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Hellbrunn and Salzburg

Hellbrunn and Salzburg

I thought I would enjoy the sunny optimistic day today to remember one of my most memorable trips to Austria and take you on tour of Hellbrunn and Salzburg, a couple of sites you should not miss.

Salzburg, the city of Mozart, has always impressed me for its quiet and sheer beauty. It has the charm of a mountain resort, but also all the commodities of civilized society. The pace of life seems to be… slower, somehow, though the town is a tourist attraction throughout the year.

Listed as UNESCO World Heritage in 1997, Salzburg hosts 3 universities, so it obviously has a large student population. Music is, naturally, part of the city life, especially during the Christmas season, when soft traditional carols fill the air and concerts are organized in the lavish halls of the city. Virtually every day, you can find bands of musicians – most of whom are proficient – singing on the streets. They are students of the Mozarteum University of Salzburg.

Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, regarded by many as the greatest musical geniuses of all time, was born in Slazburg on Januray 27th 1756 in a small tidy house that is now the Mozart Museum.

Erected in the 11th century, Hohensalzburg Castle is a fortress on top of the Festungsberg Hill and can be reached by cable car. The sight of Salzburg from uphill is breathtaking.

And departing from Salzburg, just a few kilometers away, near Morzg, you can visit Schloss Hellbrunn or the Water Palace, a unique 17th century baroque residence built by Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg.

What the palace is famous for is its water games (or jeaux d’eau), conceived by the Archbishop himself, a progressive man with a keen and sometimes even wicked sense of humour. A water-operating music-playing theatre that faithfully depicts the society with all its social classes at work, a grotto with a crown being propelled by a jet of water (apparently meant to symbolize the rise and fall of power) and seats that spray water can all be found there.

The gardens, full of statues of animals and unicorns, are also beautiful and quiet; as for the interior of the castle, it is filled with bizarre objects and paintings depicting fantastic animals and mythological characters.

Certainly worth traveling (by car, train or by plane) to Hellbrunn and Salzburg!