LOVE Salzburg. It whets your appetite for seeing more of Salzburg and to seek out some other sites on your own: like the Mozart Bridge. A footbridge over the Salzach River and this is where Maria and the children ran on their way to a picnic in the movie.

The scene where Maria leaves the Abbey is filmed in Residenzplatz where she sings ''I Have Confidence in Me'' where you can visit the Domplatz arches where she goes throught to the Residenz Fountain.... you are sure to want to visit these after the tour. Our guide certainly invited us to explore more - an invite easily taken up.

Our tour guide was ''one out of the box''. She was a British woman, who has lived in Austria for a long time and spoke both languages - her vitality, information and personality was so amiable and all passengers made very complimentary comments when alighting the bus.

We were given a little Edelweiss flower badge on the tour and our tour guide explained that most people think Edelweiss is the national anthem of Austria. It is not. It is a creation of Rogers and Hammerstein for this movie - beautiful song, beautiful country for this movie which millions of people have seen - some over and over again.

The Original Sound of Music Tour was great - left me a little disappointed that it did not really parallel the true story very much - BUT the tour took me to some stunning scenery, taught me a valuable historic lesson and all in all entertained me on a bright, sunny Salzburg morning.

Daily departures: 9.30am and 2pm. 35Euro for adults , 18 Euro for children (4-12years).
You can do a morning tour and then an afternoon one as a package of two. See the staff at the ticket booth opposite Mirabell Palace and Gardens in the 'new' town.

(You buy your own lunch at Mondsee - there are lovely cafes and restaurants to choose from.)

So, when next in Salzburg to board the brightly painted The Original Sound of Music bus, listen to the musice and expect to have a really memorable tour - the best. One of MY FAVOURITE THINGS...

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Comments on this review

  • Chuckles1987 published 10/06/2008
    Wow I love the sound of music, must go and do this someday!
  • smilesarefree published 09/06/2008
    Fab review - I'd love to do that tour someday. x
  • tac20 published 04/10/2007
    Fantastic review - makes me want to go on it! E from me!
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Product Information : Sound of Music Tour, Salzburg

Manufacturer's product description

Guided Tour

Product Details

City: Salzburg

Type: Guided Tour

Country: Austria

Continent: Europe


Listed on Ciao since: 07/05/2006