Welcome toThe Rothschild Archive'swebsite

Sources for business history

Sources for art history: Catalogue of the pictures of Alfred de Rothschild 1901

Sources for yachting history: Plans for Nathaniel von Rothschild's yacht Veglia 1905

Sources for natural history: Walter 2nd Lord Rothschild and his zebra carriage: c.1910

Sources for global financial history: Map of lines of the Brazil Railway Company: c.1920

Sources for business history: index cards to bank files

Sources for social history: Rothschild Hospital Paris: 1920s

Sources for business history: detail of a Rothschild bond coupon

Sources for architectural history: Halton House: 1890s

Sources for the history of travel: Lionel de Rothschild's tours of Spain: 1909

Sources for local history: Tring Park: c.1900

Sources for Royal history: shooting party with Edward Prince of Wales: 1893

Sources for political history: Lionel de Rothschild: first Jewish MP: 1858

Sources for sporting history: St Amant winner of the Derby: 1904

Sources for local history: gardeners at Aston Clinton: 1899

Sources for Rothschild family history: Lionel de Rothschild's yacht Rhodora: 1927

Sources for London history: entrance to New Court: 1965

Sources for design history: plans for Lionel de Rothschild's Rolls-Royce: 1930

Sources for business history: Rothschild gold bars produced by the Royal Mint Refinery: 1930s

Sources for business history: letters of August Belmont Rothschild Agent in New York: 1860s

Exhibition - Rothschild Gardens

9: Other Rothschild gardens of note

Schillersdorf, Moravia

Salomon von Rothschild (1774-1855) became an Honorary Citizen of the City of Vienna in 1843, after nearly a quarter of a century’s residence. Attracted by the countryside near his new business acquisition, the ironworks at Witkowitz, he bought Schillersdorf, an eighteenth-century property overlooking the river Oder.

The estate consisted of a magnificent château, moats and fountains, kennels and game reserves as well as a foundry and other industrial works. Salomon appointed the architect Gabriel-Hippolyte Destailleur to renovate the property. Over 350 acres were carved out of the estate (which had included 11,000 acres of woodland) to make the park. Over 100 men were hired to excavate the large lake which it was hoped would attract wild duck. Plants were regularly shipped to the Schillersdorf estate from Rothschild cousins in England.

Upon Salomon’s death in 1855, the estate was inherited by his eldest son, Anselm 1803-1874), who set about transforming the property 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.

Anthony de Rothschild (1810-1876) visited his cousin Anselm’s estate at Schillersdorf and wrote favourably of what he saw: ‘Schillersdorf is a very fine estate… The Park [has] been laid out exactly like Regent’s Park. There are magnificent woods of fir trees of thousands of acres all outside, so that the shooting is excellent and the drives and rides charming.’ Letter from Anthony to his brothers, September 1869

Pregny, Switzerland

Adolph de Rothschild bought Prégny near Lake Geneva in 1857, adding a large area of land the following year. He originally intended to employ a well-known French architect’s firm of Claret & Varé to build his château, but eventually entrusted the task to the English architect, Joseph Paxton, who had designed Mentmore, Ferrières and Aston Clinton for other members of the Rothschild family. The château was unusal in Geneva at the time, and marked the appearance of more ostentatious and eclectic private houses. The main entrance was highly decorative, while the façade on to the lake was softened by a central bowed bay.

Paxton also designed the conservatories, a Paxton speciality. The aviary and the magnificent glass conservatory which was 50 metres long, covering over a hectare of ground, with fifteen smaller glasshouses opening into it. These were the pride and joy of Julie, Adolph’s wife, who filled them with espalier fruit trees.

The park at Pregny was redesigned under the influence of Julie, who introduced wild animals and tropical birds. She planned the arrangement and planting of the gigantic trees, emphasising the park’s hills and dales. 

The Empress Elizabeth of Austria was a frequent visitor to Pregny, where she was enthralled by the wonderful displays of flowers in the greenhouses, and described the garden as ‘a remote, enchanted world where tame miniature porcupines from Java and exotic coloured birds decorated a private park planted with cedars of Lebanon’

The house passed in 1907 to Maurice, Adolph’s cousin, who left it to Edmond. The property is still in family ownership. In the 1990s, the glasshouses were presented to the Jardin et Conservatoire Botanique of Geneva.

Ramat Hanadiv Memorial Gardens 

Baron Edmond de Rothschild (1845-1934) specified in his will that he wished to be buried in Israel. In 1954, the remains of the Baron and his wife Baroness Adelheid (1853-1935) were removed from the French cemetery where they had been buried twenty years earlier. Brought to Israel aboard a naval frigate, upon arrival in Haifa the craft was greeted with sirens and a nineteen-gun salute. The government had decreed a State Funeral and the Baron and Baroness were re-interred in Israel.

The Ramat Hanadiv Memorial Gardens are nestled on a slope, on the road that leads from Zichron Ya’acov to Binyamina. The gardens and nature reserve cover over 1,100 acres – 20 of which are the memorial gardens. The gardens at Ramat Hanadiv - the Heights of the Benefactor - were planted as a memorial to Edmond and Adelheid. The public gardens, surrounded by a Nature Reserve brimming with wild flowers, are comprised of many varying areas, from a formal rose garden to a wooded walk. 

The Fragrance Garden has been designed with the visually impaired in mind, so that plants’ fragrance might be enjoyed. It includes fragrant sweet smelling plants and herbs. Visitors are encouraged to touch the plants in this section. Both Edmond and his son James were almost sightless for the latter part of their lives. The formal Rose Garden contains a variety of roses and includes six pools with fountains, representing the Rothschild family. The large pool represents the founder of the Rothschild business, Mayer Amschel Rothschild, while the five small pools represent his five sons.

The exhibition ends here.

Schillersdorf from the lawns c.1905

Schillersdorf from the lawns c.1905