Fun Fact: I don’t think I’ve ever seen the Sound of Music all the way through in one sitting. I think I’ve seen the whole thing, mind you, just in bits and pieces. But we had a Rogers and Hammerstein songbook when I was a kid, and my sisters and I wore the poor thing out as we gathered around the piano to play and sing the songs together. “You Are Sixteen (Going on Seventeen)” and “My Favorite Things” were my definite favorites, and I still find myself absentmindedly humming the latter while I work.
So I was pretty excited when Leslie found all sorts of fun places to visit in Salzburg that were used during the filming of The Sound of Music. Aside from that, Salzburg is also the birthplace of Mozart, home to an impressive castle, and the whole city is a UNESCO World Heritage Site. After loving Vienna so very, very much, I was eager to see more of Austria with two whole days in Salzburg.
And goodness gracious, even getting there was a treat. The train from Vienna took us through some absolutely gorgeous countryside, with incredible views of the Alps and glimpses of beautiful Bavarian architecture. I could settle here quite happily, that’s for sure.
After dropping our bags off at our hostel, our first stop was the Schloss Mirabell, the 17th century home of Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich Raitenau. The palace was closed to the public because of a wedding, but we enjoyed wandering through the beautiful gardens, which are featured prominently in the scene where Sister Maria teaches the Von Trapp children how to sing Do Re Mi.
Leslie: This is such a quaint palace with the steps, the fountains, the colorful flowers in the gardens, the Do Re Mi steps…! You couldn’t ask for a more beautiful setting, either, with the mountains visible in the distance. And although it was closed, I don’t feel like we missed out on seeing the inside because the outside was so enjoyable.
Salzburg is a delightful city, and it’s filled to the brim with fun details. And everything seems to be influenced by music, right down to the bread and the rubber duckies.
Leslie: I loved that everything was so close here; we didn’t have to wear ourselves out walking long distances, and there was lots to see, including places we didn’t stop to visit, like Mozart’s birthplace.
Dom zu Salzburg
Dom zu Salzburg (Salzburg Cathedral) is a Roman Catholic cathedral built in the 17th century. It was here that Mozart was baptized, and its seven bells are considered one of the most beautiful sets in all of Austria. Together, the bells weigh 32 tonnes! The bells ring several times throughout the day, and Leslie even got a recording of it for your listening pleasure:
Leslie: The bells made the whole city feel smaller since you could pretty much hear them from everywhere.
Yeah, I don’t think it’s any coincidence that the Sound of Music is set there because the hills really are alive with the sound of music!
The cathedral was lovely, but not nearly as ornate as some of the other cathedrals and churches we had seen. The best part was the choir practicing in the sanctuary. Leslie and I enjoyed sitting there and listening to them for quite a while.
Leslie: I’m sure this was beautiful, but with it being the millionth cathedral we saw… I paid less attention to the architectural and other details than I did to the choir that was singing inside. I loved every time we were able to catch a musical performance inside one of the cathedrals.
[pricing_column_name comment=”Salzburg Cathedral”]Dom zu Salzburg[/pricing_column_name]
[line]Price: Free [/line]
[price comment=”Our Rating”] (3 / 5)[/price]
The squares to the north and south of the cathedral also boast some interesting details. My favorite, obviously, was the Horse Well (Pferdeschwemme), built by architect Fischer von Erlach as a place for noblemen to water their horses.
Leslie: The whole idea of horse wells is intriguing, and I just knew they’d be something unique to show you.
You know me so well.
To Be Continued…
There was honestly so much to see and do in Salzburg that it’s too much to fit into one post. Stay tuned (hehehe) for part II, in which we visit an enormous castle and channel our inner Fräulein Marias.
Read more about my trip with Leslie here.