Page last updated at 22:23 GMT, Wednesday, 3 December 2008

So long, farewell von Trapp hotel

Sound of Music cast
Julie Andrews starred in the 1965 movie musical

The Austrian city of Salzburg has blocked plans to turn the former home of the von Trapp family, immortalised in The Sound of Music, into a hotel.

The "Villa Trapp" had been expected to open this year.

But the city's planning council blocked the move after protests from residents in the upmarket neighbourhood.

The von Trapps were made famous in the 1965 film The Sound of Music, starring Julie Andrews as a nun-turned-nanny who cares for a widower's seven children.

Himmler used villa

According to tourism officials, 40% of overnight stays in Salzburg - also famous as the birthplace of the composer Mozart - are from fans of the Sound of Music film.

The hotel's developers had planned to provide 14 hotel rooms for guests to the villa. Austrians are already able to get married in the villa's chapel.

But opponents of the scheme feared tourists would tie up traffic and make a nuisance of themselves.

The developers say they will appeal against the ruling, although the process could take up to three years.

The von Trapp family lived in the house from 1923 before fleeing the Nazi takeover of Austria in 1938.

After the von Trapps left, Nazi security chief Heinrich Himmler used the villa until 1945.

A missionary order bought the residence after World War II, and later agreed to sell it for use as a hotel.

It was not featured in The Sound of Music - which used a number of different Austrian buildings to portray the family's home.

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