We are big fans of the musical, the story, salzburg and love showing other fans the places where the movie was filmed. We'll tell you a lot of behind the scene stories and the truth about the von Trapp.
We understand that for many of you this is a trip of a lifetime, so we give you plenty of time to enjoy the places that you have seen a thousand times on the TV, and let you take all the pictures you want, frolic through the meadows, skip down the alley or sing along on your bike. Whatever you have in mind – we are game!
Even if you aren't a big fan of the movie, you will still enjoy this tour. The beautiful city and countryside will dazzle you, the facts amaze you, and the excitement of the diehard movie fans will rub off on you.
We at Fräulein Maria's Bicycle tour are more than excited about being able to show you our beloved city of Salzburg. Here is just a taste of the sights you will see. Forgive us if we are a little over enthusiastic in our explanations, we are just so proud of our city!
The Nonnberg (nun-mountain) Abbey
How do you solve a problem like Maria…
On arriving in Salzburg, Maria asked a policeman which the toughest convent in the city was. He pointed her to Nonnberg, and she charged in announcing that she was there to stay! Little did she know (but we do of course!) that soon she would be sent off to stay with a retired sea captain and his seven children, even less would she have expected becoming his wife and mother to all those children less than a year later! This Abbey which is used in the movie was the real setting for the early beginnings of Maria and the Captain's love story and the place where Von Trapp took her as his wife. In this quiet sanctuary you will see the beauty of reality and Hollywood merging.
Built in 714 (yes that's right 714!) by St. Rupert the patron saint of Salzburg, the Benedictine convent is the oldest Abbey in the world - there has been no rest for the hardworking and dedicated Nuns of Nonnberg! From one side of the Abbey there is a beautiful view of the Fortress and from the other you can see the Alps stretching into a never ending distance. You might even find out the truth behind the mysterious mentions of the Untersberg Mountain in the Sound of Music whilst gazing upon this breathtaking view.
Mozart Bridge – Mozartsteg
Mozartsteg has bravely been bridging the gap between the two sides of the Salzach since 1903. Maria and the children skip over it while the children learn about the joy of singing, affording a breath taking snap of the Fortress. This famous bridge is named of course after our beloved famous composer Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart.
Residence Square - Residenz Platz and Residence Fountain
Does "I have confidence in confidence alone...." ring any bells? During the film a cheerful, but anxious Maria skips up to this fountain and playfully splashes one of these 350 year-old horses in the face. On a more serious note, Residence Square is also featured in the movie. A high camera shot comes down over this square just after the intermission showing Nazi soldiers marching all over Salzburg.
This large stately square is one of the most popular sights in historic Salzburg. Located right next to the Cathedral the Residenzplatz was built in 1587 under the direction of Archbishop Wolf Dietrich. To clear enough space, the Archbishop had many houses and even a cemetery destroyed! Mozart was often invited to perform in the Residence palace when he was young.
The Residence horse fountain stands 15 meters tall, making it the largest baroque fountain outside of Italy. It was carved from Untersberg stone by Tommaso di Garona, 1661.
Rock Riding School – Felsenreitschule
"So long farewell auf Wiedersehen Good bye"
Recognise this stone stage? In the film Captain von Trapp and his children appear on it for their first public performance as the winning act of the 1938 Salzburger Summer Festival. They sing goodbye to Austria for the last time as the Nazi soldiers stand in the archways waiting to escort the Captain away. The quarry that was created while building the cathedral was transformed into this unique riding school building which now serves as Salzburg's open air theatre. Built in 1693 under the guidance of Archbishop Johann Ernest von Thun it was converted into a theatre in 1926.
Horse Pond – Pferdeschwemme
This beautiful horse pond is lavishly decorated with panels of horse paintings and topped off with a large white statue of the "horse tamer" and his steed in the middle. Maria and the children come skipping merrily past on one of their many summer adventures singing "My favourite things" This pond was constructed in 1693, conveniently right next to the Archbishop's riding school so the horses wouldn't have to travel far to have a drink! Or a bath!
The Mirabell Gardens
These beautiful gardens are rich in history and culture, the flowers having long soaked up the sounds of Salzburg's famous music university, the Mozarteum, and the outdoor concerts which take place within its domain. The gardens and its palace are seen numerous times in the Sound of Music. The children and Maria come dancing through, jumping up and down on the steps like the notes of a musical scale, skipping around the unicorn pond and scampering through the hedge arcade.
The palace and gardens were constructed in 1606 under the commission of Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau and were given as a gift to his mistress and their 15 children! Mirabell has been the property of the state since 1866 and is now used as Salzburg's city magistrate. All births, deaths and wedding must be registered here. The exquisite Marble Room in the palace is a favourite wedding location for Salzburgers and is known as the most beautiful wedding hall in the world. The gardens provide a perfect backdrop for the wedding photos. Who knows, you might even catch a glimpse of a blushing bride and her groom posing in amongst the flowers as we cycle by.
Fräulein Maria comes to the end of her song I have confidence, but also more importantly to the end of her time as a nun, though she doesn't know it yet, as she stands in front of the large closed black metal gates of the Frohnburg Palace. The von Trapps all reunite in the courtyard after the newly wed's long honeymoon (oops we hope we didn't just give away the story!) and the Captain tears down the Nazi flag that has been hung in his absence. You also see the palace cloaked in darkness as the family attempt to flee Austria during the night. You will love skipping down the beautiful lane, Hellbrunner Alley, which runs alongside the front of the palace.
Archbishop Max Gandolph commissioned the construction of Palace Frohnburg between 1660 and 1680. The Austrian state was sold the deed to the palace in 1957 and it is now used as a student residence for our internationally renowned music University, the Mozarteum.
This all time favourite Sound of Music site was originally built next to the Palace Leopoldskron, but didn't stay there long. As soon as word got out about the locations of the sights, tourists came flooding in from all over the world and started breaking into these private grounds to re-enact their favourite scene. After being moved several times the Gazebo finally found its home in the Hellbrunn gardens. The song "I am sixteen going on seventeen" and the captain and Maria's love song take place here.
Schloss Leopoldskron - Leopoldskron Palace and Lake
One of the jewels of Salzburg, Schloss Leopoldskron, adorns the large lake within the city district. Many scenes are shot on the back patio, balcony and garden. The children and Maria even take a surprising dip in the lake which turned out to be the last of their summer adventures, because the Captain was now back home!
This late Baroque Palace was constructed in 1731 by Archbishop Leopold Count Firmian, and from 1837 it has had many different owners. The architect was a monk and a Mathematics professor at the University of Salzburg! Today the building is owned by the Salzburg Global Seminar and you can even stay there overnight! Fishermen love the lake, which is now a fishing reserve and in the winter the lake is bustling with people of all ages ice-skating, playing hockey and curling.
St Peter's Cemetery
Behind the oldest church in the city this enchanting little cemetery is filled with history and prestige. Cut right into the mountain are catacombs which date back to 215 AD! Salzburg's brightest, richest and most highly-ranked are buried here in the oldest cemetery in Austria. It was used as the inspiration for the cemetery set built in the movie. This hidden antique is a place the buses can only dream of taking you to...