The Rauchenbichlerhof is an old manor in the district of Schallmoos in Salzburg. Alongside with the Robinighof it is the only surviving chateaux in this area, which was developed in the 17th century, when Prince Archbishop Paris Lodron made soldiers drain the swamps that dominated the area of Schallmoos until then. The Rauchenbichlerhof pre-dates this event, though.

It was first recorded as "Gut Waldbichl" or "Waldbichlhof" in 1120. It probably belonged from the beginning to the monastery of St. Peter (evidence for this can only be tracked back to 1238, though). The property was let to various people; from 1597 to 1677, the Fabrizin family lived and worked here, their coat of arms can still be found on the southern gate. After the swamps were drained, the gradually became arable land and several other manors developed.

The importance of the Rauchenbichlerhof was probably also increased through the growing importance of Schallmoos - new roads were built and small settlements developed. The Kaserer family owned the manor from 1677 to 1741; then it was sold to the high-ranking city official Franz Anton Rauchenbichler. He had the building transformed into its current shape around 1750; since then, it is known as Rauchenbichlerhof.

A claim to fame for the building is a visit that Csar Alexander I paid the manor in 1822 to meet Emperor Franz I of Austria at the Residenz Palace. Both of them were on their way to the congress of Verona, it was the fourth and last of the "Concert of Europe" congresses. Speaking of post-Napoleonic days: In 1831, Baroness Emilie Victorine Wolfsberg purchased the Rauchenbichlerhof. She was a former lover of Napoleon Bonaparte, and lived at the property until 1841 - alongside with dozens of dogs and other animals. She became a local celebrity and was mocked as the "Hundsgräfin" (dog′s countess); the name has become a local synonym for "cat lady" (alas, with company of the canine kind).

After 1841, the Rauchenbichler von Rauchenbühl family owned the place for many decades. The manor is still private property and not open to the general public. It is built of stone from the Kapuzinerberg; the small garden that surrounds the manor is only a small left-over of what was once an extensive park.

Further Reading

German Wikipedia on the Rauchenbichlerhof

back to sightseeing