- - Saturday, June 6, 2015

The fascination with Salzburg’s music backbone is never ending, from the genius beginnings of Mozart to 200 years later with “The Sound of Music” film. The musical-turned-film is one of Hollywood’s most successful movies, winning five Oscars in 1965, and this year marks its 50th anniversary. Millions around the world fell in love with Maria, the lead character’s passion for Salzburg’s lush mountains and her journey with the Von Trapp family.

Visitors to Salzburg can see many of the places like Maria and the children, including Mirabell Gardens, Residence Square, St. Peter’s Cemetery, and the Dom zu Salzburg church. Here are some attractions to visit this summer:

At the beginning of “Sound of Music,” Maria leaves the convent and begins her journey to the Von Trapp household. En route, she sings “I Have Confidence” inside the beautiful Residence Square, a stopping point next to the archiepiscopal residences in the heart of Salzburg’s Old City. Like Maria, visitors can dip their hands in the Residence Fountain, an impressive marble sculpture bearing four snorting horses, stately giants rooted in rock, and a Triton with a shell. The fountain, built in 1666, is the largest baroque fountain outside of Italy, and inspires the Old Town’s nickname “The Rome of the North.”

The exquisitely manicured Mirabell Gardens might be the most memorable destination in “The Sound of Music.” Colorful pansies, peonies and tulips are wound into beautiful curves imitating baroque lace patterns. It’s easy to see how Prince-Archbishop Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau wooed his paramour, Salome Alt, in the 17th century with this romantic display. Maria and the Von Trapp children sing “Do Re Mi” through the gardens, circling the sculpture of the dwarf comedian inside the Dwarf Garden. They also run down the lush pergola walk, which leads guests to the Hedge Theatre and Mirabell maze.

Inside the garden sits the Pegasus Fountain of Greek figures twisting and reaching with dramatic facial expressions, which each representing an element: fire, air, earth and water. In the summer, the gardens come alive with street musicians, and every Thursday morning, take a whiff of the fresh produce coming from the farmer’s market at St. Andrew’s Church in Mirabell Square. The close-by 100-year-old Marionette Theatre has “Sound of Music” puppetry performances.

The gray, imposing Fortress Hohensalzburg that peers from on the top of the Mönchsberg, or Monks Mountain, can be seen from almost every area of Salzburg (and in the background of many scenes in the film). Access the fort by taking a quick ride on the funicular. At the top, you can see some of “The Sound of Music” film locations from an aerial perspective, like the Nonnberg Abbey, Leopoldskron Castle and Hellbrunn Palace. Inside Monks Mountain lies 4th century Catacombs, believed to have been discovered during the rock slide of 1669. Peer out a window inside the Catacombs and you will spot the Dom zu Salzburg Church, its two green domes seen during “The Sound of Music” wedding scene. At the base of the Fortress, walk through the St. Peters Cemetery, where the Von Trapp family hid from the Nazis in the film. If you take a close look at some of the names on the tombstones, you will see that this is a place where famous people are buried, like Joseph Haydn, Mozart’s sister and American Gen. Harry Collins.

Where to stay: The Hotel Goldener Hirsch “Golden Stag” is located on the main shopping street, Getreidegasse. The elegant hotel attracts classical music lovers worldwide due to its proximity to shops where guests can purchase traditional costumes and then walk a few steps to a concert at the Grosses Festspielhaus.

Get:The Salzburg Card, which gives one-time free access to all of the tourist attractions and museums in the city.

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