HISTORY OF LUXURY CITY CENTRAL HOTEL AMBASSADOR IN VIENNA

OUR HISTORy

The Ambassador Hotel looks back on a tradition that is substantially shaped by 200 years of contemporary history.

The rich history of the Ambassador reflects the historic and urban evolution of downtown Vienna. The surroundings of the hotel and the building itself are part of a fascinating past and an active today.

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  • All
  • 1234
  • 1375
  • 1697
  • 1726
  • 1739
  • 1781
  • 1785
  • 1798
  • 1831
  • 1837
  • 1866
  • 1897
  • 1898
  • 1926
  • 1930
  • 1945
  • 1954
  • 1974
  • 1998
  • 2001
  • 2003
  • 2010
  • 2011
  • 2017
  • 1234

    1234

    First documented mention of the Neuer Markt.

  • 1375

    1375

    First mention as the "Mehlgroube", the building which in 1418 becomes the City's flour store, which controls weights, measures and the price of flour.

  • 1697

    1697

    The Mehlgrube is demolished and rebuilt according to plans drawn up by Johann Bernhard Fischer of Erlach. The City of Vienna has an exclusive place of entertainment built on the site of the old flour store.

  • 1726

    1726

    With the completion of the new building there is now a prestigious public establishment which is used for dances, masked balls and other occasions (especially for an aristocratic clientele). The first balls are put on by the dancing master Accriboni, by order of Prince Eugene.

  • 1739

    1739

    Opening of the Donnerbrunnen fountain, a Baroque masterpiece by Georg Raphael Donner, on the Neuer Markt.

  • 1781

    1781

    The Mehlgrube is converted into a concert hall, and the first concerts are held for music lovers, including music by Ludwig van Beethoven and Johann Nepomuk Hummel.

  • 1785

    1785

    Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart gives his first subscription concert in the Mehlgrube.

  • 1798

    1798

    On October 28, the building is reopened as the Gasthaus "Zur Mehlgrube". The landlord, Michael Mörus, runs the inn until 1831. He incorporates the old tradition and brings balls and concerts back to the building.

    Beethoven, a habitué of the Gasthaus "Zum Weißen Schwan", conducts in the Mehlgrube between 1798 and 1813.

  • 1831

    1831

    Mathias Czermak renovates the building again and converts it into a "casino", which at that time meant a combination of an inn, a concert hall and a coffee house.

    Czermak is able to engage the famous conductors Lanner and Morelly to perform in his casino. In addition, evening meetings of journalists are held, from which is later to emerge the journalists' and authors' association Concordia, formed in 1859.

  • 1837

    1837

    Franz Xaver Munsch takes over the Mehlgrube. He carries on the tradition started by his father, Franz Anton Munsch, and brings the highest standards of hospitality to the Mehlgrube. In doing so he takes the first important steps in the direction of the present day.

  • 1866

    1866

    Franz Xaver Munsch completes the conversion of the Mehlgrube into a hotel. This decision happily coincides with the beginning of the Wiener Gründerzeit, the period of Vienna's commercial and industrial expansion. With the opening of the Hotel Munsch begins a period of rising standards on a grandiose scale.

  • 1897

    1897

    Josef Krantz acquires the Hotel Munsch and has the Mehlgrube demolished in order to construct a new building with architecture in the style of the Italian Renaissance, which would fulfill the requirements of the latest developments in the hotel business at that time.

  • 1898

    1898

    The Hotel Krantz-Ambassador is opened. The following years are a truly glittering period in the history of the present day Ambassador Hotel, and the guest list from that period reads like an extract from the Gotha.

    Among the guests are celebrities such as Luitpold Prince Regent of Bavaria (one of the first guests at the new hotel), Wilhelm Prince of Hohenzollern (one of the sons of the German Emperor Wilhelm II), and many more. But the guests not only include political figures and members of the high aristocracy. From a balcony of the Hotel Krantz-Ambassador Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark Twain, watches the solemn funeral procession which accompanies the mortal remains of the Empress Elisabeth, known as "Sisi", to their last resting place in the Imperial Burial Vault. She had been stabbed by the Italian anarchist Luigi Lucheni in Geneva on September 10, 1898.

    (Gotha: Gothaische Genealogische Taschenbücher (Gotha Genealogical Pocket Books, genealogical pocket reference work in four sections; still in print)

  • 1926

    1926

    June 6

    Kauf der Krantz Aktien durch Baumeister Alois Rous für seine Tochter Maria "Mimi". Rous ist Stadtbaumeister, Erbauer und damaliger Besitzer des heutigen Hanusch-Krankenhauses und kaiserlicher Rat, Träger des Ritterkreuzes des Franz-Joseph-Ordens (Großvater der heutigen Besitzerinnen).

  • 1926

    1926

    Birth of twin sisters Edith Philp and Erika Schleiffelder, née Senft, the present owners.

  • 1930

    1930

    October

    The composer Franz Lehár, a friend of the hotel, gives a concert to open the restaurant named after him.

  • 1945

    1945

    March 12

    The facade of the Krantz-Ambassador on the Kärntner Straße is almost destroyed by two aircraft bombs. Rebuilding begins in April; from June 1945 on the Krantz-Ambassador is always known as the Ambassador Hotel.

  • 1954

    1954

    The Ambassador is used to accommodate the first major state visitor (the Emperor Hailie Selassie of Ethiopia) and until 1957 remains the hotel in Vienna for official visitors to the Republic of Austria.

  • 1974

    1974

    On the occasion of the opening of the Kärntner Straße as a pedestrian precinct in August, the open-air café of the Ambassador Hotel is opened.

  • 1998

    1998

    The Ambassador Hotel celebrates its centennial.

  • 2001

    2001

    Following general renovation the Ambassador Hotel is reopened with 86 beautifully appointed rooms.

    The renovation works take full account of the architectural quality of the building and are planned down to the tiniest detail. Today, antique marble pillars blend with new structures in wood and glass. The stucco moldings have been redecorated and the Untersberger marble has been fully exposed. Black marble from South Africa, fine dark wood and "panorama" lifts have been integrated in a masterly fashion.

  • 2003

    2003

    For more than 100 years the Ambassador Hotel has offered a timeless elegance to be found in no other hotel. Right up to the present day, the unique symbiosis of the traditional and the modern, the past and the present, gives our establishment its special flair of a top hotel.

  • 2010

    2010

    The famous writer Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), known by his pen name Mark Twain, stayed at the Hotel Krantz, now Ambassador, from October 1898 until May 1899.

    April 21 marked the 100th anniversary of Twain’s death, offering U.S. Embassy Vienna the opportunity to spotlight the American writer and his ties to Austria. On April 21, 2010, a commemorative plaque is unveiled at the Ambassador Hotel where Twain lived for several months.

  • 2011

    2011

    Reconstruction of the hotels’ top floors and opening of 4 newly arranged apartments. The modern design of the apartments as well as the luxurious amenities provide utmost comfort for short or long stays. 

  • 2017

    2017

    Relaunch of the Ambassador website.

    The Ambassador Hotel presents its new website with state-of-the-art technology and a modern design.

tradition & present

"Situated in the finest part of the city, and provided with all modern comforts" - This was the wording of the advertisement placed by the hotel, under the name of "Hotel Krantz", in the Wiener Zeitung, issue number 127, on Saturday 4th June 1898, page 12. The description we gave of ourselves back then still fits today.

It is with full justification that the Ambassador Hotel, with its more than 100 year old history, can designate itself as one of the richest buildings in the city in terms of tradition. And not just in respect of its function as a hotel. The Ambassador Hotel has been welcoming people over the course of the decades in a wide variety of functions, and under different names. The range of its use extends from that of a private house, to its use as an exclusive ballroom for the highest echelons of Vienna society, from a concert hall to the finest of hotels. Luxury and tradition in a stylish atmosphere, together with the latest technical equipment – this is what the Ambassador Hotel, fully refurbished in 2000, provides for its guests today. This unique symbiosis of the traditional and the modern, the past and the present, artistic refinement and pure pleasure gives our time honored establishment its special flair as a top hotel.

celebrity guests

Like a scarlet thread, the themes of literature, architecture and, repeatedly, music run through the history of the building.

Musicians of all periods and all different styles have found inspiration here, and indeed often a suitable framework within which to present their latest compositions to the public. From Mozart to the present day, there has been a succession of musicians who have spent time here, sometimes to make music, sometimes to compose or to relax. Works by Mozart, Haydn, Beethoven, Lanner, to name but a few, have been presented to the music loving Viennese public by the masters themselves. Franz Lehár was a close friend of the hotel, and in 1930 handed over to the owners of the Ambassador some autographs, all of which can still be admired in the hotel today.

But the special character of this place is not reserved for musicians alone. Writers, actors, dancers, politicians, members of the higher aristocracy, businessmen and industrialists continue to be inspired by this place as they always have been, finding here the rest and peace that they need.

The little secrets of these outstanding people – what we call the "guest histories" – are still kept like a valuable horde of treasure in a filing box in the management office.

Here is a brief extract from our guest list:

  • Theodore Roosevelt
  • Henry Ford III
  • Charles A. Lindbergh
  • Mark Twain
  • Thornton Wilder
  • H. C. Artmann
  • Marlene Dietrich
  • Romy Schneider
  • Josephine Baker
  • Maria Jeritza Seery
  • Martha Eggerth
  • Svatoslav Richter
  • Jan Kiepura
  • Franz Lehár
  • Robert Schumann
  • Louis Trenker
  • Prime Minister Jawaharlal Nehru
  • Emperor Haile Selassie I
  • Prince Xavier of Bourbon-Parma
  • Infanta Isabella, Princess of Asturias
  • Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia
  • Wilhelm Erbprinz von Hohenzollern
  • Princess Helen of Greece
  • Princess Marie Alexandra Victoria of Edinburgh

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