St Peter’s Cemetery was the inspiration for the scene in the Sound of Music where the family are hiding in the Abbey’s cemetery. The scenes in the film were actually filmed on a studio set in America but it is well worth a visit. Here you will see the graves of Haydn and Mozart’s sister, Nannerl.
To reach it head towards the massive tower of St Peter’s church. The entrance to the cemetery is between the church and the Stiftskeller Sainkt Peter restaurant. It is claimed to be the oldest restaurant in Europe. It has been serving food since 803!
A Bit of History
The origins of the cemetery date back to about 700. The adjacent St. Peter’s Abbey (Stift St. Peter) was established by Saint Rupert of Salzburg. The abbey’s cemetery, probably at the site of an even earlier burial place, was first mentioned in an 1139 deed. The oldest tombstone dates to 1288.
In the church there are two chapels. The Maximuskapelle and the Gertraudenkapelle consecrated in 1178 under the Salzburg Archbishop Conrad of Wittelsbach. The chapel is dedicated to the assassinated Archbishop Thomas Becket of Canterbury. In the centre of the cemetery is the the Margarethenkapelle (Margaret Chapel). It was built in 1491.
Also in the cemetery are ancient catacombs carved into the rock of the hill. These may stem from the Early Christian days of Severinus of Noricum during the Migration Period. The catacombs are open each day with a small entrance fee payable.
We are now going to head towards Nonnberg Abbey. This is where Maria was a postulate in the Sound of Music and also in real life! Leave the cemetery by the exit nearest the fortress and out on to Kapitalplatz. You will have a fantastic view of the fortress towering over the town.
From Kapitalplatz make your way up the street on the right towards the Fortress. Follow the street past the entrance to the Funicular railway and passing the StiglKeller Restaurant. If you fancy a break, this has wonderful views of the city from the beer garden terrace.
Keep on this street, Festungsgasse, and follow the signs to the Abbey. When you reach the Abbey carry on round under the arch and you will see the entrance to the Abbey on your right. The public are allowed into the courtyard garden and the chapel.