Hellbrunn Palace

Salzburg, Austria

Hellbrunn Palace

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Hellbrunn Palace (German: Schloss Hellbrunn) is an early Baroque villa of palatial size, near Morzg, a southern district of the city of Salzburg, Austria. It was built in 1613–19 by Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, and named for the "clear spring" that supplied it. Hellbrunn was only meant for use as a day residence in summer, as the Archbishop usually returned to Salzburg in the evening; therefore, there is no bedroom in Hellbrunn.

The schloss is also famous for its jeux d'eau (watergames) in the grounds, which are a popular tourist attraction in the summer months. These games were conceived by Markus Sittikus, a man with a keen sense of humour, as a series of practical jokes to be performed on guests. Notable features include stone seats around a stone dining table through which a water conduit sprays water into the seat of the guests when the mechanism is activated, and hidden fountains that surprise and spray guests while they partake in the tour. Other features are a mechanical, water-operated and music-playing theatre built in 1750 including some 200 automata showing various professions at work, a grotto and a crown being pushed up and down by a jet of water, symbolising the rise and fall of power. At all of these games there is always a spot which is never wet: that was where the Archbishop stood or sat, to which there is no water conduit and which is today occupied by the tour guide.

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