Sunday, November 8, 2009

Salzburg: Untersbergbahn and some more Hellbrunn

Update: A lot of folks come here looking for either the address or the opening hours for the Untersbergbahn. Here is the link with that information. It costs (at the moment) 19 Euros and is free with the Salzburg Card. We now return you to your regularly scheduled blogpost:

One of Joy's favorite things from our honeymoon was a trip up a mountain in a two-person cable car (and back down in one-person ski lifts). So when we saw they had something similar at Untersberg (Under the Mountain), we had to try it out.

It takes you, relatively slowly, up not quite 1 mile in the air to the top of Untersberg. Because it's nice and slow, you really get the chance to watch the house next to you fade into nothingness and realize just how bad your vertigo is.

"It was really a different experience from our honeymoon because it wasn't in the open air. The honeymoon was funner even if we weren't on the same ski lifts going down." Agreed - too many people in the cable car.

The Austrian Alps.

And on the other side ... Mordor.


They have a nice little shop at the top where Joy got a coin purse in the shape of lederhosen. The view of Salzburg, the Alps, and rustic Alpen cottages was thrilling. A little dizzying too. They give you some good time to stretch your legs before the cablecar is ready to take you back down the mountain.

Palace Hellbrunn is in between Salzburg and Untersberg, so we caught it on the way there. I already told you about the trick fountains. You leave the trick fountains into his other gardens, across the pond from the palace. Why are all these palaces yellow?

Down the walk was a playground where children were happily occupied and the Sound of Music gazebo I posted earlier.

The palace is now, what else, a museum. The Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Markus Sittikus von Hohenems, was a great collector of rarities, with many of the rooms decorated with pictures of the strange and unusual animals and plants he claimed to have amassed.

There were the usual South American birds, sunflowers, and white stags.

He also owned an eight-hoofed horse from Arabia and a unicorn.

Interestingly enough, since the palace was only a summer palace and quite close to the real castle in Salzburg, there are no bedrooms in Hellbrunn.

But they do have an oven. Joy really liked the oven at Hellbrunn. There was another like this we saw at the castle in Salzburg, done up in guadier, brighter colors. Joy likes this one better.

"I think it would be cool to cook in an oven like that. I mean, I'd probably prefer if somebody else was putting the wood in it, but... I'd really feel like I was doing something artful. People would say, 'Look at this great pastry!' and I'd say, 'Yeah, do you want to see the oven?'" *lol*

Then there were the muraled galleries for dining and concerts. Goddesses, nymphs, courtesans, and other noble and decorative ones are depicted on the ceiling, visiting the company.

In the "music room" - which is an octagon with amazing echoes - he has painted a number of virtues representing or paying homage to himself. This one on the left includes him courting a fair maiden. Now, this is still an archbishop of the Catholic church we're talking about here.

Joy and I each did a little solo in the music room to test out the acoustics. I sang The Music of the Night, while Joy favored us with Miracle of Miracles, both of us slowing it down to relish the bathroom-squared effect. The various statues painted in the ceiling in the video represent his virtues.

1 comment:

Grandma Jule said...

Wow! That's all absolutely GORGEOUS!

Am I seeing things, or are those "Virtues" painted on the ceiling . . . naked? A little hard to tell at this angle . . .