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
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 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
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.