Our first two nights in Austria was at the Villa Trapp, the original mansion of the Von Trapp family, in the suburbs of Salzburg.
* All the photos in this article were taken with a Sony A7 full-frame mirrorless interchangeable lens camera, with Vario-Tessar T* FE 24-70mm F4 ZA OSS full-frame E-mount zoom lens. Photo credit: John Tan.
I first watched the movie, “The Sound of Music” as a child and loved it – so did my entire family.
So when we decided to visit Austria, we jumped at the idea of staying in Villa Trapp, where the real Von Trapp family actually lived in from 1923 to 1938, when they migrated to the US.
This house was not the one seen in the movie, which used two other grander houses for exterior shots and a studio set in Hollywood for the interior scenes.
The stately three-storey building was built in 1863 and has 22 rooms.
Georg Von Trapp had bought and moved to the house in 1923 with his seven children when his wife died of Scarlet fever.
Maria Augusta Kutschera came to the von Trapp family in 1926 to take care of one of the children – also named Maria.
Although she was to stay for only 10 months, she began looking after the other children as well and married Georg in 1927.
Maria had three children with him – two in Salzburg and the third after they had migrated to the US.
When the family lost their wealth in 1934 because their bank failed during the worldwide depression, Maria dismissed most of the servants and moved the family into the top floor of their home, renting the empty rooms to students of the Catholic University.
A year after the von Trapp family left, the Villa Trapp was rented to the “Missionaries of the Precious Blood”.
But the Nazis who had occupied Austria in 1938 occupied the site, which was used by Heinrich Himmler – Head of the SS.
In 1947, the Missionaries bought the mansion from the Trapp family and renovated it in 1992. The villa was closed to the public from 1947 to 2008.
In 2008, the villa was converted into a hotel and open to guests.
Inside the hotel are plenty of memorabilia and information about the von Trapp family and their lives.
You can see lots of photos of the family members all around the hotel.
Outside each of the rooms on the top floor was a write-up about which of the children had lived in that particular room.
The main stairs leading from the second floor down to the hall was where the von Trapp children loved to slide down the banisters.
The proprietress of the hotel showed us where this had left the banisters well-worn.
She even encouraged us to let our kids try it and they loved it!
Villa Trapp is located in Aigen, a suburban park to the southeast of Salzburg and within walking distance to the local train station.
Outside that train station is a bus stop where you can catch bus 160 to Salzburg old town via a 5-min ride.