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Thursday, January 7, 2016

Europe, Part 7 · Salzburg

Well, it's about time that I finished up my series of Europe vacation posts!  I know, here you were, thinking I was finally done posting about it... but no! it keeps going... ;-)

(catch up on parts 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, and 6 if you haven't already!)

When I last left off, we were in the Berchtesgaden area of Germany.  It's just across the border from Austria, so it was an easy jaunter over to Salzburg for a day trip!

Besides being a charming little city, Salzburg has 2 main attractions- both of which are right up our alley: The Sound of Music/von Trapps and Mozart! :-)

Our first stop was Mozart's residence (Mozart Wohnhaus- on the left) where the family lived for the majority of his childhood.  The building was mostly destroyed during WWII and was rebuilt to be a modern office building.  About 20 years ago, the International Mozarteum Foundation acquired the property, demolished the new building, and rebuilt the original according to the old structural plans.  The building houses a museum that is very well done, and we all greatly enjoyed it!  The museum is comprised of exhibits and audio tours and all the information was available in English as well so we weren't left out! :-)

Mozart's birthplace (Mozarts Gebhurtshaus- on the right) is a building dating back to the 1500s (or thereabouts... I can't remember details...) and was the home of the Mozart family for years.  It is an original building and is now a museum, also owned by the International Mozarteum Foundation, and also very well done!  To be honest, we weren't really sure how much more information there was to know about the Mozarts after the other museum, but we were pleasantly surprised by how interesting they both were and little overlap there was in information. :-)  This museum had recreated the floor the Mozarts lived in to reflect how they would have been furnished and the other floors were devoted to exhibits.

We all love Mozart and it was a delightful experience!  Our only disappointment was that there were no concerts in the city during our stay. :-(

After museuming for the morning, we were all glad for the excuse to stop by one of the many bakeries!
Cake all around!! ;-)

After that, it was time for our self-guided Sound of Music tour of the city!  First stop, the beautiful Mirabell Gardens for loads of "Do-Re-Mi" locations!

None of us had seen the movie for years (we kept meaning to re-watch it before the trip, but it never happened...), so we could have taken many more shots of iconic locations!  Oh well.  We'll have to go back. ;-)

Please forgive the perfectly placed tourist....

(loved the strategic and artistic flower plantings to spell MG for Mirabell Gardens! :-))

One aspect of Salzburg that differed from the movie- when the von Trapps were frolicking about it certainly must not have been a gloriously sunny weekend September day.  Not nearly enough crowds in the movie! ;-)  We always say that it's a pity weekends exist while you're on vacation because then the crowds come out...  But our visit was lovely nonetheless, and the weather really was gorgeous! :-)

The exterior Abbey shots really are of Nonnberg Abbey where the real-live Maria was a novice!  So fun to add these moments to the "I've been there!" places throughout the movie! :-)

The iconic fountain in Residenzplatz!

Different angle, but not bad for a completely unplanned shot. ;-)

We did a fair amount of walking through Salzburg and it is a truly lovely city!  The Abbey sits on a hill in the middle of the city and the left picture is a view from the Abbey.  Almost makes you want to take up orders, doesn't it...?? ;-)

We took a little drive through town to our next location- the von Trapp home from the movie!  Remember how I said we hadn't seen the movie for a few years?  Yeah... my memory was a bit rusty, but just present enough to make me wonder if this was really the right place...  In person it seemed a bit different than I imagined from watching the movie.  However the avenue leading up to it was definitely the same as in "I Have Confidence"! :-)

It was quite the story to get there including GPS misdirections, roads of questionable legaligity for motor vehicles being traversed, and surreptitious jumping out of cars to quickly snap photos.  I think we can all rest assured that everything was worth it all in the end as it was legit (and it all ended up being legal too, I might add...). :-)

Our next location, the stunning location for the back exteriors of the von Trapp home!  I guess you never actually see this view in the movie, but it is a stunning location (now a private hotel), and there's the lake the children and Maria fell into!

We had a few GPS worries with this location too, but all was well in the end!  I can see how taking a tour with someone experienced would have its merits. ;-)

(In the background, you can see Hohensalzburg Castle sitting above the city- Nonnberg Abbey sits just beside it)

After much searching online, I was able to find the address for the *original* von Trapp home, but finding it with our GPS proved to be another adventure... This is so frequently the case with movie locations!  If you know where you're going it's no big deal but if not, it can frequently be frustrating and discouraging!  The home is a private hotel, so we were only able to get as close as peering through the gate. ;-)  Still super cool to see though!

Our final destination for the day was the town of Mondsee to see the church used for the wedding scene in the movie!  Our day had been quite relaxed, but as we got back in the car after the von Trapp home, we were cutting it pretty close on time to make the drive.  Add in a bit of rush hour delay, and we were uncertain if we'd actually be able to make it to the church before their evening Mass started!  Given our difficulty in locating the previous locations, if we continued on the current trajectory we had no hope. :-P  Fortunately enough, we found the church AND found parking with 10 minutes to spare.  Plenty of time. ;-)  We went in, snapped our obligatory shot, tried to envision the movie scene (rather unsuccessfully), and left with the unsettling worry that after all this might not *really* be the same church....

And from the pictures, I think you can see why!  On the top left, we have Nonnberg Abbey where Maria and the captain got married in real life.  Top right is St. Michael's Church in Mondsee.

The movie actually ends up being a bit of a combination of the two!  As with the other locations, I was so relieved to discover that we truly made it to the correct location! :-)

I certainly won't watch The Sound of Music the same again, and it's so fun to know what's just beyond the frame in so many scenes! :-)  It was a fun surprise to recognize so many of the scenery shots from the (previously boring and fast-forwarded) credits and intermission and I also loved how they incorporated the real Abbey doors into the movie!  I always used to assume that was either a set or a different location, so it was extra meaningful that it was the real deal. :-)

Thanks for following along!  The next post (just 2 more!) is about a rather magical travel day with amazing fairytale-worthy castles....

· Screencap source ·

(OH!  Also, don't forget about my fabric-stash-busting post if you missed it this weekend! :-))


  1. Oh, what fun to see the movie locations and the actual Von Trapp house. I am glad that despite all the navigation issues you made it to all the locations you hoped for.

    1. Thanks! Me, too! I know at the time I was reconciled to not making it to all the locations, but in hind sight that would have been very disappointing. :-)

  2. We had a day in Salzburg several years ago before the children were born. I remember enjoying a horse drawn carriage ride (but couldn't understand a word of the commentary, Mozart's house and a lot of Sound of Music souvenirs. It is a beautiful city!

    1. The horse-drawn carriage sounds lovely, although an understandable commentary would be a nice touch, too. ;-)

  3. THE CAKE!!!!
    Ahem. The scenery is quite pretty too. ;)
    I've never actually seen Sound of Music! These pictures have definitely piqued my interest.
    You have the cutest family! Your mom's dress is absolutely gorgeous! I love the neck detail.
    Thanks for sharing the pictures, Lily! It's been fun traveling along. ;)

    1. Oh my goodness. The Sound of Music is an absolute classic! In our family we always enjoyed it but our real obsessions were always with the actual family and their history (I read our books about them more times than I can count!). Even so, the movie is a *definite* must-see. At your earliest opportunity. ;-)

      Thanks! My mom's dress was inspired by a vintage pattern we saw online. I was actually saving that idea for myself, but I guess now I get to enjoy it on her. ;-)

  4. I love Salzburg, I have been many times but it never loses it's appeal. I'm still sure to do the do-ray-me routine through the gardens every time I go!

    1. Hayley, wow! That's such a gift to be able to go so frequently! I felt like it was one of those places that doesn't lose its charm after many visits. :-)

  5. That is officially awesome about the Sound of Music location. Being a lifelong fan of that movie (and musical), I couldn't help but beam. Thank you very much for the great continued travel posts. Soooo enjoying them!

    ♥ Jessica

  6. Thanks for sharing your charming visit to Salzburg. I was rather disappointed when I visited, because I was expecting everything to look just like The Sound of Music, and of course it doesn't quite, with all of the modern people and things about, and tourists everywhere. This is a nice change from my impression from my visit. :)


    1. Quinn, haha! That's too bad that your visit didn't live up to your expectations. This just means you'll have to give it a second chance. ;-D



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