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Welcome to Hellbrunn
Your virtual tour through the palace & trick fountains

Your virtual tour through Hellbrunn

Logo https://stadtsalzburg.pageflow.io/hellbrunn-en

Welcome to Hellbrunn

Shorten your time until your next visit to Hellbrunn and join us on a journey through the enchanting world of Prince Archbishop Markus Sittikus! Just scroll on to start the tour.

For an optimum experience, please use a laptop or desktop PC or turn the display of your mobile phone into landscape mode.
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Welcome to the trick fountains

A warm welcome to the trick fountains, a mannerist amusement park that is still operated today with nothing but the power of water, just as it was 400 years ago. To start your tour, please click on a point you would like to visit or scroll down and let yourself be guided from station to station.

If you would like to return to the start page, please click here.
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A marvel of technology

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Before you start your tour, you will find out here what makes the trick fountains so special and why they are still today considered a technical masterpiece.

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The Royal Table

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We begin our virtual walk in the Roman Theatre with its magnificent Royal Table. This is a long marble table. In the middle there is a water channel, which served to cool the drinks of the lord of the palace and his guests. The stone stools invited one to take a seat and linger even in the time of the Prince Archbishop. Or maybe not!

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At the Royal Table, the poor guests were at the mercy of their host Markus Sittikus. Here, he could have water jets shoot out from all the stools. But even if the seat of one’s trousers suddenly got wet, one could only get up as a guest at the behest of the Prince Archbishop. Only one stool always remained dry. Surely you can imagine whose it was. Correct - that of the Archbishop!

Please scroll further down to get to the next station, or return to the overview.
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The Orpheus Grotto

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Just a few steps from the Roman Theatre is the Orpheus Grotto, a small cavelike building. In this underworld lies the poor, deceased Eurydice who listens to her lover's violin playing. On the next page you will learn more about the individual design elements of the grotto. Simply hover your mouse over the marked points.

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Discover the Orpheus Grotto

Please swipe left and right to discover the grotto in detail.

The ibex

Together with the lion, the ibex is the heraldic animal of Prince Archbishop Markus Sittikus.

Eurydice's medallion

Eurydice wears a medallion, which probably shows the face of Markus Sittikus. It was therefore often claimed that the figure was modelled on his lover. From today's point of view, however, this seems unlikely.

Ceiling decoration

Particularly fascinating is the lining of this artificial grotto with tube sinters and stalactites. It's like you're actually in the underworld.

Architect unknown

The creator of this group of figures is unknown and is referred to by art historians as the “Orpheusmaster”.

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The Big Grottos

After our stay in the Orpheus Grotto we now reach the big grottos, which are located in the palace basement. They are not only fascinating in terms of cultural history, but also surprise visitors with hundreds of hidden water jets and splash fountains. Do you dare to approach?
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The Rain Grotto of Neptune is the largest grotto in Hellbrunn. Its highlight is undoubtedly the white marble statue of the sea god Neptune. Walls and ceilings are completely covered with marble, tuff stone and shell mosaics, and many hidden water tubes allow an artificial rain to pour on the guests. But of course, only when the Prince Archbishop wants.

Please klick 'Start 360° Panorama' to explore the grotto.
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Below Neptune is the hydraulically operated Germaul (grimacing face). It rolls its eyes, cheekily sticks its tongue out towards the viewer and from time to time lets the water-filled lower jaw tilt forward. According to rumours, the Germaul mask was intended as Markus Sittikus’ response to his enemies and enviers, to whom he stuck his tongue out in this way.

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Right next to the Neptune Grotto is the Mirror Grotto. It is covered all over with convex and concave mirrors embedded in stucco, in which one can look at oneself as if in a mirrored cabinet. Curiosity and reflection - here too, it becomes clear what effect Markus Sittikus wanted to achieve with his guests.

Please klick 'Start 360° Panorama' to explore the grotto.
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From the Mirror Grotto one enters the Birdsong Grotto, where different bird voices are imitated with the help of a hydraulic mechanism. Listen carefully - isn't it fascinating that only the power of water is used here? In the video you can take a look behind the scenes.
Video: Sulzer
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To the left of the Neptune’s Rain Grotto is the Shell Grotto, which unfolds its effect through the rich coloured stuccoes, ornaments and paintings.

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Behind the Shell Grotto we enter the Ruins Grotto, where complete destruction is feigned. According to the mannerist taste of the times, this should deprive visitors of orientation and balance. Arched curves bend away, cracks and holes open, lower layers of walls and beams appear, the door lintel crumbles and everything threatens to collapse. In short - a mannerist symbol of transience and decay.

Please klick 'Start 360° Panorama' to explore the grotto. Then we say goodbye to the big grottos and continue on our journey outdoors. Please scroll down or click here to get back to the overview.
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The star pond

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In front of the entrance of the great grottos you can admire the Star Pond, and behind it the Altemps Fountain and the Fountain Grotto.

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The Altemps Fountain is the most important spring system for the trick fountains and it flows in stages over three basins. It is named after Cardinal Marco Sittico d'Altemps, the uncle of the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg in Rome.

Amazed enough? Then, on to the next station. We visit the small grottos with their mechanical marvels. Or you can return to the overview.
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The Small Mechanical Theatres

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If you leave the Star Fountain and walk along Prince’s Way, you will pass five small grottos which are hydraulically driven. These fascinating Renaissance water automatons are unique worldwide, have survived almost 400 years in Hellbrunn and give us an authentic picture of the past, showing the following scenes:
  1. a knife-grinder at work
  2. Apollo who flays the satyr Marsyas
  3. Perseus fighting the sea monster to free Andromeda
  4. a miller at work
  5. a potter’s workshop

If you have seen enough, we will now head on to the Venus Fountain or you can go back to the overview.

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The Venus Grotto

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Opposite the Small Mechanical Theatres, Venus stands in a grotto and watches over her fountain. If you look carefully, you will see a real bouquet of flowers at her feet. It is covered by a dolphin statue with a water curtain and thus stays fresh for many days.

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In front of Venus the goddess of love, her son Amor made himself comfortable in the fountain. Blindfolded, he shoots his arrows of love and you never know who he'll hit next. Maybe it's you?
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Also at home in the Venus Grotto are these two small turtles, which are connected by a jet of water. But it is not clear to see with the naked eye which of the two animals spews the water and which swallows the jet.

After the Venus Grotto we move on to the Mechanical Theatre. You can also return to the overview.
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The Mechanical Theatre

This water-powered masterpiece was built by the Hallein miner Lorenz Rosenegger in the years 1749-1752. It is a delightful depiction of the life and bustle of a small baroque town with all its professions and market stalls. Citizens go for a walk, musicians play music, butchers slaughter a calf, a house is roofed, and many other craftsmen are also at work. A total of 163 figures made of lime wood are in the theatre, most of which move. The whole figurine apparatus is driven by a single water wheel. Fascinating, don't you think?
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As an acoustic complement to the delightful spectacle, a hydraulic organ work was added in 1753. It played a chorale written by Chapel Master Johann Ernst Eberlin, the predecessor of Leopold Mozart. Today, the organ, which is equipped with 200 wooden and metal pipes, plays a craftsman's song from the opera “Le maçon” by Daniel Auber from 1825. On the reel there is also the duet “Là ci darem la mano” from Mozart's Don Giovanni.

Continue your journey by scrolling or return to the overview.

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The Crown Grotto

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Over a small bridge we enter the Crown Grotto, which was completed only after the death of Markus Sittikus by his successor. Its centre is a small rock with snakes and frogs, on which an adjustable jet of water lifts a metal crown.

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At the back of the grotto there is a corridor whose walls are artistically designed. A group of figures made from Untersberg marble shows Apollo threatening the satyr Marsyas with a knife. Marsyas had arrogantly claimed to play the flute and lyre more beautifully than the God himself, and is now being cruelly punished by him. After Marsyas loses the competition, the God skins him alive.
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And now?

You have reached the last stop on our tour through the trick fountains. Now you are spoilt for choice, either you can return to the entrance of the trick fountains or you can visit the palace exhibition “GrandDelight - the unexpected world of Markus Sittikus”.
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Welcome to Hellbrunn Palace

Take a virtual journey through the exhibition “GrandDelight - the unexpected world of Markus Sittikus”. To get started, please click on one of the rooms or just scroll on to let us guide you through the palace.

If you would like to return to the start page, please click here.
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Prince for Church and Country

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Who was Markus Sittikus? This question is at the heart of the first exhibition room. A portrait of the ruler painted by Donato Arsenio Mascagni is therefore the main focus right at the beginning. It shows the Prince Archbishop with the two great buildings of his reign - Salzburg Cathedral and Hellbrunn Palace. The golden ibex symbolises one of the two heraldic animals of this ruler and appears together with a lion in many places throughout the palace. But who was Markus Sittikus, as a politician, a man and a clergyman?

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The Villa Outside the City

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In the next exhibition room you will learn more about the special location of Hellbrunn. On the following page you can see a map dating from 1630 and discover the most important sights from then and now.

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Trick Fountains

Pheasantry

Hellbrunn stream with horsepond

Palace Chapel

Hellbrunn Palace

Orangery

20th century

English landscape garden

18th century

Brook Trout Snuggery

Pleasure House

Garden with water parterre

Monatsschlössl Chateau

Salzburg ZOO

Water wonderland

21th century

Sound of Music gazebo

20th century

Hellbrunn alley

Playground

20th century

Stone theatre

Watzmann view

19th century

Sacral park

Enclosure wall

Enclosure wall

Belvedere Chateau

View of the city from above

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Melancholy and Death

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We now enter a darkened area dealing with the circumstances surrounding the death of the Prince Archbishop. Withering apples, a cast of the tomb epitaph and an ageing ruler remind one of the consciousness of transience. In the audio guide you will learn more about the funerals and the legacy of this ruler.

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Princely Nature

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In the 17th century, nature was discovered as a source of fascination. Scientific research and fabulous fantasies went hand in hand. This is clearly visible from the collection of paintings in the former dining room. On the next page you can get an overview of the different motifs.

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Discover the Gallery

Please swipe left and right to discover the paintings in detail.

Sunflower, 1618

Sittikus' chronicler, Johannes Steinhauser, mentions “extremely large sunflowers” that “have grown in the newly built princely pleasure garden of Hellbrunn, Anno 1618” – something quite exotic in Europe at that time.

Hausen, 17th century

According to the text, the Hausen (beluga sturgeon) weighing 238 pounds (133 kg) was caught in the Salzach river in the city of Tittmoning in 1617.

White Reindeer, 17th century

Probably as a gift for well-run negotiations, Prince Archbishop Guidobald Graf von Thun and Hohenstein received this reindeer from the Swedish King Karl XI.

Swan, 1636

Originally on the nobility's menu, swans were pushed off the princely table with the appearance of turkey after the discovery of America.

Orientally-clad man with eight-legged horse, 17th century

According to the image inscription, the horse with the innate polydactyly was presented in 1673 in the Salzburg Residence.

Unicorn, 21st century

People were already fascinated by unicorns in the days of Markus Sittikus. They can be found in many places throughout the palace and the unicorn served as the heraldic animal of the Prince Archbishop Guidobald Graf von Thun, who redesigned Hellbrunn in many places during his reign.

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Representation in Hellbrunn

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The ceremonial hall is the heart of the palace and stands out with its rich paintwork. For Markus Sittikus, Hellbrunn served as a retreat, but also for the reception of guests. The palace therefore had to satisfy certain courtly representations. The ceremonial hall was designed in 1616 by court painter Donato Arsenio Mascagni and structured with the help of stage-like illusionist architecture. You can discover many details of the wall painting on the following page.

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Discover the Ceremonial Hall

Please swipe left and right to discover the ceremonial hall in detail.

View of the Uffizi Gallery (Florence)

Virtues: divine justice and goodness

The divine justice holds the sword, the scale and the dove. Next to her is goodness with a pelican and its young, the symbol of sacrifice.

Virtues: strength and unknown identity

The figure with the helmet stands for strength, the identity of the virtue with the staff is not handed down.

Virtues: wisdom and humility/knowledge

Wisdom not only carries weapons, but also holds a mirror for itself. Next to it is the virtue of humility.

Virtues: moderation and reason of state

Moderation holds palm and bridle, the reason of state is equipped with helmet, sword, armour and general staff.

Personification of the virtue of love and Vita Breve

Vita Breve is the brevity of life with pansies in its hands.

Virtues: faith and hope

View of St. Mark's Cathedral (Venice)

Coat of arms and motto ribbon

Above the door are a golden ibex, the heraldic animal of Markus Sittikus and a black lion, the heraldic animal of Salzburg, depicted in an intimate embrace. The motto ribbon above it bears the motto of the Prince Archbishop - NUMEN VEL DISSA IUNGIT: A divine power connects even the opposite.

Roman emperors

Roman emperors

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Sittikus and Music

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In the Octagon next to the ceremonial hall, musical motifs can be seen in addition to illusionist architecture. The oversized motto ribbon in the middle of the room refers to the opera L'Orfeo by Monteverdi, whose performance in Salzburg in 1614 is regarded as the first opera performance north of the Alps. In the audio guide you will learn more about the acoustics of this extraordinary room.

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The Salzburg Carnival

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The Prince Archbishop set an exact programme for the pompous carnival parades. In the exhibition, a film shows what the hustle and bustle might have looked like.

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In this animated film, the Salzburg Carnival Drive is shown. The source text recited in the film comes from Johannes Steinhauser, the Prince Archbishop’s secretary.
Video: ProMedia
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Networking with the world

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The Chinese Room owes its name to the 18th century Chinese wallpaper. In the middle of the room stands a reconstructed globe. It is intended to show which parts of the world were already known at Markus Sittikus' time and how far globalisation had already advanced at that time. If you look out of the room, a fantastic panorama opens up over the palace park, which reaches up to the Monatschlössl Chateau.

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You have now arrived at the end of your tour of the palace. You can now visit the trick fountains directly or return to the virtual tour start page.
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