Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Baroque Salzburg: "These Are a Few of my Favorite Things"

Salzburg, a stunningly beautiful city in the Austrian Alps, is known across the world as the spectacular setting for the iconic film The Sound of Music starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer (Salzburg is also the birthplace of musical genius Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart). However, the city of Salzburg is also a triumphant monument to the beauty of Baroque architecture. The historic city center is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and The Sound of Music highlights numerous Baroque marvels in the city.

Stylized image from The Sound of Music,

During my study abroad semester, I was blessed with the opportunity to travel to the beautiful city of Salzburg and take the official Sound of Music tour! I saw a multitude of the city's Baroque sites including Residenzplatz Fountain, Mirabell Palace and Gardens, and Leopoldskron Palace. At the beginning of Julie Andrew's song "I Have Confidence" in The Sound of Music, Andrews splashes her hand in the Residenzplatz Fountain. The Salzburg Travel Guide website provides a description of the fountain: "four snorting horses seem to spring forth from the spouting rock. Giants rooted in the rock carry the lower basin, in which three dolphins balance the scalloped upper basin. The upper basin holds a Triton, a jet of water shooting into the air from his conch-shell trumpet...It is considered to be one of the most significant baroque monuments in Europe today. The work is attributed to the Italian sculptor, Tommaso di Garone" (

Residenzplatz Fountain,

Residenzplatz Fountain, 

Mirabell Palace and Gardens can be seen in the film as well. This clip from the movie shows the "Do Re Mi" song in which Julie Andrews and the children sing and dance in the memorable scene (the part in the Mirabell Gardens starts at 3:57 in the video):

Leopoldskron Palace is another Baroque structure in Salzburg. The Palace was actually not depicted in the film, but the view from the Palace's yard facing the lake was used in the scenes facing the lake (such as when Julie Andrews and the children fall out of a fishing boat, to Captain von Trapp's chagrin). A different palace was used for camera shots of the "Von Trapp villa," so certain dialogues in this back yard were filmed in two different locations.

Schloss Leopoldskron,

The UNESCO website at offers a breathtaking gallery of high-quality images of Salzburg architecture.

Furthermore, offers a complete concert by the Vienna Philharmonic performing Mozart's compositions in Salzburg. Perhaps Mozart was inspired by the breathtaking surroundings in his city.

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