Lazy travelers that we are, we arrived in Salzburg for a day trip from Munich around noon. Our mantra when traveling is to have as few early mornings as possible! We found a great free iphone app called City Walk Salzburg Lite that helped us decide what we wanted to see in the short time we were there. We also purchased a Salzburg Card for 23 Euros (11.50 for Nate), which allowed us to use all public transport and covered admissions to all the sights in this lovely city.
Next, we walked to Mozart’s Residence, where Mozart lived from the age of 17. It now houses a museum with important family memorabilia; including their library, portraits, and letters written by Mozart’s father. Mozart composed many of his works here! There’s even some silly stuff…
Next, we headed to Residenzplatz, where you can find the Residence Palace and Salzburg Cathedral.
Later in the movie, this square and its buildings are covered with Nazi insignia, after Nazi Germany annexed Austria. The story told in the Sound of Music was based on Captain Von Trapp’s strong opposition to the Nazis, and his decision to leave all that he owned and flee with his family to Switzerland.
The Residence Palace started as a small bishop’s palace in 1120, and was enlarged over the centuries. The royal family of Austria and the Hapsburg rulers of Tuscany used it as their residence.
In The Sound of Music, Maria and the Von Trapp children ride one of the horse carriages for part of their journey across town, while singing “Do Re Mi.”
Next, we went next door to Salzburg Cathedral.
This stunning baroque cathedral was built in the 17th century on the site of a Celtic settlement and part of the ruins of a Roman city! Excavations under the cathedral have unearthed mosaics and ancient artifacts.
Next, we took the cable car up to the Hohensalzburg Fortress.
This fortress is one of the largest medieval castles in Europe! Construction began in 1077!! It was built to protect the city during a conflict between the Holy Roman Emperor and the Pope. It was under siege in 1525 when a group of Protestant peasants unsuccessfully tried to depose Archbishop-Prince Matthaus Lang.
When Napoleon occupied Salzburg, he used the fortress as barracks for his army, a dungeon, and storage depot.
Below is the view from the castle ramparts!
Next, we walked a little further to see Nonnburg Abbey, where the real Maria Von Trapp was a novice. It was also where she married Captain Von Trapp (in real life, not in the movie).
The Sound of Music scenes shot here include the opening part where the nuns are going to mass and singing “How do we solve a problem like Maria?” The performance for the song “Maria” was staged in the courtyard of the abbey. Later, the Von Trapp children came to the abbey’s gate to ask Maria to return to their home, but are turned away. The escape scene, with the cars parked outside the Abbey gate, was also shot in the original spot.
Andy and Nate are horsing around in the photo below, while I took photos of the stunning views. Two days later we watched the Sound of Music together and geeked out when we saw the scenes filmed where we had just been!
We had the place to ourselves as it was getting towards sunset.
Next, we walk to St. Peter’s Church, the oldest functioning monastery in Austria. It was founded in 760 by a Franconian monk! The present church dates back to 1125.
Dusk was close approaching and we had to hurry back to the train station to catch a train back to Munich, which takes two hours. We hurried down Getreidegasse, the most important shopping street in Salzburg. Andy was happy that we didn’t have time to shop:)
Tall, medieval baroque houses line the street. Mozart was born in one of the houses on this street!
A day trip certainly was NOT enough for this beautiful city. There are several must-sees that we missed. So, we hope to go back to this lovely city some day! For those of you who have been to Salzburg, what do you recommend?