The Trick Fountains


Expect the unexpected You never know what to expect at the trick fountains. Only one thing is certain: it is a lot of fun. Water automats, grottos, fountains – Markus Sittikus had a system built that astonished, entertained and befuddled his guests. A status symbol and mannerist toy in one. Experience a unique cultural jewel which is to be found nowhere else in this form. The season starts at the beginning of April and runs until the end of October. You can read here what the art historian May Woods wrote about the trick fountains: [PDF]

Water automats

The only ones of their kind

The water automats are five water-driven figures – a unique ensemble worldwide. On the one hand the artisans: the miller, potter and grinder. On the other, the gods: Perseus freeing Andromeda and Apollo flaying Marsyas. These have a playful effect which is to be understood as a demonstration of power. Markus Sittikus shows what his engineers are capable of – and the way in which he masters the element of water.

More about the water automats at Hellbrunn:  [PDF]


Walls of shells

Neptune, Orpheus and Venus: these grottos are representative of Greek mythology. The largest is dedicated to Neptune and seahorses guard the entrance. At the foot of the trident is the water-spitting Germaul, Hellbrunn´s secret emblem. The Bird Call Grotto surprises the visitors with twittering and one’s senses are deceived in the Mirror Grotto.

More about the grottos among the trick fountains:  [PDF]

Mechanical theatre

Always diligently at work

The most recent attraction of the trick fountains was constructed in 1750 by Lorenz Rosenegger: the Mechanical Theatre replaced the dilapidated Forge Grotto. About 200 water-driven figures depict the life of a small Baroque city, hammering, sawing and handiwork takes place tirelessly. An organ gives the beat to make the work go more easily – water-driven, of course.

More about the Mechanical Theatre at Hellbrunn:  [PDF]


Everything flows

Greek mythology also plays the main role in the fountains: we meet Eurydice, Neptune, the hunter Actaeon and Goddess of the Hunt Diana – perfectly appropriate to the mannerist spirit of the time. The largest fountain is situated directly at the rear of the palace – fed by a natural spring: the Altemps Fountain with the Zodiac Pond and its sumptuous mosaics.


Travel Reports

You can read here how visitors in other epochs have experienced their stay at Hellbrunn.


around 1785 “A fever prevented us seeing the salt mine from which the city had received its name…” [PDF]


 around 1670 “Oh what a lovely place to retreat to, such grace, such delight. such a little earthly paradise did I have the luck to see today, hardly an hour from Salzburg…” [PDF]