If you ever find yourself in Salzburg, tired after half a day of forts and gardens and in need of some fun – then take a bus and head to the Hellbrunn Palace. What? Another Palace you say? But believe me this is something that you have to see. This is slightly on the outskirts of the city and the bus frequency is rather slow, but the trip in so worth it.
Hellbrunn Palace is about 400 year old, more of a mansion (than a Palace) and was built only for use as a day residence in summer. While the Palace is beautiful with some pretty artifacts, paintings, murals etc, the main highlight is the Trick Fountains in the Palace Gardens.
These “unique” fountains were conceived by Markus Sittikus, a man with a keen sense of humour, as he created a series of practical jokes / tricks to be performed on un-suspecting guests. The theme of these gardens is tricks with water. You need to take a guided tour for these gardens and there are specific time slots for the same. Be sure to check on the time slots in advance as there is no point in coming here and not seeing the trick fountains.
The Tour guide takes you into the gardens and shows you each exhibit. Now each of these exhibits have a trick and for every trick there is hidden mechanism. When this mechanism is activated by the guide, it sprays water on the guests. Also because of the element of surprise that is built-in, it actually catches you quite unawares and suddenly you are drenched. While I will not list down the tricks to spoil the suspense, I’ll just say – “water can come from anywhere including below you”. 🙂
The other interesting thing here is the mechanical, water and gravity operated music playing theatre. This was built-in 1750 and shows various professionals of those times at work eg. there is a mason, a cook, even a bear dancing. There are smaller versions of this also all over the gardens.
There are also some very pretty statues of various greek mythological characters all over the place… But a word of advice – “Dont linger too long near anything”…
So if you happen to be Salzburg on a sunny day, be sure to check this place out…