Max Reinhardt

1918 - The Start of the Max Reinhardt Era

The next significant era in the history of the Schloss began in 1918, the year in which the Schloss was sold to Max Reinhardt, Europe’s most famous theater director and co-founder of the Salzburg Festival. Reinhardt acquired the Schloss when it was in a severe state of disrepair. This, however, appealed to Reinhardt, who committed his creative talent during the next twenty years of his life to revivifying the Schloss.

With the assistance of Salzburg artisans, Reinhardt renovated the staircase, the Great Hall, and the Marble Hall. The Library and the Venetian Room are Reinhardt creations, as are decorations in other salons.

Reinhardt brought life to Schloss Leopoldskron in literal terms, with his theater productions, audiences, and friends. In the plays produced here Reinhardt put the Schloss to full use, moving audiences from one room to another, employing the magnificent rooms as sets in and of themselves. He constructed a garden theater, with the lake and the Untersberg as backdrop, in what is now the Schloss park. During the Reinhardt years, Schloss Leopoldskron was an important gathering place for theatrical producers, writers, composers, actors, and designers from Europe and abroad.

World War II brought an end to the Reinhardt era: in 1938 the Schloss was confiscated as “Jewish property”. Reinhardt, who was living and working in Hollywood at the time, never returned to Schloss Leopoldskron, but his heart had never left. Reinhardt died in New York City in 1943.

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