Nonnberg Abbey, Salzburg
The Nonnberg Abbey is probably in this day and age best known as the Abbey in which Maria Von Trapp was a novice in the "Sound of Music". Although the abbey set the scene for the movie and featured in it to quite a large extent, the truth is that Maria was never a novice here. Of course it matters not because the Abbey has a history and a wonderful beauty all of its own.
The nunnery was founded by St Rupert but later handed over to his sister St Erentrudis. It dates back to the eigth century and as such is thought to be the oldest existing nunnery in the world. Well worth a look to see its churches and chapels, the beautiful cloisters and dazzling artwork.
We didn't do the Sound of Music Tour, I thought it would be too much for my boyfriend considering he'd only seen the film 3 days ago but decided to get in as many of the sights in the film by foot. My favourite by far was Nonnberg Abbey where Maria and the nuns are filmed in the first few scenes of the film. Inside the small church we could hear the nuns singing which was beautiful.
It's quite a steep walk up here, but the views are totally worth it. It was so peaceful up there too.
The Nonnberg Benedictine Convent, founded around 700 by St. Rupert for his niece is the oldest surviving religious community for women in the German-speaking world.
The Romanesque frescoes (c. 1150) in the crypt of the late Gothic basilica, as well as The Chapel of St John, with its altar in the style of Veit Stoß (1458), are worth seeing.
We also know it as the convent where Maria Von Trapp wed her Baron in 1927 (for real, not in the movie - that would be the church in Mondsee)
The convent lies on the Nonnbeg to the East of the Festung Hohensalzburg. Getting there is a litte tricky but not difficult. The convent can be reached on foot over the Hoher Weg, from the Kaigasse over the steps of the Nonnbergstiege and from Nonntal through a narrow lane.
Nonnburg Convent My fondest memory of Salzburg occurred while walking around the hillside, beneath the fortress. I stepped into a church I recognized from The Sound of Music. In the dim light I was looking at old frescoes when suddenly, from out of nowhere, the singing of nuns floated over my head. I never did see the nuns, but they were practicing somewhere nearby, and in the ancient church, it sounded like heaven.
Oldest continuously inhabited nunnery in the German-speaking world (Benedictine nuns). Founded by St. Rupert around 700. Late Gothic basilica with crypt, Romanesque frescoes (c. 1150). Quiet, serene, not crowded, at least while I was there.
The interior of the abbey is beautiful. You can still see some details from the Romanesque original.