Wasserspiele

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Wasserspiele

When I was nine years old, my parents, who were German immigrants and still had relatives there, took my baby brother and me to Germany on vacation. It was their first visit home in ten years.

Hellbrunn2 by Nicholas Even

Schloss Hellbrun, photo by Nicholas Even

One of the highlights of the trip for me was crossing the border into Salzburg, Austria. We toured the famous salt mine, and visited the fabled Hellbrun Palace, built in 1613–19 by Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, Prince and Archbishop of Salzburg.

by Zairon Salzburg_Schloss_Hellbrunn_Wasserspiele_21

photo by Zairon

Schloss Hellbrun is also famous for its Wasserspiele, literally “water games.” Hidden among the gardens are fountains, a series of practical jokes devised by Sittikus to be played on his guests. If I remember correctly, I was among a throng of tourists absorbed in the workings of a miniature mechanical village (pictured above)tucked inside a little grotto on the grounds when we were suddenly squirted with water. (My parents stepped back with baby Billy just moments before. Obviously, they knew what was coming.)

Below are more statuary and trick fountains in the gardens. (Click on the photos below to enlarge and reveal the photo credits.)

 

 

The crown below rises and falls with the pressure of the water, symbolizing the rise and fall of power:

Hellbrunn_wasserspiele_1 Matthias Kabel

Photo by Matthias Kabel.

Below is a video (narrated in German) which shows the Wasserspiele in action.

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