Summer Riding School - Felsenreitschule
The Felsenreitschule is built into the Mönchsberg itself, fascinating visitors with its stage as well as arcades hewn out of the rock. Able to accommodate an audience of as many as 1,437 people, it is one of Salzburg’s most important concert venues.
In the first half of the 17th century, the conglomerate rock needed to build the cathedral was quarried at the foot of the Mönchsberg. Baroque architect Johann Bernhard Fischer von Erlach designed and built the Felsenreitschule at the same location in 1633.
The Felsenreitschule as a Concert House
Max Reinhardt first used the Felsenreitschule as a venue for the Salzburg Festival in 1926. Seven years later, its unique stage was transformed by Clemens Holzmeister into his “Faust City”, representing a milestone in theatrical set design. For the performance of Gluck’s "Orfeo ed Euridice", Herbert von Karajan turned the Felsenreitschule into an operatic stage for the first time in 1948.
In the early years of the Felsenreitschule, the public took their place in the 96 arcades divided on three levels. At the end of the 1960s, the Felsenreitschule underwent a major remodeling according to the plans of Clemens Holzmeister: A lower stage and an orchestra pit were built, a weatherproof retractable roof was added, and finally an auditorium with box seats and ramps created. And so it was that the audience moved from the arcades to the newly installed auditorium.
The Felsenreitschule as Film Set
For fans of the famous Hollywood blockbuster “The Sound of Music”, the Felsenreitschule is a must-see. It was on its historic stage that Maria, the captain and the children took part in a music competition and performed their folk songs. Immediately afterwards, they fled to Switzerland to escape Nazi persecution.