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Castle life in times of Hugo von Hofmannsthal

You can sense and feel the powerful history of the previous owners in the whole castle. Sonja Lanier, a friend of the family, describes the aura of the Hofmannsthals and their hospitality in her records:
    
"When I came to Zell am See thirty years ago, I was cordially welcomed in the most friendly way. At that time, Gerty von Hofmannsthal lived at Prielau with her son and his wife, Lady Elizabeth, the hostess of the castle. Schloss Prielau had soon become a meeting place for artists, writers and people who were interested in arts. Relatives and friends from all over the world and from various classes, among them English and European royalties, cherished the castle. The hostess Lady Liz was enchanting and gorgeous, like a rose, delicate and with natural elegance in her movements. The employees called her 'Mylady'. Everybody admired the lovely lady when she was seen shopping in Zell am See. She even had specially tailored clothing for such occasions. Her hands pointing upwards, she carried a basket on every arm, from which either flowers, fruits, bread or other selected foods for her guests picturesquely peeked out. She carried them as if they were light as a feather-pillow. Hence it is understandable that the invited guests at Schloss Prielau felt comfortable, even more so because the host, Raimund von Hofmannsthal, greeted everybody as if he had waited for him or her. His conversations were always of interest for the others. On arrival, everybody was greeted with a Schnäpschen, mostly so-called Kirschwasser, or raspberry brandy. The children of the relatives and friends always casually strolled among the guests who enjoyed all the possibilities Zell am See has to offer. Naturally, the main topics discussed were art and enjoyment.

Then, the food was served! Twenty people were not many, Miss Relly had cooked and the devoted Herta, then a young girl in the service of the Hofmannsthals, was full of ambition and aiding everywhere. Lady Liz distributed the meat with gentle, great and slow movements, always standing and smiling. The toast of the evening was the following:
„We do love beauty, we do love our guests and we do love art!"
 
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