a woman wearing costume performing on stage
© SalzburgerLand Tourismus, Franz Neumayr - 50 Jahre Sound of Music in der Felsenreitschule

How The Sound of Music Won Over The World

An international phenomenon

More than 50 years ago, "The Sound of Music" was filmed on location in Salzburg. Images of the city and Austria were shown all over the world and since then countless tourists have visited the numerous filming locations. The legacy of Maria von Trapp and her singing children's group continues today. Just what was and remains so appealing about the story of the Trapp family?


Even after all these years, “The Sound of Music” is as popular as ever and the film is still broadcast all over the world. The story of the “real” Maria and Georg von Trapp and their family contains many elements of interest, and this has helped ensure the movie’s enduring acclaim. Julie Andrews also played a large part in the movie catapulting to success, as she had become world-famous for her portrayal of Mary Poppins a year prior to its release.

An idyllic period before the war

The story began in 1938 with the political and social upheavals that would soon trigger the Second World War. Maria and Georg von Trapp’s romantic encounter, happy family times at the Villa Trapp , and the family’s joy of making music are all snapshots of an idyll during a difficult period. When the war broke out and the family had to flee Austria, people were fascinated by their courage and solidarity. The fate of the Trapps represented that of many who were forced to leave Austria because of the war.

© SalzburgerLand Tourismus, Franz Neumayr - Sound of Music Aufführung in der Felsenreitschule

© SalzburgerLand Tourismus, Franz Neumayr – Sound of Music Aufführung in der Felsenreitschule

The power of music

Music is the all-encompassing element in “The Sound of Music”. It is a powerful and almost magical entity that doesn’t just unite the Trapp family; it also underlines how the strength of togetherness, love, and sense of community could prevail over the horrors of war. The lively and quirky Maria is even able to soften up the strict baron and ultimately help the family escape to America.

Together against the rest of the world

The family’s solidarity and Baron von Trapp’s refusal to obey the Nazis and enter the Wehrmacht are probably the most powerful elements in “The Sound of Music”. In the film, just before the Trapp family escape Austria, they appear on stage at the Felsenreitschule in Salzburg and Adolf Hitler is sitting in the audience.

Salzburg – the perfect setting

“The Sound of Music” would probably not have become so well known had it not been filmed in the stunning location of Salzburg. It was not just the city that offered a wonderful backdrop for the adventures of the Trapp family. The surrounding areas in SalzburgerLand, such as Hohenwerfen Castle, the famous Gschwandtanger meadows, and Mondsee basilica, where the wedding scenes were filmed, were also integral to the setting. The magnificent Untersberg mountain can be seen in both the opening and closing shots of the movie. It’s well worth taking a tour of the filming locations in order to experience the outstanding scenery.

© TVB Werfen - Fortress Hohenwerfen

© TVB Werfen – Fortress Hohenwerfen

Holiday Destination Austria give feedback for a chance to win a special holiday experience!