Plans to turn The Sound of Music home into hotel raises a stink

May 20th, 2008 - 5:13 pm ICT by admin  

London, May 20 (ANI): Plans to make a hotel out of a former home of the von Trapp family immortalized in the 1960s film The Sound of Music have fuelled fierce resistance from neighbours, who fear that the move will see the area flooded by tourists.

The 125-year-old pale yellow villa, trimmed in white and black, is perched on the outskirts of Salzburg, where the 1965 film starring Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer was made.

The movie, which altered some details of the family’s history, tells the story of a World War II-era Austrian nun-turned-nanny who cared for a widower’s seven children, taught them how to sing and eventually fell in love with him.

Baron Georg Ludwig von Trapp, the real-life widower, lived in the villa with his family from 1923 to 1938. After the Nazis confiscated the property in 1939, SS chief Heinrich Himmler moved in and stayed until 1945.

The von Trapps emigrated to the United States and settled in Vermont, where their family lodge in Stowe remains a popular tourist attraction in its own right.

Nazi security chief Heinrich Himmler used the villa as a home close to the Austrian Alps until 1945.

Locals cite the unwelcome impact of increased traffic, but some claim residents fear the area will become a mecca for gay men, for whom the film is iconic, and elderly visitors.

Resistance to the idea of turning the family pile in Salzburg into the Sound of Music Hotel is growing in Austria.

And in the wake of the Amstetten cellar nightmare, when the country needs all the good public relations it can get, locals seem not to care if they are portrayed as grumps.

A tourist attraction like this will make parking a nightmare for residents. Nobody talked to us about it we were the last to be consulted. We will fight this with all means at our disposal, The Scotsman quoted Andreas Braunbruck, who lives near the Villa Trapp in a neighborhood of Salzburg already teeming with Sound of Music tourists seeking a glimpse of the house, as saying.

But Juergen Greiner, a local man, who is gay, said: “Forget this nonsense about parking; they are a conservative lot here and they think gay men are obsessed with The Sound of Music and will bear down on them and bring loose morals to the area. Which wouldn’t be a bad thing.”

Another resident told Bavaria Radio in Germany: “The thought of busloads of blue-rinse old dears arriving here gives us all the willies.” (ANI)

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