Salzburg, Austria - 17th to 21st December 2016
Salzburg through the eyes of Maria
Mirabell Palace & Gardens
Mirabell Palace ("Mirabell" meaning admirable & beautiful) was built in 1606. It's gardens are divided into an orangery, now a palm house, a dwarf garden, with 28 funny looking dwarves, a rose garden & the Pegasus fountain. The gardens are designed in a geometric pattern and are lined with sculptures of Greek Gods. The Palace and Gardens the most popular tourist attractions in Salzburg and unsurprisingly considered the most beautiful baroque gardens in Europe. The most awe inspiring element, however, is the view of Hohensalzburg Castle - the fortress that dominates the skyline.
Mirabell palace & gardens were used as a backdrop for the movie when Maria & the children use the steps as scales when singing 'Do-RE-Me'.They dance around the fountain, pat the dwarf statues on the head and skip through the orangery. We recreated some of the scenes above :)
Hellbrunn alley, a 5km long straight alley connects hellbrunn palace with the residenz in the centre of Salzburg. The alley is the best preserved of its kind in Europe & was used as the driveway to the Von Trapp home in the movie. Children were swinging from the chestnut trees!
The Horse Fountain
Renovated in 1732, the horse fountain was built to provide water & a bath to the court horses. The fountain or Pferdeschwemme is built into the side of Monchsberg mountain & is adorned with frescos & stone statues of the horses that would have graced its waters. In the movie, the foundtain provides the backdrop to a scene where Lisel meets Rolf
The Rock Riding School (Felsenreitschule)
St. Peter's Cemetary
Leopold Palace (Schloss Leopoldskron)
Nazi rallies were also filmed in residenz square & apparently Salzburg city officials objected initially to flags with swastikas adorning the buildings, even just for the purpose of filming. That was until the producer threatened to include newsreel footage of the city welcoming Hitler in the 1940s
Surrounding the square is Salzburgs Dom quarter & St. Peter's Basilica. Carol singers serenaded our path through the Church doors into a dark aisle with 'no photo' signs everywhere. The pews lining the long aisle were filled with visitors, most staring at the decoratively painted ceiling. Inside the Dom quarter we took a brief tour of the residenz (I say brief because they told us to hurry as they were closing but when we finished in 20mins they were disappointed we went too quickly...some people are never happy)
The Sacher Hotel
The Bristol Hotel
The Sound of Music was a huge success, not with critics but with the public. It was loved across the world, everywhere except Germany & Austria where it was a total flop. To this day, many Austrians have not seen the film! Following the steps of the sound of music meant that we got to know the city back to front. It is a small, walk-able old town, with a simple layout. It is 2hr 10min flight from Dublin. The airport is a short 10 min taxi ride from the city centre & Salzburg station can have you in Munich within an hour, Vienna within 2 hours or across to Budapest in just 5 hours! Highly recommended for ease of access & relaxation but be willing to part with your cash. Hotels & food are not cheap. For sights, invest in a Salzburg card - €40 for a strict 72 hr period but it gets you in free to ALL the key sights & public transport - a steal.