The hills are alive with the sound of music.
Do, a deer, a female deer, Re, a drop of golden sun
Raindrops on roses and whiskers on kittens
Do these phrases seem familiar to you? If they do, that’s because they all are song lyrics from an incredibly well known movie called The Sound of Music. And lucky for us, we actually managed to visit the place where they shot a couple scenes from.
This was our second day in Salzburg, and also our last day in Austria before we headed into Czech Republic. For those of you who just want to know what attractions there are to see in Salzburg, the ones we visited include: Hellbrunn Palace (Schloss Hellbrunn), Mirabell Palace and the Gardens, the main shopping street called Getreidegasse, Salzburg Cathedral, St. Peter’s Abbey, and Fortress Hohensalzburg.
Hellbrunn Palace (Schloss Hellbrunn) (website)
Hellbrunn Palace, located in Salzburg, Austria, is a stunning example of Baroque architecture and a cultural treasure. The palace was built in the early 17th century by Prince-Archbishop Markus Sittikus as a summer residence and pleasure palace. It is known for its exquisite gardens, impressive water features, and playful surprises.
Hellbrunn Palace is home to elegantly decorated rooms and halls, showcasing the grandeur and opulence of the Baroque era. The interior is adorned with intricate stucco work, frescoes, and fine furniture, providing a glimpse into the architectural and artistic skill of the time. Whether exploring the playful outdoor spaces or admiring the lavish interiors, a visit to Hellbrunn Palace offers a unique and enchanting experience that highlights the splendor of Austrian history and culture.
Trick Fountains of Hellbrunn Palace (website)
The palace’s main attraction is its trick fountains, which were designed by Prince-Archbishop Markus Sittikus in the 17th century to surprise and delight guests. These fountains, powered by a hidden sophisticated hydraulic system, were ingeniously created to play tricks and spray water on unsuspecting guests, creating a whimsical and entertaining experience.
Apologies as I know I inserted a LOT of photos, but it was really another highlight of my trip. I felt a bit underwhelmed when I entered Hellbrunn Palace, but the Trick Gardens really made up for it. Usually the palace itself is the main attraction, but here it really is the garden that’s the main attraction.
The palace also features beautifully landscaped gardens, adorned with sculptures, statues, and manicured hedges. Visitors can follow scenic paths and discover hidden grottos, pavilions, and charming water games throughout the expansive grounds.
I mean, just look how well maintained the grass and all the flowers were. This was very common in Austria, and dare I say it’s probably the most well maintained plants / trees / gardens / flowers country I’ve ever been to.
And this was also from The Sound of Music, the pavilion. This was also where we overheard from a tour guide that some of the actors actually didn’t sing their own parts – as some of the actors weren’t good singers, they had to voiceover another singer that was hidden from the camera and imitate the timing of the singing of the other person. I think it was Christopher Plummer, the actor for Capt Von Trapp, that the tour guide said he had a big ego and couldn’t bear the fact that the movie wouldn’t be using his vocals for the film because he’s usually the chosen one in other films.
Lunch at Ichi go Ichi e (website)
Since someone was still feeling for Asian food, we opted to go to this ramen place that we originally wanted to go the day before, and it was right next to the McDonald’s we went yesterday. It had a good rating on Google Maps, so we decided to give it a try.
Mirabell Palace and Gardens (www.salzburg.info)
Mirabell Palace and Gardens, located in Salzburg, Austria, are a true masterpiece of Baroque architecture and landscaping. Built in the 17th century, the palace was initially constructed as a luxurious residence for the Archbishop of Salzburg. The palace itself is a visual delight, with its grand façade, intricate detailing, and elegant interiors. It has been beautifully preserved throughout the years and is now a popular tourist attraction.
The palace gardens, designed in a formal style, are equally impressive. They are laid out symmetrically and adorned with stunning sculptures, fountains, and flowerbeds. One of the most notable features of the gardens is the Pegasus Fountain, which serves as a centerpiece and provides a captivating view. The Mirabell Gardens also offer picturesque views of the Hohensalzburg Fortress and the Salzburg Cathedral. It is not surprising that these gardens have been a favorite location for weddings, concerts, and cultural events, adding to the charm and allure of Mirabell Palace and Gardens.
The Mirabell Palace and Gardens are known for their whimsical dwarf statues that can be found throughout the garden. These dwarf statues, known as “Zwerglgarten” or “Gnome Garden,” have become an iconic and somewhat controversial feature of the gardens.
The dwarf statues were originally commissioned by Prince-Archbishop Franz Anton Harrach in the 18th century as a playful addition to the garden. The purpose behind their creation was to entertain guests and add a touch of fun and fantasy to the otherwise formal and symmetrically designed landscape. My driver say the dwarves were commissioned by the wife to mock the Prince’s affair’s daughters and sons.
While opinions on the dwarf statues may vary, they have become a part of the historical and cultural fabric of the Mirabell Gardens. Some visitors find them endearing and enjoy taking pictures with them, while others may view them as kitschy or out of place in a more formal setting. Nonetheless, they have become a recognizable and unique characteristic of the gardens, contributing to the overall charm and character of Mirabell Palace and Gardens.
Marko-Feingold-Steg is the bridge we crossed to get to the other area.
Getreidegasse is a historic street in Salzburg, Austria, known for its picturesque charm and well-preserved buildings. It dates back to the Middle Ages and was originally a market street for grains and goods. Today, it is a popular shopping destination with a mix of high-end fashion boutiques and traditional craft shops. The street is also famous for being the birthplace of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, and his childhood home is now a museum.
Candela (website) a Christmas store in Salzburg. Tel: 43 (0) 662 848 736
Salzburg Cathedral and Residenzplatz
Salzburg Cathedral (salzburg.info) Salzburg Cathedral, also known as Salzburger Dom, is a magnificent baroque structure that dominates the skyline of the historic city of Salzburg, Austria.
Do you see the three numbers on each of the doors? Each of these numbers represent the year that this cathedral was consecrated. The cathedral was destroyed by a number of fires, then rebuilt and expanded. The years displayed on the wrought-iron gates – 774, 1628 and 1959
Fortress Hohensalzburg (www.salzburg.info)
Fortress Hohensalzburg is a medieval gem perched atop the Festungsberg hill in the picturesque city of Salzburg, Austria. Dating back to the 11th century, it is one of the largest and best-preserved castles in Europe. The fortress offers panoramic views of the city and the surrounding alpine scenery, creating a breathtaking sight for visitors. With its imposing walls, towers, and courtyards, the fortress provides a glimpse into the rich history of Salzburg and its strategic importance throughout the centuries.
St. Peter Stiftskulinarium Restaurant (website)
We went back to our hotel to get a little rest first, and then headed out to this restaurant. Actually, I researched and filtered down to a couple of restaurants, and we ultimately chose this one. I guess I wanted sort of Austrian cuisine since this was our last day in Austria, and even though we were tired of eating schnitzel, we were okay eating other things. It serves both Austrian and international cuisine, and even though Google says it serves creative dishes and drinks, I kind of feel like it serves contemporary dishes.
Not until I started writing this blog post did I realise that restaurant has a reputation of being Europe’s oldest restaurant? Which is strange because I did remember going to the oldest restaurant in the world that’s located in Madrid.
Initially when we were told we were going to see the scenes from the Sound of Music, I thought we would be going to the hills or something, not Hellbruun Palace. They really didn’t obnoxiously flaunt about their involvement with the movie that’s for sure, even though they did mention it about their pavilion (some places try too hard and have so many signs about how some Hollywood movie featured them).
For this day, my favorite place was definitely the Trick Fountains for sure. It was just unexpectedly pleasant and surprising and very well done. Considering that a lot of these tricks were created by hundreds of years ago, it’s fascinating to appreciate how smart people from the past were! If anything, probably they were just as smart as our current generation more or less; they just didn’t have as much knowledge as we do now.