Sunday, July 31, 2011

Reinhardt and Leopoldskron

So now that you have the basics of how the schloss came to be it's time to move to the 20th century.  So here enters the hero of the piece.
After the First World War Max Reinhardt bought the schloss and spent the next 20 years and a great deal of money renovating.  As someone who spent the majority of her time in his office I can attest that it was worth every cent and second he lavished on the place.  Here's one of my favorite views.  This is looking out to the library from the Reinhardt office.
Many people have not heard of Max Reinhardt these days.  So here's a few facts about him(thanks to the finding aid of the SUNY- Binghamton Special Collections, which holds the Reinhardt archives)  Max Reinhardt started his work life as an actor.  He was best known for his portrayals of old men, but he quickly tired of the scripts and the style of acting at the time and founded his own theatre in 1901.  Known as Schall und Rauch it helped Max develop a directorial style for his later years.  He moved around from Vienna, Salzburg, and Berlin during this time.
He quickly became a well known director who used new technologies and experimented with locations for his productions.  This came in handy when he and Richard Wagner and Hugo von Hofmannsthal revived and expanded the Salzburg Festspiele.  Reinhardt convinced the Archbishop to let him direct Hofmannsthal's play Jedermann(Everyman) in front of the Dom Cathedral to open the Festival.  This is something they still do today at the opening of every festival, unless it rains, of course.  Here's a shot of the front of the Dom on Palm Sunday.   A partial view of what it could be like for the play.

After the war he left Berlin for Salzburg where he lived until 1938.  As a Jew he was unwelcome in Austria after the Anschluss.  All his property including Leopoldskron was seized by the Nazis because he was considered an enemy of the state.  Luckily for Max he was in the U.S. at the time where he lived in until his death in 1943 at the age of 70.  Some think losing the schloss broke his heart.  I don't know about that, but it is known that he was saddened by it's loss to the Nazis.  When his possessions(all 16 crates of them) were returned to him by an admirer he replied to her "Thank you, but what are 16 crates when one has lost Leopoldskron?".
So the schloss is still working it's magic on the owner.  Like the original owner it was hard to leave the place that he loved.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Schloss Leopoldskron

I can't remember if I posted anything about the history of the schloss.  I don't think so.  Not as a dedicated entry, of course.  I know there were hints.

It is quite interesting(and I want to use more of the library and schloss photos I took) I'm sneaky that way. :D  Here's my favorite photo of the schloss exterior.  Two residences of a Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg. 

So bear with me while we delve into the history of Schloss Leopoldskron.  First we will set the scene with a few facts about Salzburg.  Salzburg means salt castle in German.  Also known as 'white gold' the salt mines in the area ensured that money poured into the region.  It was one of the main reasons that Salzburg became an archbishopric so early.  (Before the 1000's) Some salt mines still do operate in the region to this day. If anyone is interested in the history of salt and how important it was to the world economy check out this book, Salt, a world history by Mark Kurlansky.

So early on Salzburg had enough money to be an independent principality with an Archbishop as the head of the church and the political head of state.  Known as a Prince-Archbishop until the early 1800's,(Napoleon and the Council of Vienna stripped the Prince part of the title in 1815 and Salzburg officially became a part of Austria.) they were the power in Salzburg.  In fact Mozart's father was court composer to Archbishop Leopold Firmian.  They even think a young Mozart played in the schloss for the Archbishop.  It makes some sense, there's just no documentary evidence.  Young Wolfgang played everywhere else why not at Schloss Leopoldskron for his father's patron?

So back to the early history of the schloss.  Leopold Firmian... umm...acquired some land near a small lake in the countryside(he expelled a lot of the Protestants of Salzburg and gee look at all that wasted farmland) and decided to build himself a summer palace. 
I gotta say this for him, he knew location.  His plot of land was right between the Untersberg mountain and the city with great views of both, depending on which way you were facing.  And as an added bonus it's waterfront property! 
So the palace had to match both the location and the importance of the owner.  As you can imagine, it took him quite some time to get exactly what he wanted.
He started it in 1736 and it was finished in 1744(right before he died)  In keeping with artistic trends of the time he did it in the Baroque/rococo style.  Lots of stucco work, marble, and giltwork.  That man had no self-esteem issues whatsoever.  Anyone who makes the Pope gasp at your audacity has a HUGE ego. (That was the whole expelling the Protestants deal.) 
Here's some views of the original Baroque style.  The chapel is one of 2 rooms left as Baroque. 

After he died he had to have his body interred in the Dom.  As the Archbishop of Salzburg he had a reserved spot in the Dom crypt whether he wanted it or not.  In the 18th century, however, it was trendy to bury part of yourself in places you loved or had meaning for you.  So Leopold Firmian literally left his heart at Schloss Leopoldskron.  In the chapel floor actually. 

He left the place that he loved to his nephew, Count Laktans, who sadly did not pass it on to family upon his death. 
A shooting gallery owner acquired the place when the Count died and sold off most of the pretty things like paintings, giltwork, and statues that the count and archbishop had collected.  The Firmans were known as patrons of the arts.  Apparently the shooting gallery owner was not.  They don't know for sure if the schloss was used as a shooting gallery,  but I wouldn't be surprised.  Guys, guns, and money in the 19th century.  You can do the math.
The shooting gallery owner didn't own it for very long.  It was sold several times in the 19th century and used for different purposes.
So now we wait for the entrance of the 20th century and Max Reinhardt.

Monday, July 4, 2011

Playing catch-up

I didn't get to post everything I wanted to about Austria and Salzburg before I left, and I had so much going on when I came back that I didn't get to do all of it.  Sorry about that!

One such post was about the oil and vinegar store in Goldgasse.  I had read about it in my guide book and it was highly recommended.  As well as by some people at the schloss.  I took some time off from the library the week I was scheduled to return home to do some shopping things...
Well, I went to the bakery at St. Peter's(yummy brioche) then to the store.  By the way if you are in Salzburg, go to the bakery.  It's the oldest in Salzburg and they use a wood fired oven.  Gotta hand it to those monks...they know good bread.

Anyway back to the store. It's called Vom Fass and it's one of those places you could spend ages in.  They just don't have oils and vinegars.  They sell sherry and whisky as well.  I just tried several different vinegars and oils.  It WAS still morning...and I had to go back to the library.  You taste and try different things.  You pick your own bottles(I went with the plain square kind for transport, but the shoe shaped one tempted me) and they fill  them with what ever you choose right from the cask.  That's what Vom Fass means.  From the Cask.

The apple cider vinegar redefined my understanding of what vinegar should be.  As the owner promised!
The raspberry vinegar was sweet and tangy, perfect for a salad dressing. I had lemonade without the sugar when the owner added a lemon- lime vinegar to my bottle of water.  AMAZING.  I mean I had no idea you could have vinegar that tastes like that.  And I don't always like vinegars, but I loved these.

The beer vinegar has more of a tang than some of the others I tried.  It has the beer aftertaste.  Malty actually.  It hits in the back of the throat.  The owner told me it's really good to marinate beef in.
I tried aged balsamic and finally decided that my brother would prefer the beer vinegar over aged balsamic.
The hazelnut oil is perfect with ice cream.  I have an idea to use it in a recipe with chicken.  I'll let you know.

And the funniest part was when I was choosing the stuff to bring home.  He had run out of the apple cider vinegar and had to replace the cask.  So I browsed around the front and near the register I see this photo of the store owner and Mark Harmon(you know from NCIS.) Well, if not you can google him.  Apparently he and his wife were on vacation in Salzburg and wandering the Goldgasse when the guy recognized him.  He went out and spoke to him.  Asked him if he was who he thought he was.  Harmon ended up looking in the store(don't know if he bought anything) and taking the photo.  One more reason I loved that store.