Von Trapp's "Sound of Music" villa to become hotel

Tue May 13, 2008 2:07pm EDT
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By Karin Strohecker

SALZBURG, Austria (Reuters) - "The Sound of Music," one of Hollywood's greatest money-spinners, will scale new heights when the original von Trapp family villa near Salzburg opens as a hotel in July.

The 1965 film based on the true story of how aspiring nun Maria sang her way into the hearts of Baron von Trapp and his seven children has provided fans with a host of must-have items.

The Villa Trapp hotel will give visitors a chance to sleep in the family's former bedrooms or get married in their chapel.

And the gazebo where Liesl, eldest of the von Trapp daughters in the film, and her boyfriend Rolf meet secretly and perform "Sixteen going on 17" will also be available as a self-assembly construction set.

"The hotel really is a milestone for the commercialization of The Sound Of Music for Salzburg," said Leo Bauernberger from the Salzburg provincial tourism board. "The Sound of Music is well and truly a stroke of luck for this city."

The film, which starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer and was based on a Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, has inspired sing-along shows worldwide, a drinking game, a self-healing CD and a Maria Barbie doll.

U.S. ticket tracking site www.boxofficemojo.com ranks "The Sound of Music" as the third most successful movie of all time on the domestic market, taking inflation into account, topped only by "Gone With the Wind" and "Star Wars."

"It is hard to imagine that anyone hasn't seen it and it is still passed down the generations," Graham Hales, brand specialist at Interbrand, told Reuters. "It is a property."   Continued...

<p>Villa Trapp, the original Sound of Music family home, is pictured in Salzburg May 13, 2008. Georg von Trapp and his family used to live in this house from 1923 till their emigration to the U.S. in the late 1938. The original von Trapp family home will be reopened as a hotel in July to give people for around 100 euros ($155) a night the chance to lay their head to rest where the von Trapp family once lived, get married in the house's chapel or have a Sound of Music dinner in the family dining room. REUTERS/Leonhard Foeger</p>