Schloss Leopoldskron & Meierhof

1736 - The Construction of Schloss Leopoldskron

Schloss Leopoldskron was commissioned as a family estate in 1736 by the Prince Archbishop of Salzburg Leopold Anton Freiherr von Firmian (1679-1744). The Archbishop was a great lover of science and arts, but is most remembered for his role in the expulsion of over 22,000 Protestants from the Archbishopric of Salzburg.

Construction of Schloss Leopoldskron began in 1736. The Archbishop acquired the land between the Schloss and the Untersberg as a part of the estate. A special law made the property an inalienable possession of the family. In May 1744, Leopold gave the deed of the completed Schloss to his nephew, Count Laktanz Firmian.

The Archbishop died in 1744. His body was buried in Salzburg’s cathedral, but his heart remains buried in the Chapel of the Schloss, which, as is inscribed on the chapel floor, he “loved so dearly”.

Count Laktanz, a collector of art and an artist himself, enriched Schloss Leopoldskron with the largest collection of paintings Salzburg had ever known, including works of artists such as Rembrandt, Rubens, Dürer, Poussins, and Titian. Count Laktanz was one of the first sponsors of Leopold Mozart and his son, Wolfgang Amadeus.

Although Laktanz died in 1786, the Schloss remained in the Firmian family until 1837, when it was sold to George Zierer, owner of a local shooting gallery. It was Zierer who removed most of the remaining valuable paintings, etchings, and sculptures from Schloss Leopoldskron.

During the 19th century the Schloss passed through various hands, among them Bavarian King Ludwig I and Carl Spängler, a well-known banker, and two waiters who attempted to turn it into a hotel.

Built before Prince-Archbishop Leopold von Firmian’s commission of Schloss Leopoldskron as his summer palace, the Meierhof was primarily used as the stables and servants quarters for the neighboring Schloss. During the Max Reinhardt era, Max’s brother lived in what is now Parker Hall. A fire during his residency nearly destroyed the building.