Hellbrunn Palace

Salzburg, Austria

Between 1612 and 1615, Salzburg’s prince-archbishop Markus Sittikus commissioned the building of a summer residence at the foot of Hellbrunn mountain, a location already abundant in naturally flowing waters. Based on Italian models and in a relatively short period of time, an architectural jewel had been created, still reckoned amongst the most magnificent Renaissance buildings north of the Alps. 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 take part on 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 where the Archbishop stood or sat, to which there is no water conduit and which is today occupied by the tour guide.

Comments

Your name



Details

Founded: 1612-1619
Category: Palaces, manors and town halls in Austria

Rating

4.5/5 (based on Google user reviews)

User Reviews

Karen Thomsit (2 years ago)
A must for anyone visiting Salzburg. The water gardens are brilliant fun with surprises at every turn. The palace is stunning. The atmosphere is tremendous and you leave smiling.
Stefanie Pryke (2 years ago)
The water park is certainly worth a visit! Such a fun little place, as long as you don't mind getting a bit wet!! Palace is a lovely place to visit too.
Aishah Bailey (3 years ago)
Catch a bus from the city centre to this gorgeous area surrounded by mountains. The advent market was enormous and stalls were varied and priced the same as in town. See the sturgeons in the pond, visit the zoo if you're there in summer (there's not that much in winter but you can still see the goats, alpaca and sheep in the petting zoo). The windows of the main palace open up like an advent calendar which is cute. Beware that the trick fountains package aren't available in December!
Gustav Lugerbauer (3 years ago)
Very beautiful and well organized Christmas market Entrance fee is good with a free drink. Nice stands very well decorated all in all fun for the whole family. There is also a very nice playground for kids
Sanat Sahasrabudhe (3 years ago)
Splendid palace in a beautiful setting. The architecture of the palace and its surrounding structures is striking, especially with the bright yellow color. The interior is also lovely, and provides great information about the history of the palace. All of it is very well-maintained. The palace gardens and expansive park are beautiful to walk in. The trick fountains are also very nicely designed. Schloss Hellbrunn is a substantial distance from the center of Salzburg, but I definitely recommend a visit. Making things easier is a bus stop right outside the main entrance.
Powered by Google

Featured Historic Landmarks, Sites & Buildings

Historic Site of the week

Glimmingehus

Glimmingehus is the best preserved medieval stronghold in Scandinavia. It was built 1499-1506, during an era when Scania formed a vital part of Denmark, and contains many defensive arrangements of the era, such as parapets, false doors and dead-end corridors, 'murder-holes' for pouring boiling pitch over the attackers, moats, drawbridges and various other forms of death traps to surprise trespassers and protect the nobles against peasant uprisings. The lower part of the castle's stone walls are 2.4 meters (94 inches) thick and the upper part 1.8 meters (71 inches).

Construction was started in 1499 by the Danish knight Jens Holgersen Ulfstand and stone-cutter-mason and architect Adam van Düren, a North German master who also worked on Lund Cathedral. Construction was completed in 1506.

Ulfstand was a councillor, nobleman and admiral serving under John I of Denmark and many objects have been uncovered during archeological excavations that demonstrate the extravagant lifestyle of the knight's family at Glimmingehus up until Ulfstand's death in 1523. Some of the most expensive objects for sale in Europe during this period, such as Venetian glass, painted glass from the Rhine district and Spanish ceramics have been found here. Evidence of the family's wealth can also be seen inside the stone fortress, where everyday comforts for the knight's family included hot air channels in the walls and bench seats in the window recesses. Although considered comfortable for its period, it has also been argued that Glimmingehus was an expression of "Knighthood nostalgia" and not considered opulent or progressive enough even to the knight's contemporaries and especially not to later generations of the Scanian nobility. Glimmingehus is thought to have served as a residential castle for only a few generations before being transformed into a storage facility for grain.

An order from Charles XI to the administrators of the Swedish dominion of Scania in 1676 to demolish the castle, in order to ensure that it would not fall into the hands of the Danish king during the Scanian War, could not be executed. A first attempt, in which 20 Scanian farmers were ordered to assist, proved unsuccessful. An additional force of 130 men were sent to Glimmingehus to execute the order in a second attempt. However, before they could carry out the order, a Danish-Dutch naval division arrived in Ystad, and the Swedes had to abandon the demolition attempts. Throughout the 18th century the castle was used as deposit for agricultural produce and in 1924 it was donated to the Swedish state. Today it is administered by the Swedish National Heritage Board.

On site there is a museum, medieval kitchen, shop and restaurant and coffee house. During summer time there are several guided tours daily. In local folklore, the castle is described as haunted by multiple ghosts and the tradition of storytelling inspired by the castle is continued in the summer events at the castle called "Strange stories and terrifying tales".