Simple Reflections on Film, Entertainment, and culture

Salzburg and Bavaria

I had the opportunity to travel to Europe this past summer and visit some locations of two of my favorite films—The Sound of Music and Where Eagles Dare. Interestingly, there are some locations that were used in both films.

These two images from Mirabel Palace Gardens in Salzburg were used in The Sound of Music when Maria is teaching the children “Do Re Mi.” Maria and the children danced on these steps at the song’s conclusion, as well as running through the arbor earlier in the piece. When Maria walks past these arches on her way to the bus, Salzburg Cathedral is just on the other side.

Maria and the children walked over this pedestrian bridge that shows the Salzburg fortress in the background. The Gazebo was used in the song “Sixteen Going on Seventeen” and during the romantic scene between Maria and Captain Von Trapp. The fountain where Maria sings “I Have Confidence” is located in Salzburg’s “Old Town” across the Salzach river.

Director Robert Wise was unable to gain permission to shoot in the Salzburg cathedral for the wedding scene. So, they used the historic Mondsee Abbey. Unbeknownst to me, there are actual mummies located in the front of the church. You can see them clearly in the last photo. The first skeleton is that of Abbot Konrad II, who defended the monastery in 1145. There are four other “catacomb saints” next to him!

Castle Hohenwerfen was the location site featured in Where Eagles Dare. It is quite a spectacular castle in the Austrian Alps. Only a few exterior shots were filmed there, including a scene where Colonel Kramer and General Rosemeyer descend the stone stairs pictured above. The castle can also be seen in The Sound of Music when Maria begins to teach the children to sing on the alpine meadow. When Maria picks up her guitar and sits on the rock to teach the children, the castle is clearly visible to the right of her head. The town of Werfen is a 40-minute train ride from Salzburg, so I doubt Maria and the children walked there!

Neuschwanstein Castle in Bavaria is a location setting for Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. King Ludwig II built the iconic castle as a homage to Wagner’s operas. Neuschwanstein Castle also served as the inspiration for Walt Disney’s Cinderella castle. The castle is incomplete. In the courtyard, King Ludwig had plans to build a large chapel, but he died before he could complete it.

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