The Italianate palace Schloss Hellbrunn (daily: April & Oct 9am–4.30pm; May, June & Sept 9am–5.30pm; July & Aug 9am–9pm, Wasserspiele only after 6pm; €12.50) on Salzburg’s southern fringe – 5km from the city centre – was built in the early seventeenth century by Salzburg’s decadent archbishop Marcus Sitticus as a place for entertaining. The main attraction is the gardens’ impressive array of fountains and watery gimmicks, or wasserspiele; guided tours take forty minutes, with the tour guide showing off all the tricks and hidden fountains, including an elaborate, water-powered mechanical theatre (prepare to be splashed). The palace itself features paintings of Sitticus’s unusual animal collection, and a lavishly frescoed festival hall and music room.

To get to Schloss Hellbrunn take bus #25 from the train station or Mirabellplatz (every 20–30min). This bus continues to the village of St Leonhard, 7km further south, where a cable car (March–June & Oct–Nov 8.30am–4.30pm; July–Sept 8.30am–5pm; Dec–Feb 9am–3.30pm; return €23) climbs the 1853m Untersberg for impressive views of Salzburg to the north and the Alps to the south.

 

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