The festival-program is based on an outstanding cultural tradition.
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 oldfashioned 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 houseowners.
Important parts of their works were written here in this inspiring
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 Vienna.
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.