Page last updated at 10:37 GMT, Thursday, 15 May 2008 11:37 UK

Von Trapp house to become hotel

Sound of Music cast
Julie Andrews starred in the 1965 musical

The former home of the von Trapp family, who were made famous by Hollywood hit film The Sound of Music, is being turned into a hotel.

Visitors to the Villa Trapp hotel will be able to sleep in the family's former bedrooms or get married in the chapel.

The hotel and surrounding park just outside Salzburg, Austria, will open to the public in July.

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

The true story of how aspiring nun Maria sang her way into the hearts of Baron von Trapp and his seven children was made into a film in 1965.

Based on the Rodgers and Hammerstein musical, it starred Julie Andrews and Christopher Plummer.

'Stroke of luck'

Fans will be able to stay in the hotel for around 100 euros (80) a night.

"The hotel really is a milestone for the commercialisation 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."

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

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

Entrepreneurs plan to make no alterations to the building other than essentials such as painting and re-wiring.

According to tourism officials, 40% of overnight stays in Salzburg are from fans of the 1965 Sound of Music film.

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