Hellbrunn Palace: 5 Things To Do (a Must Visit in Salzburg)

Hellbrunn Palace may appear to be an ordinary princely estate in Salzburg, but I believe it is one of Austria’s most creative engineering feats from the 17th century. As its name suggests (named after “clear spring”), it is home to spectacular water-powered attractions, making it a worth-visiting destination.

If you are expecting, yes, Hellbrunn Palace also has eye-catching halls, a tranquil parterre with ponds, and grottoes outside. You will love wandering around the palace! There are also exhibits in the palace that provide insights into Markus Sittikus (its owner) and cultural events in Salzburg.

Without a doubt, Hellbrunn Palace is a must-see attraction in Salzburg, and if you’re planning a visit, this post will help you make the most of your trip! I will provide you with a list of BEST things to do in Hellbrunn Palace, as well as what not to miss, visiting information, and more. So, let’s get started!

To make Hellbrunn more interesting, let me tell you its brief history. However, if you want to immediately proceed to the main content, click here.

The story of Hellbrunn Palace all started when Markus Sittikus, the Salzburg Royal Archbishop, had a vision right after his election in 1612.

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That time, he decided to build his own “villa suburbana” in the Italian style as a place of relaxation and entertainment for himself and his guests.

So, he commissioned the Italian architect Santino Solari to design the palace, construction began in June 1613.

Thanks to his princely wealth and influence, the palace was built in just two short years and the rest of the estate was completed by December 1616.

And the result? Markus Sittikus had created a lovely palace and gardens, a place of beauty and relaxation.

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Eye-pleasing things to see in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Eye-pleasing things to see in Hellbrunn Palace
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But the story of Hellbrunn doesn’t end there. Over the years, the palace and its grounds underwent several changes and redesigns.

Under Archbishop Andreas Jakob von Dietrichstein, the Mechanical Theater was constructed on the site of the old Forge Grotto among the trick fountains.

This original showpiece, which has been preserved to this day, shows the life and activity of a small Baroque city with over 100 figures moved by the power of water.

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The amazing Mechanical Theater powered by water in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The amazing Mechanical Theater powered by water
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The final far-reaching redesigning of the gardens took place around 1790 during the period of rule of Archbishop Hieronymus von Colloredo.

He had a park laid out in the English style, creating a beautiful and serene landscape that visitors can still enjoy today.

Now, Hellbrunn Palace serves as a unique and beautiful attraction in Salzburg, drawing visitors from all over the world.

The palace and its gardens have been carefully preserved and maintained, allowing visitors to experience what Markus Sittikus envisioned so many years ago.

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Hellbrunn Palace from the Roman Theater (autumn season), Salzburg, Austria
Hellbrunn Palace from the Roman Theater (autumn season)
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It is a popular tourist destination, especially its trick fountains, with an average of a whopping 450,000 visitors counted each season.

Maximize your Salzburg adventure by checking out these Salzburg Travel Inspiration posts. They’ll help you find the perfect experiences to suit your preferences

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10 Unique Things to Do in Salzburg, Austria

The Beauty of Salzburg: 7 Beautiful Things to See

5 Spots In Salzburg to see Sunset or Sunrise (With a Map)

20 Sights and Landmarks in Salzburg: History & Architecture

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Best Things to Do in Hellbrunn Palace

Even though Hellbrunn Palace gets tons of visitors each year, it’s still a great spot to unwind after checking out the busy Old Town of Salzburg.

The garden is huge, so you’ll always find a place to chill and catch your breath.

Just kick back by the garden ponds and watch the swans and fish do their thing. You’ll feel your exhaustion disappear.

In some parts of the garden, the only sound you’ll hear is the crunch of gravel under your feet as you stroll around.

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Zoomed-in shot of Hellbrunn Palace Gardens from the hill where Little Month Palace is located, Salzburg, Austria
Zoomed-in shot of Hellbrunn Palace Gardens from the hill where Little Month Palace is located
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But, as you probably already know, there’s more to Hellbrunn Palace than just a nice walk around the grounds.

When you buy an entrance ticket, you get access to all the cool and beautiful parts of the palace. We’ll talk more about them below.

1. The Sound of Music Gazebo

Did you know that Hellbrunn Palace has a part that you can see in a movie?

It’s the gazebo in the palace garden and it was featured in the movie “The Sound of Music.

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The gazebo of The Sound of Music in Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg, Austria
The gazebo of The Sound of Music in Hellbrunn Palace
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You can find it immediately after entering the garden, just a few steps from the main gate.

If you’re a fan of “The Sound of Music,” imagining the scenes that the movie characters made here is the first thing you can do when visiting Hellbrunn Palace.

You can imagine Liesl getting her first kiss in the gazebo while she sings “16 going on 17.”

In case you haven’t watched the movie yet, the scene with Liesl in the gazebo is one of the most intimate scenes in the movie, making the gazebo a very romantic spot in Hellbrunn Palace.

As a popular spot for visitors to Salzburg, you’ll likely see many people taking pictures and selfies around the gazebo when you visit

Yes, it’s an iconic spot in Salzburg. So, whether you’re a fan or not, taking a selfie here for a photo-souvenir is a good idea.

If you’re still planning a trip to Salzburg, don’t forget to watch The Sound of Music before you go. 

It is a great and meaningful film.

Not only does it spark wanderlust for a trip to Salzburg, but it also has many memorable songs and important messages.

It’s a movie that inspires hope and reminds us of the value of family and believing in ourselves.

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A closer look - the gazebo of The Sound of Music in Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg, Austria
A closer look – the gazebo of The Sound of Music in Hellbrunn Palace
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If you’re interested in visiting the most iconic filming location of The Sound of Music in Salzburg without hassle, here’s the tour I recommend: Original Sound of Music Tour.

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2. Trick Fountains

If you’re planning a visit to Hellbrunn Palace, I highly recommend dedicating a good portion of your time to exploring the Trick Fountains.

The Trick Fountains are the amazing features of the palace garden: water automats, grottos, and fountains that are both fascinating and entertaining.

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A triangular crown suspended mid-air by a water jet and two turtles shooting water (mouth to mouth) at each other in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
A triangular crown suspended mid-air by a water jet and two turtles shooting water (mouth to mouth) at each other
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They are the highlight of visiting Hellbrunn, alongside the exhibition inside the palace. They showcase the unique character of Hellbrunn Palace and offer unforgettable experiences that you won’t find anywhere else.

In summary, the Trick Fountains of Hellbrunn Palace offer a wealth of fascinating things to discover.

The garden is home to a number of grottoes, in addition to the uniquely constructed fountains. These grottoes contain statues of Greek gods, mythical creatures, and illusions that will both terrify, fascinate, and delight you.

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The view from the Roman Theater fountains in Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg, Austria
The view from the Roman Theater fountains in Hellbrunn Palace
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The Trick Fountains also have water automata, which are truly spectacular sets of five water-driven figures. It is especially impressive to think about how they work and how they were built.

Here are eight things/parts of the Trick Fountains that you should not miss:

  • The Royal Table
  • The Big Grottos
  • The Star Pond
  • The Venus Grotto
  • The Mechanical Theatre
  • The Crown Grotto
  • The Orpheus Grotto
  • The Small Mechanical Theatres

But perhaps the most remarkable feature of the Trick Fountains is the mechanical theater from 1750, which boasts 163 water-driven figures depicting the life of a small Baroque city.

You can check the resources section of this post for a YouTube video, explaining the science behind the Trick Fountains.

Let me tell you more about them…

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Must See #1 — The Royal Table

The Royal Table is the trickiest among the Trick Fountains.

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The Roman theater in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The Roman theater in Hellbrunn Palace
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Located in the Roman Theater north of Hellbrunn Palace, it’s a magnificent marble table with a water channel running down the middle to cool drinks.

Guests sat on stone stools surrounding the table, but had to beware – water jets could shoot out from all the stools except for one belonging to the Archbishop.

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The design of the Royal Table (showing a lion and ibex hugging each other which is the symbol of Markus Sittikus) in the Roman Theater in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The design of the Royal Table (showing a lion and ibex hugging each other which is the symbol of Markus Sittikus) in the Roman Theater
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The guests were at the mercy of their host, the Prince Archbishop, who could activate the jets at any time, leaving them with wet trousers.

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Must See #2 — The Orpheus Grotto

Another feature of Hellbrunn garden to look for is Orpheus Grotto, located on the western end of the parterre.

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The grotto of Orpheus in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The grotto of Orpheus in Hellbrunn Palace
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It’s this cave-like building in the garden that shows how much the Prince Archbishop was into music.

When you head inside, you’ll see Eurydice, who’s passed away, listening to her lover, Orpheus, playing the violin.

Their sculptures portray that Orpheus is so good using the violin that even wild animals relax when they hear him play.

Aside from the lovers, there are a few things you should keep an eye out for when you’re in the grotto.

Take a look at the ceiling. It’s got these tube sinters and stalactites – it’s so well done that it makes you feel like you’re in the underworld.

Look for the ibex too. It’s this animal that represents Prince Archbishop Markus Sittikus, along with the lion.

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The ibex and the lion that symbolizes Markus Sittikus in Orpheus Grotto in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The ibex and the lion that symbolizes Markus Sittikus in Orpheus Grotto
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You may also want to take a closer look at Eurydice’s necklace, which is very interesting. Others believe that she’s got this medallion with Markus Sittikus’ face on it.

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Must See #3 — The Big Grottos

As an architecture enthusiast, you simply must visit the Big Grottos of Hellbrunn Palace’ Trick Fountains.

Tucked in the palace basement, you’ll be amazed by the stunning sculptures and vibrant ceiling decorations made of colored stones.

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A glimpse to the magical appearance of the Big Grottos of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
A glimpse to the magical appearance of the Big Grottos of Hellbrunn Palace
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But be warned – you might get caught in a surprise splash during your visit to the Big Grottos. It’s all part of the magic!

The Big Grottos are made up of 5 smaller grottos, which you can expect to see as you explore the interiors.

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Neptune Grotto

Neptune Grotto is the first part of the Big Grottos and, in my opinion, the most spectacular.

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Carefully elaborated stone ceiling of the Neptune Grotto in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Carefully elaborated stone ceiling of the Neptune Grotto
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Its walls and ceilings are completely covered with marble, tuff stone, and shell mosaics. It’s truly a breathtaking sight! 

The most amazing part of the grotto is the white marble statue of Neptune, the sea god.

Below it is the sculpture’s special feature — a Germaul (grimacing face) that moves using hydraulics.

It can roll its eyes, stick out its tongue towards the viewer, and even tilt its water-filled lower jaw forward from time to time. 

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Neptune fountain and Germaul mask in the Neptune Grotto in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Neptune fountain and Germaul mask in the Neptune Grotto
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Did you know that this Germaul mask in the Neptune Grotto may have been Markus Sittikus’ way of getting back at his enemies?

Rumor has it that he used the mask to stick his tongue out at those who envied him.

Indeed, it’s a funny rumor!

By the way, you can expect to get a little wet from the hidden water tubes that allow artificial rain to pour on you while you marvel at Neptune Grotto’s interiors.

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The interiors of Neptune Grotto in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The interiors of Neptune Grotto in Hellbrunn Palace
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But don’t worry, it’s not too much and it’s all part of the experience that Prince Archbishop Markus Sittikus wanted his visitors to have.

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The Mirror Grotto

After visiting the Neptune Grotto, the Mirror Grotto is next.

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The colorful walls of the Mirror Grotto with concave and convex mirrors in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The colorful walls of the Mirror Grotto with concave and convex mirrors
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The interior gives the impression of being inside a mirrored cabinet due to the concave and convex mirrors set into the stucco walls.

It is one of the Big Grottos, designed by Markus Sittikus to invoke reflection and curiosity among visitors.

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The Birdsong Grotto

Big Grottos has some truly unique, surprising, and amazing features!

Take the Birdsong Grotto, for example, the next grotto after the Mirror Grotto.

As the name suggests, this section of the grotto is filled with the sounds of birds, all produced by a hydraulic mechanism.

Get ready to be fascinated by this incredible auditory experience!

After the Birdsong Grotto, return to the Neptune Grotto. The entrance to the other side of the Big Grotto, the Shell and Ruins Grotto, can be found there.

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The Shell Grotto

As you make your way to the left of Neptune’s Rain Grotto, you’ll find yourself in the enchanting Shell Grotto.

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The shell grotto of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The shell grotto of Hellbrunn Palace
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Here, you can take in the richly colored stucco, ornaments, and paintings that decorate the ceiling and walls; admire the images of ibex heads, fruit, and other decorations made from shells.

It’s simply a wondrous work of art that gives more identity to the Trick Fountains.

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The Ruins Grotto

The last of the Big Grottos is the Ruins Grotto. Located just behind the Shell Grotto, this mysterious world of artful destruction awaits you.

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Transience and decay symbolized by the Ruins Grotto in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Transience and decay symbolized by the Ruins Grotto
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You’ll see arched curves bending away and cracks and holes opening to reveal lower layers of walls and beams.

The door lintel crumbles, and everything threatens to collapse.

This mannerist masterpiece is a symbol of transience and decay, designed to disorient and unbalance you, which is also an interesting feature of the Trick Fountains.

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Must See #4 — The Star Pond

Another notable part of the Trick Fountains is the Star Pond.

As you make your way towards the entrance of the Big Grottos, the Star Pond will catch your eye, with the Altemps Fountain and the Fountain Grotto adding to its allure.

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View of the Star Pond from the entrance of the Big Grottos in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
View of the Star Pond from the entrance of the Big Grottos
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Here you can admire the semicircular fountain grotto that surrounds the pond, with Perseus perched above it, triumphantly holding the head of Medusa.

The lower wall is a work of art, with figures representing the four seasons.

The highlight, however, is the Altemps Fountain, which serves as the most important spring system for the trick fountains.

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Top and closer view of the Star Pond in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Top and closer view of the Star Pond
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Take a few moments to appreciate it flowing in stages over three basins, its cascades beautifully decorated with diverse mosaics.

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Must See #5 — The Small Mechanical Theaters

As you stroll along Prince’s Way in the Trick Fountains of Hellbrunn Palace, you’ll come across five small grottos that are sure to capture your imagination.

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Small Mechanical Theaters of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Small Mechanical Theaters
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These hydraulically driven Renaissance water automatons have withstood the test of time, surviving almost 400 years in Hellbrunn.

Yep, they are another must-see in the Trick Fountains as they’ll provide you a unique and watery glimpse into the past.

Each grotto features a different scene, from a knife-grinder hard at work to Apollo flaying the satyr Marsyas, Perseus battling a sea monster to rescue Andromeda, a miller grinding grain, and a potter’s workshop.

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Must See #6 — The Venus Grotto

Like the goddess, Venus Grotto is a beautiful spot in the Trick Fountain you must not miss seeing.

Here, you will see the goddess of love, standing in a grotto and watching over her fountain.

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Venus Grotto in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Venus Grotto in Hellbrunn Palace
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A unique feature of this grotto is the real bouquet of flowers at Venus’s feet, which stays fresh for many days due to the moisture provided by a water curtain from a dolphin statue.

Another interesting feature of the Venus Grotto are the two small turtles connected by a jet of water.

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The turtles near grotto of Venus in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The turtles near grotto of Venus in Hellbrunn Palace
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It took me a while to find them, but maybe you’ll be quicker, I guess!

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Must See #7 — The Mechanical Theatre

A visit to Hellbrunn Palace would be incomplete without seeing the Mechanical Theater, which is another highlight of the Trick Fountains. 

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The famous Mechanical Theater of Hellbrunn Palace’s Trick Fountains, Salzburg, Austria
The famous Mechanical Theater of Hellbrunn Palace’s Trick Fountains
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It is only a short walk from Orpheus’ Grotto, so you should be able to see it right away.

This water-powered masterpiece is a delightful depiction of the life and bustle of a small baroque town.

With its 163 moving figures made of lime wood, you’ll see various professions and market stalls, including citizens going for a walk, musicians playing music, butchers slaughtering a calf, and many other craftsmen at work.

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A view of the baroque town inside the Mechanical Theater in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
A view of the baroque town inside the Mechanical Theater
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All of these figures are driven by a single water wheel, making it a fascinating display of engineering and artistry. That’s why it’s a must see! 

Another notable feature of the Mechanical Theater is its hydraulic organ

As you listen, you’ll hear a craftsman’s song from the opera “Le maçon” by Daniel Auber from 1825, as well as the duet “Là ci darem la mano” from Mozart’s Don Giovanni. 

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Must See #8 — The Crown Grotto

As you cross the small bridge, you’ll enter the mysterious Crown Grotto, a hidden gem in the Trick Fountains of Hellbrunn Palace.

Completed only after the death of Markus Sittikus by his successor, the grotto holds secrets and surprises for you to discover.

Inside, you’ll see a brass crown suspended in mid-air, propelled by a jet of water.

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The brass crown inside the Crown Grotto of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The brass crown inside the Crown Grotto of Hellbrunn Palace
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You can watch as it rises and falls, symbolizing the transient nature of power.

But that’s not all. If you venture to the back of the grotto, you’ll find a corridor with walls adorned with artistry.

There, you’ll find a story-telling group of figures, carved from Untersberg marble, depicting a dramatic scene: Apollo, the god of music, threatens the satyr Marsyas with a knife.

Marsyas had dared to challenge Apollo, claiming to play the flute and lyre more beautifully than the god himself.

But he lost the competition and now faces a cruel punishment – being skinned alive by the vengeful god.

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3. Palace Exhibitions

Although Hellbrunn Palace may not appear as grand as other European palaces, it has artistic features that will truly amaze you.

So, even if you have limited time or feel satisfied with the experience after seeing the Trick Fountains, make sure to tour the Palace. (especially since it’s included in the tickets you’ll be buying to enter!)

Most importantly, the exhibitions provide fascinating insights into Markus Sittikus’ life, his love for music, and his death.

You’ll also discover the popular activities of a prince from several hundred years ago.

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Some of the exhibitions inside Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg, Austria
Some of the exhibitions inside Hellbrunn Palace
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The eight parts of the Palace Exhibition listed below should give you an idea. 

  1. Prince for Church and Country
  2. The Villa Outside the City
  3. Melancholy and Death
  4. Princely Nature
  5. The Ceremonial Hall: Representation in Hellbrunn
  6. The Octagon: Sittikus and Music 
  7. Salzburg Carnival
  8. Networking Around The World

Let’s briefly discuss each…

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Prince for Church and Country

After being amazed by the Trick Fountains, you might find yourself wondering about the man behind Hellbrunn Palace.

Like, Who was the creative genius responsible for such unique engineering?

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Prince for Church and Country Exhibition in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Prince for Church and Country Exhibition in Hellbrunn Palace
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Look no further than the “Prince for Church and Country” exhibition, where you’ll discover the many facets of Markus Sittikus’ life, from his political career to his role as a clergyman.

It’s the first part of the Palace exhibits, which has the portrait of Markus Sittikus in his prime, painted by Donati Arsenio Mascagni, as the highlight.

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The Villa Outside the City

Aside from learning about Markus Sittikus, you can discover more about the geographical features of Hellbrunn in the exhibit titled “The Villa Outside the City.”

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The Villa Outside the City Exhibition in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The Villa Outside the City Exhibition in Hellbrunn Palace
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There are several things you can find in the exhibit, but as a map nerd, the map of Hellbrunn from 1630 immediately caught my attention. If you check it during your visit, you’ll see:

  • Sacral park
  • Belvedere Chateau
  • Watzmann view
  • Stone theater
  • Different viewing points over the estate
  • Monatsschlössl Chateau
  • Salzburg Zoo
  • Pleasure house
  • Hellbrunn’s garden with water parterre
  • Palace Chapel
  • Hellbrunn Palace
  • Hellbrunn Gate (in proximity to Sound of Music’s gazebo)
  • Trick fountains 
  • Hellbrunn alley
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Melancholy and Death

Another part of the palace exhibits is called “Melancholy and Death,” which allows visitors to delve into the events that occurred after the life of Markus Sittikus.

In this exhibit, you’ll find a variety of objects and informative displays that provide insight into the funerals and legacy of Markus Sittikus.

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Princely Nature

Interestingly, the Hellbrunn Palace exhibition offers a fascinating glimpse into the interests, curiosities, and passions of 17th-century royalty; into their unquenchable thirst for all things strange and exotic.

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The unicorn inside the Princely Nature Exhibits of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The unicorn inside the Princely Nature Exhibits of Hellbrunn Palace
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They’re located in the “Princely Nature” room, which has a collection that includes artworks of various creatures from scientific studies, folklore, and fantasy…

… as well as paintings of plants and flowers with realistic detail. All the things they collect.

You can expect to see artworks of pelicans, alpine ibex, forest devils, unicorns, vultures, exotic cockatoos, native wildlife, and much more.

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The sunflower and other animals paintings in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The sunflower and other animals paintings in Hellbrunn Palace
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One that might interest you is the White Reindeer from the 17th century, which was received by Prince Archbishop Guidobald Graf von Thun and Hohenstein as a gift from the Swedish King Karl XI.

Another intriguing piece is the Sunflower from 1618, which was mentioned by Sittikus’ chronicler, Johannes Steinhauser, as being “extremely large” and grown in the newly built princely pleasure garden of Hellbrunn. It was quite exotic for Europe at that time.

You might also be interested in the 17th century artwork of an Orientally-clad man with an eight-legged horse, which according to the image inscription, was presented in 1673 in the Salzburg Residence.

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Exotic fruits painting in the 17th century of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Exotic fruits painting in the 17th century of Hellbrunn Palace
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Lastly, there’s the Hausen from the 17th century, which depicts a beluga sturgeon weighing 238 pounds (133 kg) caught in the Salzach river in Tittmoning in 1617.

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The Ceremonial Hall: Representation in Hellbrunn

For all art and architecture enthusiasts out there, the Ceremonial Hall is the must-see part of the Hellbrunn Palace for you.

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The beautiful frescoes of Hellbrunn Palace’s Ceremonial Hall, Salzburg, Austria
The beautiful frescoes of Hellbrunn Palace’s Ceremonial Hall
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It is the heart of the palace and stands out with its rich paintwork and fascinating use of perspective.

It took me a while to take in the wonder it shows, though!

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Fresco-secco paintings in the Ceremonial Hall of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Fresco-secco paintings in the Ceremonial Hall
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The hall was used both as a retreat for Markus Sittikus and as a place to receive guests. Its artworks in its walls and ceiling would have visually impressed any courtly visitor, and you are sure to be no exception!

Designed in 1616 by court painter Donato Arsenio Mascagni, the hall features stage-like illusionist architecture and fresco-secco paintings that make the room appear much larger than it actually is.

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The gorgeous ceiling of the Ceremonial Hall of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The gorgeous ceiling of the Ceremonial Hall
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You’ll be amazed by the open blue sky, depictions of Florence and Venice on the longer hall, and heralding animals above the door leading to the multimedia show.

These animals, an alpine ibex with a lion, are symbols from the prince-archbishop’s coat of arms and embrace with a Latin motto, NUMEN VEL DISSA IUNGIT, above them that means “the sacred binds opposites.”

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NUMEN VEL DISSA IUNGIT_ motto of Marcus Sittikus in the Ceremonial Hall of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
NUMEN VEL DISSA IUNGIT_ motto of Marcus Sittikus in the Ceremonial Hall of Hellbrunn Palace
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Other frescoes of the Ceremonial Hall feature several depictions of virtues, including divine justice and goodness, strength and unknown identity, wisdom and humility/knowledge, moderation and reason of state, faith and hope, and the personification of the virtue of love and Vita Breve.

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The view of the Octagon from the Ceremonial Hall of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The view of the Octagon from the Ceremonial Hall of Hellbrunn Palace
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The Octagon: Sittikus and Music 

A unique experience awaits you in the Octagon hall of the Hellbrunn Palace.

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The Octagon of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
The Octagon of Hellbrunn Palace
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In this part of Palace Exhibits, you’ll be transported to a world of musical motifs and illusionist architecture

Like, as you explore this extraordinary room, you’ll be enveloped by the fascinating acoustics, where every tone is intensified by the architectural design that acts like an amplifier.

You can imagine yourself in the 17th century, listening to the same music that Markus Sittikus would have enjoyed.

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A unique artwork in the middle of the Octagon of Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg, Austria
A unique artwork in the middle of the Octagon of Hellbrunn Palace
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In the exhibition, you’ll also learn about the performance of Monteverdi’s opera L’Orfeo in Salzburg in 1614, which made history as the first opera performance north of the Alps.

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Salzburg Carnival

In one room of the Hellbrunn Palace, visitors can experience a captivating multimedia presentation about the Salzburg Carnival dating back to 1618.

This informative and entertaining animation reconstructs a fascinating world full of bizarre traditions, games, and costumes unique to Salzburg.

One of the most intriguing aspects of the presentation is the depiction of people dressed as Native American Indians or wild forest men, which is quite surprising in addition to the traditional Beating of the Pigs event.

You can check the resources section of this post for a link to a Youtube Video about Salzburg Carnival.

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Chinese Room: Networking Around The World

The Chinese Room is the last (but not least) part of the exhibitions in the Hellbrunn Palace.

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The Chinese Room of Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg, Austria
The Chinese Room of Hellbrunn Palace
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In terms of design, it is the most unique place in Hellbrunn all because of its walls that are adorned with exquisite 18th-century Chinese wallpaper.

Interestingly, they are crafted in south China exclusively for European buyers.

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Details of the the Chinese Room’s wallpaper of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Details of the the Chinese Room’s wallpaper
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In the center of the room, a globe stands as a testament to the world as it was known during Markus Sittikus’ time.

Using it, you can marvel at how trade and globalization reached different corners of the world in the 17th century.

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I see the Philippines! The globe in the middle of the Chinese Room of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
I see the Philippines! The globe in the middle of the Chinese Room
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Don’t leave without taking a peek out the window – a breathtaking panorama awaits, with views stretching across the palace park to the idyllic Monatschlössi Chateau, built in 1615 to enhance the palace’s picturesque setting.

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4. The Little Month Palace

Wandering in the Hellbrunn garden, I’m more than sure that you’ll notice the lone building perched on a hilltop, overlooking the entire Hellbrunn estate.

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Exhibits inside the Little Month Palace and Folklore Museum in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Exhibits inside the Little Month Palace or Folklore Museum
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That building is the Little Month Palace

And interestingly, it got its name from the rumors and legend that it was constructed in only one month.

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Beautiful furniture exhibited in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Beautiful furniture exhibited in the Folklore Museum of Hellbrunn Palace
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Would you believe that?

Anyway, today, the Little Month Palace houses the Folklore Museum, which you’ll have access to when you purchase an entry ticket to the palace.

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Strange masks and beautiful bed from Salzburg exhibited in Little Month Palace in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Strange masks and beautiful bed from Salzburg exhibited in Little Month Palace
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So what is this museum all about? The Folklore Museum is a museum that showcases the folk culture of Salzburg.

Inside the museum, you’ll be amazed by the rich folk culture of Salzburg, presented across three floors of treasures.

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Musical legacy of Tobi Reiser exhibition in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Musical legacy of Tobi Reiser exhibition in Little Month Palace
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You can discover the musical legacy of Tobi Reiser in a room dedicated to his genius, and marvel at the exquisite furniture and trousseau in the exhibition room.

At the same time, immerse yourself in folk piety with statues of saints and other religious artifacts, and learn about the founder of the Folklore Collection, Karl Adrian.

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Salzburg's unique traditional costumes exhibited in the Little Month Palace in Hellbrunn, Salzburg, Austria
Salzburg’s unique traditional costumes exhibited in the Little Month Palace in Hellbrunn
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Highlights include rural stately furniture, historical masks, life-size traditional figures of the Schönperchten, and a stunning presentation of Salzburg’s traditional costume. 

If you are interested in visiting the Folklore Museum, getting to the Little Month Palace takes about 10 minutes of a short hike from the garden.

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Paintings, figurines, and antiques inside Little Month Palace in Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Paintings, figurines, and antiques inside Little Month Palace in Hellbrunn Palace
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5. Stone Theater

If you like going off-the-beaten-path, the Stone Theater is another place to be in Hellbrunn. It is located at the same hill where you can find Little Month Palace

And nestled in the forest and surrounded by nature, the Stone Theater in Hellbrunn is a hidden gem.

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Stone Theater of Hellbrunn Palace, Salzburg, Austria
Stone Theater of Hellbrunn Palace
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Carved almost entirely into the conglomerate rock of Hellbrunn Hill, this unique theater was once a quarry before being transformed by Markus Sittikus to indulge his love for music and theater.

With narrow tunnels and corridors leading to the stage from all sides, the Stone Theater is a magical labyrinth for both children and adults today. It’s a nature playground for families! 

Amazingly, visitors can still experience the enchanting atmosphere of this one-of-a-kind location today like in the times of Markus Sitticus as it continues to host events such as concerts and theater performances.

You can check the official website of Hellbrunn for more information (linked in the resources section of this post).

Do you want to see the Stone Theater? The Stone Theater and Little Month Palace is connected by a forest path which takes 7 to 10 minutes to hike.

If you’ve been to the palace, you must have discovered its exact location from the 17th-century map of Hellbrunn displayed in the exhibitions.

Anyway, you can always refer to Google Maps or Komoot to get to the Stone Theater (like I usually do).

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Visiting Information: Hellbrunn Palace

If you’re planning a visit to the beautiful Hellbrunn Palace and Trick Fountains, it’s important to know that it is open daily from Spring to Autumn. 

The opening hours vary depending on the month, so be sure to plan accordingly:

  • March (usually last week) to April: 09:30 am – 5:30 pm (Last admission is 4:30 pm)
  • May to June: 09:30 am – 6:30 pm (Last admission is 5:30 pm)
  • July to August: 09:30 am – 7:00 pm (Last admission is 6:00 pm)
  • September: 09:30 am – 6:30 pm (Last admission is 5:30 pm)
  • October to November (usually first week): 09:30 am – 5:30 pm (Last admission is 4:30 pm)

Please check the official website of Hellbrunn Palace for the exact start and end date of the visiting season, and announcements for the changes in schedule.

If you’re looking for a peaceful and serene experience at Hellbrunn Palace, you may visit early in the morning.

The palace garden is open daily (all year round) from 6:30 am (until 9:00 pm), providing ample opportunity to relax, connect with nature, and take beautiful photos without any distractions.

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Map of Hellbrunn Palace

To help you explore Hellbrunn Palace, here’s the map indicating the location of each point of interest in Hellbrunn Palace. 

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Map of Hellbrunn Palace in Salzburg, Austria
Map of Hellbrunn Palace
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Legend:

  1. Hellbrunn Palace
  2. Water parterre
  3. Sound and sights rooms
  4. Sound of Music pavilion
  5. Playground
  6. Magical garden of the senses
  7. Folklore Museum
  8. Salzburg Zoo
  9. View of the city from above
  10. Stone Theater
  11. View of the Watzmann mountain
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How to Get to Hellbrunn Palace

There are three ways to reach Hellbrunn Palace from Salzburg: by bus, by Salzach River cruise, or by driving.

If you choose to take the bus, you can take Bus Line 25 from either the main train station or the city center and get off at the “Rathaus” stop.

The journey takes approximately 25 minutes from the city center and 30 minutes from the main train station.

If you prefer to drive, take Highway A10 and exit at Salzburg Süd.

Alternatively, you can take a Salzach cruise on the Amadeus to Hellbrunn, which is preferable for a more special experience.

You can learn more about the Salzach cruise here: Boat Ride to Hellbrunn and Palace (tickets to the palace and Trick Fountains included).

Tickets are also available at the front desk of the palace and its official website (linked at the resources section).

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Time needed in Hellbrunn Palace

Visitors to Hellbrunn Palace can easily spend half a day exploring its many attractions.

The Trick Fountains, a must-see, take about an hour to tour. The Palace Exhibition is another highlight, which can be enjoyed in about 30 minutes. The Folklore Museum is also worth a visit and also takes about an hour to explore.

Additionally, visitors should allow for an extra 30 minutes to wander the gardens, hike to the Little Month Palace, and discover other hidden gems.

In total, visitors can expect to spend around 3 hours at Hellbrunn Palace. 

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Reminders: Hellbrunn Palace Visit

Before you go to Hellbrunn Palace, please take note of a couple of friendly tips below.

Reminder 1: When visiting the Trick Fountains in Hellbrunn Palace, be aware that water splashing is part of the experience.

This may result in wet clothing, footwear, and other belongings. Please take care of your possessions as the palace keepers are not liable for any damages caused by the water. 

Reminder 2: We love our furry friends, but unfortunately, they’re not allowed in the palace exhibition or event rooms.

If you bring your dog, please keep them on a leash and put a muzzle on them in the Trick Fountains area.

Don’t forget to clean up after them and dispose of their waste properly. Let’s make sure everyone has a great time at the palace!

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References: Hellbrunn Palace

So, that’s all that I can share with you about Hellbrunn Palace. If you have more questions and you want to learn more about the Hellbrunn Palace and Folklore Museum, please refer to the links below.

Hellbrunn Palace is only one of the fascinating attractions in Salzburg. To start discovering other places of interest, you can check my posts linked below.

If you need more ideas on how you can spend time in Salzburg, here’s where you can start browsing: Tours, guides, and best experiences in Salzburg.

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