Rudolf Sreiner Dornach

Rudolf Steiner 1861-1925

Rudolf Steiner was born on the 27th of February 1861 in Kraljevec in the former Kingdom of Hungary and now Croatia. He studied at the College of Technology in Vienna and obtained his doctorate at the University of Rostock with a dissertation on Theory of Knowledge which concluded with the sentence: «The most important problem of human thinking is this: to understand the human being as a free personality, whose very foundation is himself"

He exchanged views widely with the personalities involved in cultural life and arts of his time. However, unlike them, he experienced the spiritual realm as the other side of reality. He gained access through exploration of consciousness using the same method as the natural scienctist uses for the visible world in his external research. This widened perspective enabled him to give significant impulses in many areas such as art, pedagogy, curative education, medicine, agriculture, architecture, economy and social sciences, aiming towards the spiritual renewal of civilisation.




He gave his movement the name of „Anthroposophy“ (the knowledge of man) after separating from the German section of the Theosophical Society, where he had acted as a general secretary. He then founded the Anthroposophical Society in 1913 which formed its centre with the construction of the First Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.

Rudolf Steiner died on 30th March 1925 in Dornach. 

His literary work is made up of numerous books, transcripts and approximately 6000 lectures which have for the most part been edited and published in the Complete Works Edition.


Rudolf Steiner's biography


Rudolf Steiner was born on the 27th of February 1861 in Kraljevec in the former Kingdom of Hungary and now Croatia. (In the image above he is standing next to his younger sister). He spent his childhood in Pottschach, where his father worked as a Telegraph operator for the Austrian Railways. He, his parents and a younger sister and brother, lived in the railway station itself close to the tracks. His environment let him experience the polarity between nature and technology.


At the age of 18, he began to study at the College of Technology in Vienna. Initially he studied subjects like biology, chemistry, physics and mathematics. However, his deepest interest lay in the essence of the human being, and thus he intensified his dedication to philosophy. The phenomenon of „Consciousness of the Self“ became one of his main concerns.



When he was 29 years old he began to work at the Goethe and Schiller Archive in Weimar. Besides editing Goethe’s writings on natural science, he edited the complete works of Schopenhauer and Jean Paul (published by Cotta). During this period he wrote four books, among them the „Philosophy of Freedom“ and he also started giving lectures. He was also able to meet personalities like Ernst Haeckel, Hermann Grimm and Friedrich Nietzsche.


During his time in Berlin, he became the editor of the „Magazin für Literatur“, and also became a teacher at the workers educational school. He was chairman of the circle called „Die Kommenden“ where contemporary artists and representatives of the cultural milieu gathered every week. His lectures given in theosophical groups laid the foundation for the Anthroposophical Society which was founded in 1913.


After moving to Dornach and with the construction of the „Goetheanum“ in Dornach, Switzerland, the Anthroposophical Movement became visible for the world. In many years of experience and spiritual research Steiner conceived complete new impulses for pedagogy, medicine, agriculture, art, architecture, religion and politics. These groundbreaking impulses continued to develop and are still growing.