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Where Was The Sound Of Music Actually Filmed?

There's something magical about seeing a musical live and in-person, getting to watch performers dance, sing, and act their tails off for the sake of their art. However, the opportunity to witness such productions isn't always available to everyone, so it's not unheard of for musicals to jump to the big screen to remedy this issue. Film adaptations of stage favorites like "Grease," "The Phantom of the Opera," and "In The Heights," among others, did well in this medium, though even to this day, there are few cinematic musicals more beloved and recognized than 1965's "The Sound of Music."

Directed by the late Robert Wise, "The Sound of Music" takes heavy inspiration from Maria von Trapp's 1949 memoir "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers." Thus, the movie takes place in the late 1930s during the height of World War II and focuses on Maria (Julie Andrews) in all of her youthful, optimistic glory. She finds her way to the home of retired naval captain Georg von Trapp (Christopher Plummer), where she befriends his seven children and teaches them how to sing. All the while, the threat of the Nazis looms large, and they nearly get swept up in their bloody conquest of Europe.

Though it certainly has some dark undertones and more than its share of problematic elements, "The Sound of Music" is undoubtedly a beautiful film. This is especially true when discussing its visuals, which included both real-world locations and sets constructed just for the film.

The Sound of Music serves as a tour of Austria

Without polished greenscreen and StageCraft technology at their disposal, 1960s filmmakers either had to utilize real locations as sets or construct new ones of their own. In the case of "The Sound of Music," those working behind the scenes opted for both methods, though real-world places took precedent over Hollywood backlot creations. As laid out by Movie-Locations, to give the film a genuine Salzburg, Austria look, the cast and crew took a trip to Europe for the bulk of principal photography. As a result of this choice, "The Sound of Music" is something of an Austrian sightseeing tour.

The opening aerial shots give viewers a look at Kloster Höglwörth and Schloss Anif before we jump to Maria's iconic hilltop introduction at Mehlweg in Bavaria, Germany. The actual Nonnberg Abbey also features in the final film, but its interiors and some of the exterior shots were pure fabrication. Hellbrunner Allee, Schloss Leopoldskron, and Schloss Frohnburg make up various parts of Villa von Trapp, and St. Michael's Church served as the setting for Georg and Maria's Nonnberg Abbey wedding. Near the end of the film, the von Trapps' mountainous escape overlooked the villages of Obersalzburg and Untersberg.

These locations and landmarks are among the most prominent that "The Sound of Music" featured during its runtime, and there's no denying how integral they were in bringing the story to life and making the film so visually breathtaking. It's plain to see that Wise and his team made the right move by keeping the sets as authentic as possible.