Behind the Scenes of a 17th Century Water Park | Hellbrunn Palace Trick Fountains

What do you get when you mix a prince-archbishop’s
sense of humor with an understanding of fluid dynamics? In this case, very wet. I’ve come to the Trick Fountains of Hellbrunn
Palace in Salzburg to find out how Markus Sittikus and his team of engineers were able
to come up with this one-of-a-kind garden. On first inspection it might appear like a
regular garden, but then this starts happening. Understanding how these water features works
is also fundamental to understanding the science behind how our taps work. But to understand that we’re going to have
to head into the palace. This tank is full of water. And its being used to supply some of the fountains
in the garden. Traditionally water would be carried up here
by servants, but today a pump has been installed. This room is about eight metres above ground
level. If you’ve ever tried to swim to the bottom
of a pool, then you’ll be familiar with how water pressure works. As we take these balloons deeper and deeper
they start to shrink as water pressure crushes them down. This is because there is more water pushing
on the balloon. By bringing the water higher up to begin with
we have this same effect. Lifting a tank up to eight metres gives the
same pressure as swimming to the bottom of an eight metre deep pool. The way the top and bottom are connected doesn’t
matter; the same height difference gives the same pressure. For every one metre of height we have, we
increase water pressure by 10 kPa. That’s why you’ll find a water tower,
similar to this one, if slightly bigger and higher up, at the tallest point of every town
or city. Letting the water free is a simple matter
of pulling a lever. This opens up a pathway inside the pipe, letting
pressurised water escape with enough speed to make a fountain. Your tap at home operates on the same principle. We can do a lot more with pressurised water
than just spray people. This is the Floating Crown in Midas’ Grotto. We can consider this system as just a balance
of momentum. On its own the crown would fall to the ground;
gravity is giving it downwards momentum. We cancel it out by adding in upwards momentum
as the water goes up, and taking away downwards momentum as this same water comes back down. The end result? The water moves up and down but the crown
stays as it is. This is what happens if you take water engineering
to its extreme. All 160 characters in this Theatre move around
because of water. We can see how this works by going underneath
the machine. We add rotation to the system by using a water
wheel. This is connected to a series of gears. Using a bevel gear we can change the axis
of rotation. Allowing figures to walk around. We can induce more interesting back-and-forth
movements by using a rotating beam with notches on it being read by a tracker bar. This is very similar to a music box or self-playing
piano. Making the characters move is a simple matter
of connecting the tracker bar to the wooden figure. Adding to the whole scene is an actual organ-
operated by water of course. In order to find out how to use water to make
music we’re going to head to the birdsong grotto. The sounds you’re hearing aren’t tape
recordings, theres not actual birds in the walls, its all because of some very cleaver,
yet remarkably simple engineering. We begin with a water wheel, turning from
that high-pressure water we brought up to the top of the building. This water wheel then pumps a set of bellows
which pushes air through a series of pipes. These pipes then open and close using similar
mechanism to the tracker bar from earlier. This one looks even more like a music box. We make the actual sounds by using a tube
very similar to this. When we blow air through it…we can produce
a sound. I’ve done it with air from my lungs, but
the birdsong grotto has a dozen of these connected to the airpipes controlled by the tracker
bar. Just like a flute, there’s a hole in the
middle to give us a specific note. By changing the length of the tube by putting
it into an amount of water… we can change the note that’s being produced. While the Palace gardens are just for a bit
of fun, the engineering going into these fountains is the same that gives us drinking water and
allows us to move heavy machinery. We’ve also introduces some basic fluid dynamics,
gears and how instruments work. Not bad for some 400-year-old engineering. This was such a fun video to create, thank
you to everyone who helped me out, especially Thomas and Angela for taking me behind the
scenes of Hellbrunn Palace. If you’re ever in the area, I would definitely
recommend checking out this remarkable place. Next episode as we are exploring the caves
of Mars, make sure to check back here in 2 weeks or subscribe to the channel so as not
to miss it. It’s going to be an awesome episode. Until then this has been James Dingley from
the Atomic Frontier. Keep looking up.


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