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The Sound of Music turns 50

5 January 2015

For decades The Sound of Music has been one of Salzburg's main tourist magnets. More than a billion people have seen the movie, with 300,000 Sound of Music fans making the pilgrimage to Salzburg every year to visit the film locations. In 2015, the most successful movie musical in history celebrates its 50th anniversary.  

The city of Salzburg became world famous as a result of The Sound of Music. Back in the early 1970s, the first movie buffs started coming to the city to see the real-life locations for the Hollywood blockbuster starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer. Today The Sound of Music bus tours take guests from Salzburg’s historical district to Lake Mondsee and back again – with guests cheerfully singing along to their most beloved songs from the musical, such as “Edelweiss” and “My Favorite Things”. The Sound of Music is an important ambassador for Salzburg, says Bert Brugger of Salzburg City Tourist Board. “Tourists have two major reasons for coming to Salzburg: the beauty of the city itself, and its culture. Mozart and the Salzburg Festival satisfy the interest in classical music while The Sound of Music appeals to our guests’ love of popular music.”

Special exhibition in the former home of the von Trapp family
Villa Trapp has a special position among the landmarks in this famous family’s life; once their family home, today open to the public as a hotel. A special exhibition in 2015 entitled “Appearance, Reality and the Third Reich” focuses on the central historical figures. Corvette captain Georg Ritter von Trapp was one of the most prominent personalities of World War One, but subsequently refused to serve under the National Socialists, forcing him and his family to emigrate to the United States. In 1940, Heinrich Himmler, the head of the SS, moved into Villa Trapp.

The Sound of Music Tours
Around 300,000 fans annually visit Salzburg because of The Sound of Music and many of them book guided tours on coaches and minibuses to the film’s shooting location. Tour set out from Mirabellplatz Square, with highlights including Leopoldskron and Hellbrunn Palaces as well as Lake Mondsee. See:,,

Singing & Cycling: Guided walking and biking tours
Sound of Music fans have the opportunity to discover the film’s most popular shooting locations in Salzburg City by bicycle. Every morning at 9:30 from May through September, groups of cyclists set out on a tour that lasts about 3 and a half hours. It takes in Mirabell Gardens to the Horse Pond, St. Peter’s Cemetery, Nonnberg Abbey, Schloss Leopoldskron, the Frohnburg, Hellbrunner Allee, Schloss Hellbrunn, before returning to the centre.

So-called “Singing Tour Guides”, certified city guides including Trudy Rollo and Junko Flatscher, lead their guests out to shooting locations from The Sound of Music. During this tour of about 2 hours, the group makes its way through Salzburg’s downtown historical district – occasionally singing along the way.

Press Contact:
Mag. Birgit Weszelka, Tel.: +43/662/889 87 – 604, Mag. Judith Wieser-Pöhl, Tel.: +43/662/889 87 – 605, Maria Altendorfer, Tel.: +43/662/889 87 – 500, Email:,