The Hills Are Alive

Salzburg, as you should all be aware, is the home base of one of the most beloved film/musicals of all time: Sound of Music!

Since coming here a few weeks ago, I have been slowly but surely hunting down movie filming locations across the city.

This can be very difficult, as I have discovered that they filmed Sound of Music literally everywhere and just pieced it all together.

Even a single CONVERSATION between characters happens in two different venues, separated by a couple kilometers. Wow.

Here is the progress of my quest so far! :)


The utterly adorable gazebo was even more beautiful in person!! This beauty currently resides in a public park, after being given to the city by the family who owned it. SOM filmed the OUTSIDE scenes of the gazebo here. The inside dance scenes were shot in Hollywood with a much larger (and sturdier) gazebo.

Most tourists can’t get into this gazebo, but our delightful guide Andreas happened to have the key. We went inside, but didn’t fly from bench to bench. He said a tourist once broke a hip doing so, and that’s why they keep the gazebo locked now.


These, my friends, are the gates of cloister Nonnberg, the abbey where Maria studied to be a nun. This is also the exact spot where Sister Bertha and Sister Margaretta revealed their hilarious “sin” against the Nazis’ vehicle. Of course I went inside and poked around the gorgeous little chapel, although visitors are not allowed in the inner cloister.


Yes, everyone. This IS the yellow villa where Captain von Trapp and family lived! I rode with my little red friend down the fantastically beautiful tree-lined alley where Maria skipped all the way here, peeked curiously through the wrought-iron gates, and snapped this quick photo before the jogging passer-by could laugh at me for being a total SOM nerd.

Fun fact: clips from the inside and backyard of the villa were shot in separate locations! Only the shots of the front were filmed here.


This beautiful palace (on a man-made lake) served as the backdrop for some of the outdoor scenes of SOM, including the moment when Maria and the children paddled past on a boat and fell into the water! Apparently there were men under the boat shaking it, because this lake is so calm the boat would never turn on its own.

When Maria speaks to the Captain immediately following this, her clips were filmed here. His lines were filmed at the yellow villa, in order to make it seem like this lake was behind the yellow villa.


This is the naive where Maria and Captain von Trapp got married! (In reality, they married in the Nonnberg chapel. This church is elsewhere in the lake district!)

Fun fact: SOM filmed Maria walking through this naive three or four separate times and then spliced the clips together to make her walk seem incredibly long! The church itself is large, but relatively normal-sized.


This is us and the now-massive trees where the von Trapp children were climbing and Max referred unknowingly to them as “local urchins”! This spot is also in the lake district.


This wonderful horse is featured in a scene of “Do Re Mi”! I love seeing such a whimsical statue in such a beautiful place as Mirabell Gardens.

If I had a castle, I might really consider having one just like it!

I hope you’ve enjoyed this brief tour of Sound of Music spots in my little town. I definitely smiled (and sang) quite a lot while finding them!

 “When the Lord closes a door, somewhere He opens a window.”

– Maria (Sound of Music)