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Albert Rothschild-Bergwaldreserv, Dürrenstein

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 von Rothschild (1844-1911) bought the Langau estate in western Austria in 1880 he was shocked by the damage done to the landscape by unfettered timber felling to meet the demands of Viennese builders. He set about reversing the situation, embarking on massive replanting and encouraging the return of the native plants and wildlife, setting a pattern which others were later to emulate. 

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. During the Second World War, the estates in Lower Austria were confiscated. After the war, Louis gave the alpine lands at Waidhofen, Göstling and Hollenstein to the Austrian state, on condition that it used the proceeds to fund pensions for his former employees. Today The Albert Rothschild-Bergwaldreserv at Dürrenstein, set aside as a wilderness conservation area, is a tribute to his ecological foresight.

The Albert Rothschild-Bergwaldreserv, Dürrenstein, publications, c.1996

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The Albert Rothschild-Bergwaldreserv, Dürrenstein, publications: colour copy of a brochure about Albert von Rothschild nature reserve at Dürrenstein, produced by The Albert Rothschild-Bergwaldreserv, Dürrenstein. The reserve includes the former Rothschild estate at Gaming.