Trick Fountains at Hellbrunn Palace


I was going to write about Hellbrunn Palace in the post about Salzburg, but I had so many pictures from my pretty short stay there that I thought it might warrant its own post. Also, after two months of going somewhere every weekend, I’m forcing myself to stay local (seriously local) this weekend, so I probably won’t have much to post about next week.

I wasn’t going to spend much time in Hellbrunn Palace. Initially, the plan really was just to stop by the palace to see the pavilion that Liesl and Rolfe (ugh, he’s the worst) dance around in the Sound of Music (appropriately, called the Sound of Music Pavilion). On the way back from Hallstatt, however, our guide told us a little about the palace and I was intrigued and felt that it warranted slightly more than just a movie-themed stop. You see, the palace, which was really more of a very elaborate event space given that it was only used for summer parties, is full of “trick” fountains that the Prince Archibishop who built the palace used to play jokes on his party guests. The palace intrigued me, so I decided that a lengthier visit was worthwhile.

It was raining when I got there and the actual first thing I did was go to the gift shop. I did not pack for how cold it was in Salzburg and was actually looking for an overpriced Salzburg sweatshirt to keep me warm. Ended up getting a scarf instead. Why I didn’t bring a scarf to begin with is Alea’s amateur hour. Once I acquired my scarf, I got a ticket to the palace, which required you to take the tour. This threw off the plans a little because even though I had decided to see the palace, I was going to do a quick tour so I can get back to the city center to see the big fortress.

So, the tour starts with the most famous of the fountains. Guests would gather around the lovely dinner table and after everyone ate and drank, one of the servants would turn on the sprinklers that would spray all of the guests. As you can see in the picture below, the fountain sprayed out of the seats themselves. All except for the head of the table, of course, which is where the Prince Archbishop would sit.


When they talk about the trick fountains of the palace, I assumed that this one would be the only one. I mean, honestly how many trick fountains do you need anywhere outside of maybe a water park?


Apparently, the answer is quite a few. It wasn’t just about the fountains that would go off in random places. You also had water coming out of random walls in rooms, out of the ground, near other picturesque fountains.

Not all of the fountains were trick fountains, but the palace grounds were certainly elaborate for a palace that no one actually lived in or slept at.





There were also a lot of things that would dance and perform based on hydraulics. Some of them were built at the time and others were actually installed much later. Either way, they were pretty impressive.



There was an archway fountain that I think is supposedly good luck to cross under. Everyone was scared of doing it, probably because they were (rightfully) afraid of some other trick fountain getting them. There was, by the way. I was the first one to go through. It worked out because the tour was so crowded and no one else  showed up in my picture. Also, the tour guide hadn’t started turning on the trick fountain when I went through.


There wasn’t much more to the tour after that. Our tickets included an audio guided tour of the actual palace, but I really did not have much time if I wanted to also wander around Salzburg a little bit. So, I wandered the palace grounds a little bit before heading out to the Sound of Music Pavilion.


The actual pavilion isn’t open, so you can’t dance around inside a la Liesl and Rolfe. No one was around to take my picture of me doing it anyway, so a selfie had to suffice.


All in all, the palace trip was a surprisingly fun trip despite the fact that it rained through most of the tour. It would have probably felt nicer during that extreme heat wave we all got out of here, but I guess you also don’t notice trick fountains when your shoes are soaked through. I expected the trip to be interesting, but did not expect that it would be as entertaining as it was. Definitely worth a trip out if you’re in Salzburg.

I leave you with a statue of a lion that looks like Bruce.


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