“Festspiele Reichenau” is a top-ranking
theatre-festival among the prestigious Austrian
Founded in 1988 by Peter and Renate Loidolt and since then successfully directed by them.
In the first years only a well kept secret for theatre-enthusiasts, the festival has expanded and counts nowadays more than 40.000 visitors within a five-week-period between July and August.
The festival-performances are mostly theatre-plays in German language.
Plays from Austrian writers who lived around 1900 and had a strong connection to the famous summer-resort-area around the village of Reichenau (follow “History and Tradition” below!), but also international writers like Tschechow or Ibsen whose plays fit perfectly to the rural landscape and atmosphere. As a special literary attraction the Loidolts entrust contemporary writers to transform novels from famous poets to new stage plays (examples: “Anna Karenina”, “Madame Bovary”).
There are more than 100 performances of four different plays, but also a few Sunday-music-highlights: Piano recitals with worldwide respected artists.
Performances take place in two different locations, the old theatre-hall (377 seats) and the new arena-theatre (312 seats), both in the same festival building, right in the center of Reichenau along the main street.
Quality-focus is set on best artists and actors, directors and stage-design. Many well known actors from the state theatres of Vienna or German theatres, from movie or television play the main parts in Reichenau.
Visitors come from Vienna, from all parts of Austria and the neighboring German speaking countries. For many Austrians who live abroad, the festival in Reichenau has become a favorite meeting point with family members when they visit their home-country in summer.
So the theatre-festival “Festspiele Reichenau” is not only a premium place for the performing arts but also a society meeting point.
For information about program and tickets please contact our office. English is spoken.
The program of this festival is based on an outstanding
Only 70 miles south of Vienna, situated in a scenic mountain-setting, Reichenau has been a traditional summer resort for the Viennese high society since the late 19th century.
Even the Royal family of the Habsburgs had a summer castle in Reichenau as well as the rich Baron Rothschild.
Elegant villas and old-fashioned palace-hotels are reminders of prosperous periods between 1890 and 1930. In these years the area around Reichenau was also a favourite summer retreat for great artists, poets and writers, musicians and scientists.
Famous names like Sigmund Freud, Gustav Mahler, Oskar Kokoschka, Arthur Schnitzler, Stefan Zweig, Franz Werfel etc. are listed among guests and house-owners. Important parts of their works were written here in this inspiring countryside.
In 1926 a theatre was built in the centre of the village of Reichenau,
but the upcoming period of depression and war set a sudden end to summer
enjoyment. Although a “Sleeping Beauty” for some decades, the area has never lost
its basic attraction: unspoiled nature, clear water, fresh air and a
fascinating landscape with hills and mountains so close to the city of
With a special selection of best actors and artists the summer festival “Festspiele Reichenau” has now set a new cultural highlight on top of this natural beauty. A new fascinating stage-arena (“Neuer Spielraum”) was added to the old theatre building in 2005, so that two different plays can be performed at one time under one roof.
Every year thousands of theatre-loving visitors come to Reichenau to see excellent presentations of the plays, once written by famous poets in this area.