Sunday, December 6, 2015

Sites : Hellbrunn Palace Trick Fountains Salzburg

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Hellbrunn Palace Trick Fountains

Salzburg, Austria - September 2015
We were travelling in Salzburg, while on a HopOn/Hop Off bus tour of the city and its outskirts, we took a longer stop at Hellbrun Palace and went on a guided tour of its Trick Fountains.

Hellbrunn may be a small palace with large grounds. What has drawn visitors in is that the place and it's beautiful grounds were one of the filming locations of the classic movie "The Sound of Music", where it served as the home of the Von Trapp family.

Within it's large grounds  are lush planted gardens with small lakes that reflects the green flora and the blue sky. At a small corner of this big garden is an intriguing place, a tricky place called the Trick Fountains. On can tour this trick fountains only by a guided tour; there is a reason for that as the tour guide is a tricky fellow himself!

The tour started innocently, with the smiling guide taking us to view some calm ponds just next to the palace. At one end is an amphitheatre called the Krone in der Kronengrotte (Crown in the Crown Grotto). Here we gathered sitting at the amphitheatre for the tour briefing.

While there, we admired the detailed workmanship put into the wall fresco and statues.

 and the header above the wall.

This is when the guide turned into a trickster... a naughty one!
Some were sitting, relaxing at this dining table, and others were just lolling around when suddenly water started spraying out. With a smile, the trickster shouted. "Got you!"
This must be what had happened centuries ago, when guest came to dine in the garden here and was caught unaware, not with their pants down but with their pants wet!

The pool water is clear and act as a reflecting pool.

The trickle of water from the two fauns just send gentle ripples through the water.... 

,,, without affecting the Hellbrunn reflection onto the pond much.

There were even fishes in the water!

As we walked on, we noticed a water channel running alongside the pathway. To the left is a tall hedge that separates Hellbrunn's garden from the Trick Fountains. On the right are niches with display of water feature such a fountains, moving statues, etc. Spring water, piped to the various sections, are used to move the mechanism and drained into this channel. Everything here is run by the force of the water.

Further ahead was yet another reflecting pool, on on side up a low slope were statues...

... on the other side is one of many "pump house" where water is piped in from the springs/streams in the nearby hillside. There is probably a filter and storage tank camouflaged within (please note that these notes on how the place work is my own opinion, it may or may not work that way).

Inside are seen beautiful statues, and a lone pipe spouts water out. The storage tank and filters are probably behind the statues.
The engineers of old had designed this place well, hardly any exposed pipes or storage tanks are seen.

Ahead was another large pool with mini fountains and cascading water. At one end is another storage structure beautifully designed blending into the slopes and decorated with statues.

Then a smaller pool, nicely ringed with green grass and a wall with an alcove behind it.

Within the alcove water is fed in through a spouting fish under the foot on the statue.

Within the pool of clear water, Cupid stands on a small fountain. Is this the Fountain of Love?
Next was a more elaborate building with several rooms, a larger room well decorated with wall and ceiling carvings and frescos lead to smaller rooms.

At one end of the entrance hall is an elaborate and beautiful fountain.

In one of the other rooms was this shallow mini-moat, it had small statues floating on the water going round and round like a water merry-go-round.

One have to be careful though, in many of the walls, floors and columns are these small water spouts. Out of the blue they will shoot out jets of water, wetting anyone nearby!

Sometimes the amount of water jetted out overflows from the room and wet the floor outside. Yes, people do get wet here!

To the right of the pathway there are several niches set in the rock like small caverns. Inside are dioramas with moving miniature statues and other working parts. This one is of a miller, grinding out flour.

... and this one looks like a potter.

Others are of animals.

Almost at the far end is a larger diorama, almost 20-foot across. This one is the most fantastic, it's a setting in a town square full of people and most of them move around; again powered by water.

The audience were now more wary, keeping a safe distance back to avoid getting wet. At the left side, the guide/trickster was ready to open up water jets onto the unwary.

On the right side at the end of pathway is this building that houses the grand finale.

Inside a central room here, a golden cone sits on top of a plate, suddenly water jets out from beneath the cone pushing it above the plate, like a rocket taking off. This is a marvel of engineering which shows that the force of water is great enough to lift an heavy object.

The water pressure increases and the cone shoots up even higher. The audience stays a safe dry distance away.

They have a reason to be wary; I was squatting at one of the arch doorway trying to get a good shot of the golden cone almost hitting the ceiling when suddenly I felt a tingling sensation on my rear end. No, I did not "wet my pants"; the trickster had released water through hidden spouts on the floor. Unlike the golden capsule, I was sporting enough not to let my mood hit the ceiling.

Yup, the trickster through these levers at a control panel had caught me unwary!

Hellbrunn Palace Trick Fountains
Address: F├╝rstenweg 37, 5020 Salzburg, Austria
Phone: +43 662 8203720     |     Webpage:

Opening Hours:
Trick fountains, palace, folklore museum. 
April, October, until November 1: 9 am-4:30*pm 
May, June, September: 9 am-5:30*pm 
July, August: 9 am-6*pm 
July, August: evening tours: 7 pm, 8 pm, 9 pm 
*beginning of last tour (Guided Tours every half an hour) 
duration of tour: trick fountains approx.40 min., palace approx. 30 min. 

Admission fees 2015: 
Guided tour of the trick fountains, palace with audio guide, folklore museum. 
Adults € 10.50, Children and pupils (4-18 years) € 5.00, Students € 7.00 
Groups of 20 adults or more € 8.50 per person 
Families (2 adults and 1 child) €25.00, every additional child € 2.00 
One time free admission with the Salzburg Card
Admission to park and orangery free 

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