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Sound of Music – The true story

Discover the true story of the Trapp family from the "The Sound of Music"

It is no secret that films are often glossed over and sometimes fact becomes fiction, so of course the story of The Sound of Music was tweaked and sometimes exaggerated. The parallels between reality and fiction are, however, clearly recognisable. In SalzburgerLand it is possible to visit the film locations as well as follow the traces of the "real" Trapp family.

The Trapp family and the First World War

The Trapp family lived in an era where there was much suffering and upheaval. Two cruel wars changed the world and had a huge impact on the family. Shortly before the First World War, Georg Freiherr von Trapp married Agathe Whitehead. At the time, Trapp was captain of the Austro-Hungarian Navy. But during the war years, the Danube monarchy broke up and the submarine captain was forced to find a new job. The family, who had been blessed with 7 children between 1911 to 1922, had to move several times. Agathe fell ill with cholera and died shortly thereafter.

The Trapp family moves to Salzburg

With the children (Rupert, Agathe, Maria-Franziska, Werner, Hedwig, Johanna and Martina), Georg von Trapp moved to the Salzburg in 1925, in a district known today as Aigen. He employed a novice called Maria from the Nonnberg convent as a governess for his children Within a very short time, the children developed a strong bond with Maria and she became much more than a teacher to them. In 1927 Georg and Maria married and had three children (Rosmarie, Eleonore and John).

A choir is established

As the governess, Maria often sang with the children. When the bank of the family went bankrupt and all the savings lost, they founded the family choir and were discovered during a singing competition at the Salzburg Festival. Soon after the Salzburger Kammerchor Trapp, was formed and they went on to tour throughout Europe, as well as the USA.

© TVB Werfen

© TVB Werfen

Escape to America

The Nazi era and the Second World War started to become a real threat to the family. Georg von Trapp was against the morals and ideas of Adolf Hitler and the family, after giving a concert in America, decided not to return. The family settled in Vermont and conducted successful tours in America for many years.

In 1947 Baron von Trapp died. Music continued to play an important role in the lives of Maria and the children.

The Trapp-Villa in Salzburg

The Trapp-Villa can still be visited today. The former Trapp residence is today a hotel and can be found in the suburb of Aigen in Salzburg. Guided tours take place every day at noon. The real history of the Trapp family is at the forefront of this tour, which offers a whole new perspective on the story of The Sound of Music.

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