Friday, 24 July 2015

Echoes of the Sound of Music: Schloss Leopoldskron, Salzburg

On my recent visit to Salzburg, Austria, I stayed at the Hotel Schloss Leopoldskron.

This was no accident. I had been commissioned to write an article marking the 50th anniversary of The Sound of Music, the popular musical movie which starred Julie Andrews as a singing wannabe nun and opened in 1965.

The "schloss" in the title is actually the stately home next door to the hotel complex. Luckily my first day in Salzburg was sunny, so here it is in all its glory:


That's the rear of the house, facing the lake, where you find this:


If the seahorse gate looks familiar, it's because it featured in the film; particularly in the sequence wherein Maria brings the children back to the house by boat, and they all end up in the drink.

The house's facade doesn't appear on screen at all, by the way. For technical reasons it was substituted with another stately home, so only the gardens reached the silver screen. And here they are:



That terrace is, I believe, where Uncle Max, the Captain and the Baroness drank their strange pink lemonade. "Not too sweet, not too sour." "Just too... pink."

And though I don't believed it appeared on screen, this is the extraordinary room in the Schloss where guests have breakfast:


The guest rooms are next door, and in contrast have a distinctly contemporary feel...


... and this is the path which takes you from the hotel to the Old Town of Salzburg. I almost expected to see Maria bursting forth into song here. The hills are alive, indeed. So are the flat bits.


Disclosure: On this trip I was hosted by the Austrian National Tourist Office. You can read my article for The Age about the Sound of Music bus tour by clicking here