Return to the Forum homepage


Waidhofen an der Ybbs, Lower Austria, Austria

In the early 1820s Salomon Mayer von Rothschild (1774–1855) first arrived in Vienna as one of the five sons of Mayer Amschel Rothschild of Frankfurt. Salomon established a bank there S M von Rothschild. Subsequent Rothschild operations in Austria included investment in the country’s railway network, and mercantile trade in the shipment of commodities such as cotton, sugar and tobacco. Through these banking activities, Salomon established himself as a major financier and industrialist, and at his death in 1855 he was one of the major landowners in Europe.

The Lower Austria estates

Baron Albert von Rothschild (1844–1911) was the grandson of Salomon. In 1875 Albert bought a large property in the south of Lower Austria near to the Styrian boarder between Göstling, Lackenhof, and Gaming, which he shared with his wife Bettina (1858–1892) whom he had married in 1876. The region is mountainous and densely wooded and the Rothschild family established a big forestry enterprise as well as hunting estates and country residences in the Tyrolean style. The property was divided into five administrative areas, Waidhofen and der Ybbs, Gaming, Göstling an der Ybbs, Hollenstein and Langau. When Albert died in 1911 his sons Alphonse (1878-1942) and Louis (1882-1955) inherited the property: Alphonse and his wife Clarice inherited Langau and Gaming and Louis received Göstling an der Ybbs, Hollenstein and Waidhofen an der Ybbs.

Waidhofen an der Ybbs

In the Lower Austrian region, the name of Rothschild is associated with prosperous and successful business and public social philanthropy. Albert von Rothschild acquired the Waidhofen and Gaming estates, for use as hunting grounds, in 1875 from Forstindustrie AG, a company in which he already had an interest. The castle at Waidhofen dates from the Middle Ages but was renovated by between 1885-87 under the direction of Friedrich von Schmidt, architect of the Town Hall in Vienna.

Louis von Rothschild inherited the estate from his father in 1911 and it remained in his possession until 1931 when it was given to the Austrian government along with other Rothschild properties to support the Creditanstalt rescue.

Return to Estates listing