It’s been fifty years since a film based on a successful Rogers and Hammerstein Broadway musical premiered in New York on March 2, 1965.
The film, “The Sound of Music,” starring Julie Andrews as Maria Von Trapp, a real-life ex-nun who married an Austrian naval officer after she became governess to his children. The film went on to become the biggest grossing musical of all time. The film won the hearts of people all around the world and Julie Andrews is now among the ranks of fellow female gay idols such as Judy Garland, Barbra Streisand, Liza Minnelli, and Cher to name a few. The film is a favorite of many gay men. Face it, between the “The Sound of Music” and “Steele Magnolias” a gay boy never stood a chance of growing up a tad on the overly dramatic side
You knew all of the words to the songs, and you would sing them as you walked around the house - perhaps even bobbing to "Do Re Mi" like the children in the movie, in their new curtain lederhosen.
One thing for certain is that the film was filled with picturesque sceneries that transported the audience to a different world in a different time. It also ensured that Salzburg, Austria with two dozen locations featured in the film, would never be the same again.
It wasn’t long before the tourists began flooding Salzburg to see first hand the beauty of the land and get a taste of the Von Trapp family experience. One company seized the opportunity to cater to these tourists as they were all too familiar with the sights and sounds of the famous musical. Kleinbusse am Mirabellplatz had provided six Volkswagen vans for director Bob Wise to transport his 250 stars and staff around for three months during the shooting.
The company morphed into today's Panorama Tours, doing two four-hour "Sound of Music" tours a day, every day, all year.
The 'Sound of Music' tour bus
The tour begins when the bus picks you up from Mirabell Gardens where most of the "Do-Re-Mi" song was filmed, and proceeds to Leopoldskron Palace where the lake scenes were shot. You will get to visit the gazebo, used for "Sixteen Going on Seventeen," the part in the movie where your jealousy of Liesel sparked and you wished it was you that Rolf was taking into his arms.
There are photo ops at the bottom of Nonnberg Abbey where Maria von Trapp was a novice nun, and outside Frohnburg Castle, which served as the exterior of the von Trapp villa.
The tree-lined avenue leading to the castle is where the von Trapp children dangled from branches, to the horror of their father.
The final part of the tour takes place in the lakes of Salzkammergut that feature in aerial shots: Lake Fuschl, Lake Wolfgang and Mondsee, in whose village church Maria's marriage ceremony was filmed.
The home of the musically inclined Von Trapp family is now a hotel called, Villa Trapp.
Mirabell Gardens, from the "Do-Re-Mi" scene.
St Peter's graveyard was used as a model for the scene where the Von Trapp family hid from Nazis.