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Schillersdorf, (Moravia), Lower Austria

Salomon von Rothschild bought Schillersdorf , an 18th century property located on a hill overlooking the river Oder in Moravia now in the Czech Republic, in 1842.

When he inherited it, his son, Anselm transformed it into a model farm, equipping it with modern machinery, most notably a steam pump which brought water from the river, and a sophisticated system of underground pipes to irrigate the park.

The estate was noted for its varied and plentiful game, and was much enjoyed by guests.  When Anthony visited from England in 1869, he wrote to his brothers: "Schillersdorf is a very fine estate… The house is very comfortable, very much in the style of the old house of Ferrières.  The park… has been laid out recently like Regents Park.  There are magnificent woods of fir trees of thousands of acres all outside, so that shooting is excellent and the drives and rides charming."

The estate subsequently passed down to Albert and then to Alphonse before becoming a hotel and training centre for catering staff in 1960.

Archive sources

The Rothschild Archive London holds very few private papers of the Viennese branch of the Rothschild family. Much was scattered or destroyed during the Second World War. The property at Schillersdorf passed out of Rothschild family after the war, and the fate of its archives and estate records is not known. It is unlikely that much remains with the descendants of the Viennese Rothschild family, and the family does not make its privately held archives publicly available.

A few files relating to Schillersdorf will be found in The Moscow Papers (637 series). These files largely concern reports of the managerial board of the Beneshau and Schillersdorf estates concerning aspects of the management of the estates, encompassing correspondence, accounts, inventories, staff affairs, weather reports and printed material from the locality, financial statements, inventories of land and of Schillersdorf castle, and staff lists, c.1874-c.1917.

Files 637/1/193-195 concern economic and financial reports of the managerial board of the Schillersdorf estate c.1925-c.1938, including monthly reports addressed to Clarice von Rothshild (1894-1967); list of pensioners of Schillersdorf, July 1931, and other sundry reports.

Files 637/1/212, 212a and 212b concern Rothschild philanthropy and benefactions, and include lists of legacies and bequests from the estate of Anselm Salomon von Rothschild (1803-1874) to staff at Schillersdorf and Beneschau, and Vienna.

A small collection of files concerning Rothschild Austrian estates will be found in the Looram papers 000/2135. These include (000/2135/2) papers relating to pensioners of the Viennese estates, including printed and typed copies of pension fund rules for those in the service of Albert von Rothschild at Schillersdorf , 1896 and 1909.

Estates: the Austrian estates, Schillersdorf, postcards, c.1900-1909

000/2261 and 000/2291, 3 items

Colour postcard of Schillersdorf, viewed from the park, c.1900; postcard of the Rothschild Park, Schillersdorf, c.1900; colour postcard of Schillersdorf, c.1909.

Estates: Schillersdorf, sundry papers, undated

000/2498, 1 item

Schloss Schillersdorf inventory, including loose sheets.