Schloss Hellbrunn

Salzburg, Austria | C.1619

Photo Credit: Blair Hassett

With its gorgeous gardens and playful water fountains, Schloss Hellbrunn palace was built as a daytripper’s dream. And although noted for its palatial size, this summer villa was never intended to be more than a place for temporary leisure and entertainment – and was built without bedrooms. 

Built in 1619 for an Austrian prince, the Schloss Hellbrunn has all the makings of a classic summer escape. However, the inhabitant, Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg was an apparent trickster who held great joy in pranking his guests, and planted a few surprises in the villa.

Those visiting the palace could marvel at its stone dining table which featured a water conduit that sprayed water into the seats of unsuspecting guests. Or, hidden fountains that surprised and sprayed guests on walking tours throughout the property. 

And while his guests would undoubtedly get drenched in the reverie, the Prince remained dry. At each location where the water games took place, there existed a designated spot for the Prince to stand to remain dry. Today, tour guides get to enjoy the coveted dry spots, while modern-day guests witness the water games that have been celebrated for more than 400 years.

Written By: Kelly Murray

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