- The Washington Times - Tuesday, May 20, 2008

VIENNA, Austria (AP) — The hills are alive … with the sound of protest.

Plans to run a hotel out of a former home of the von Trapp family made famous in the movie “The Sound of Music” have triggered fierce resistance from neighbors who fear tourists will tie up traffic and make a nuisance of themselves.

“We will fight this with all means at our disposal,” said Andreas Braunbruck, who lives near the Villa Trapp in a neighborhood of Salzburg already teeming with “Sound of Music” tourists seeking a glimpse of the house.

“Buses and cars are constantly in the street in front of our homes as it is,” he told Austrian television Sunday.

The 125-year-old, pale yellow villa trimmed in white and black is perched on the outskirts of Salzburg, where the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer was made.

Baron Georg Ludwig von Trapp, the real-life widower, lived in the villa with his family from 1923 to 1938. After the Nazis confiscated the property in 1939, SS chief Heinrich Himmler moved in and stayed until 1945.

The von Trapps emigrated to the United States and settled in Vermont, where their family lodge in Stowe remains a popular tourist attraction in its own right.

Wilfried Haslauer, a Salzburg tourism official, announced plans last week to refashion the villa into a hotel. Refreshments and souvenirs will be sold in a new pavilion and furnishings that belonged to the family will be displayed.

Mr. Braunbruck said he is just after a little peace and quiet.

“Tourist attractions have only one purpose,” he said, “and that’s to bring in people.”