Salzburgerland’s Mondsee Exudes Old Fashioned Austrian Charm

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Meet Mondsee, a village just outside Salzburg Austria in the Vöcklabruck District. As quaint as it is, the main reason it is known among tourists, particularly music lovers and romantics among you, is because of the town houses St. Michael’s Church where Maria and Captain Von Trapp married in the original movie, The Sound of Music. Located along Kirchengasse in the town’s central square, there are also beautiful trees throughout and surrounding the town. (below is taken within a five minute walk of the church).

Mondsee is located on the shore of the Lake Mondsee and is home to the historic medieval Mondsee Abbey. The cloister church was used for the site of the wedding — below.

The Abbey itself dates back to 748, and no I didn’t miss the number 1. It was founded by Odilo, Duke of Bavaria. The abbey tradition was that the first monks came from Monte Cassino in Italy. In 788, after the fall of Duke Tassilo III, Mondsee became an Imperial abbey and over the centuries acquired extensive property. Around 800, the Codex Millenarius, an illustrated Latin book of the Gospels was written at the abbey. In 831, King Louis the Pious gave the monastery to Regensburg Cathedral. What a fascinating history…

It was great to have the opportunity to circle around the church and take in her beauty, especially as it was one of the few clear blue skied days we had during our week in Salzburgerland. Ahhh yes, let her glory shine!

Inside the church, there was more to take in. The ornamental fine attention to detail throughout the church was astonishingly beautiful. This gothic former monastery is just as striking today as ever, as its two towers stretch 52 meters into the sky. Bear in mind that it was constructed in the 15th century under the direction of abbot Benedikt Eck and is the second biggest church in Upper Austria. Saint Wolfgang spent a year in Mondsee in 976 as Bishop of Ratisbon and founded the pilgrim church at the Wolfgangsee Lake.

The Sound of Music filming is why more than 200.000 people visit the church every year and still remains one of the most photographed churches around the world — that’s how popular the film was and the impact it had outside Austria. Pope John Paul II upgraded the church to a basilica in 2005 and four years later in 2009, the church reopened after a huge restoration which became Austria’s monument of the year. Below, you’ll get an idea of the rich colors inside the church.

Right outside the church in the main square, you can enter a courtyard that is almost as majestic in feeling as the basilica itself.

Once you leave the square, you’re faced with colorful buildings along a main drag which mostly house cafes, shops, and restaurants.

There’s also a market where you can buy fresh vegetables, meats, cheeses and homemade breads — the Austrian bread is so so delicious!

One of the most charming parts about the town is not just the church, although it is definitely worth visiting, Sound of Music fan or not, is the surrounding greenery (there’s a park in the town), as well as the authentic buildings and houses, which take you back in time to old world Austria. Mondsee is incredibly charming and a must visit, and of course, if you sign up for a tour of the main Sound of Music sites, you will likely visit it as part of your tour. If you’re there solo, then rent a car and head out of town.

Below are shots of the park (and from inside the park) taken on a late afternoon October day.

The Sound of Music 50th Anniversary was the primary reason I went to Salzburg this fall, so be sure to read my extensive write-ups that relate to it: The Sound of Music Sites for Romantics & Nature Lovers and Salzburg Celebrates The Sound of Music 50 Years Later. Also refer to the post on Salzburgerland, for History, Culture and Breathtaking Countryside.  I also wrote a Salzburg Food and Restaurant Guide for foodie lovers and about my experience at a traditional farm nearby in Faustenau.

 

 

Renee Blodgett
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Renee Blodgett is the founder of We Blog the World. The site combines the magic of an online culture and travel magazine with a global blog network and has contributors from every continent in the world. Having lived in 10 countries and explored nearly 80, she is an avid traveler, and a lover, observer and participant in cultural diversity.

She is also the CEO and founder of Magic Sauce Media, a new media services consultancy focused on viral marketing, social media, branding, events and PR. For over 20 years, she has helped companies from 12 countries get traction in the market. Known for her global and organic approach to product and corporate launches, Renee practices what she pitches and as an active user of social media, she helps clients navigate digital waters from around the world. Renee has been blogging for over 16 years and regularly writes on her personal blog Down the Avenue, Huffington Post, BlogHer, We Blog the World and other sites. She was ranked #12 Social Media Influencer by Forbes Magazine and is listed as a new media influencer and game changer on various sites and books on the new media revolution. In 2013, she was listed as the 6th most influential woman in social media by Forbes Magazine on a Top 20 List.

Her passion for art, storytelling and photography led to the launch of Magic Sauce Photography, which is a visual extension of her writing, the result of which has led to producing six photo books: Galapagos Islands, London, South Africa, Rome, Urbanization and Ecuador.

Renee is also the co-founder of Traveling Geeks, an initiative that brings entrepreneurs, thought leaders, bloggers, creators, curators and influencers to other countries to share and learn from peers, governments, corporations, and the general public in order to educate, share, evaluate, and promote innovative technologies.
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