History - kunst.hotel nach waelder.art
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History of Hotel Hirschen

In 1755, the church burned down along with 14 houses around it in Schwarzenberg. The hosts of the inns in the village square (Schäfle, Ochsen, Hirschen, Adler, Kreuz, and Krone) had special privileges. They had passports, could conduct trade, and also had banking licenses.

Hotel Hirschen in Bregenzerwald

The History told by Franz Fetz..

The Hirschen was bestowed with the great Maria Theresa concession by the empress, which enabled the inn to carry out commodity transactions. The inn also had two bank licenses. My great grandfather Josef Anton Fetz (1834 – 1875) also had a license as a fur trader. In this capacity, he traveled to the largest fur trade fair in Nizhny Novgorod, 300 km east of Moscow, in order to purchase beaver fur, which was necessary to make the "Bräma cap", a type of winter headwear. The journey usually took 6 or more months.


One of the first hosts of the Hirschen after the fire was Josef Anton Metzler (1753 – 1796) - he was my great-great-great-great-great grandfather on my father's side or my great-great-great-great grandfather on my mother's side – a farmer and grocer by trade. He traded in wood, cheese, and cattle and was a money lender and manufacturer all in one. Metzler developed a manufacturing and merchandising firm for muslin and cotton goods. He also had a wax business. His business dealings extended all the way to Milan, Vienna, Bohemia, and Hungary. At the time, he was the wealthiest person in Bregenzerwald and asset manager of painter Angelika Kauffmann (1741-1806). In her letters, Angelika Kauffmann inquired of the young, talented people, whose learning of a craft she financially enabled, if the money was well spent. When this was not the case, she would discontinue sponsorship. Today's 4-star hotel experienced a period of prosperity under the management of the Natter family.

 In 1856, King Maximilian II and his royal entourage visited the Hirschen in Schwarzenberg. This journey is described in the book "Eines Königs Reise an den Bodensee". In the same year, Eduard Mörike also visited the Hirschen, where he and his wife Margarethe Speth spent their belated honeymoon. Today, a hiking path from Schwarzenberg to the Hochälpele commemorates this distinguished visit.

There was another wedding at the Hirschen at the end of the 19th century during the work years of my great grandfather Josef Anton Fink 1848 – 1911. Under his direction, the Landamann-Saal was built in 1882. At the time, the hotel also had a bath house, where baths with iron salts were administered. Under the management of his daughter Anna Berlinger in the period between the wars, Gasthof Hirschen was a popular destination of textile barons from the Rhine valley. They spent almost every weekend at the inn with Ms. Berlinger. At the end of the 1930s, my father Albert Fetz, son of the Schäfle host Josef Fetz, with his sister and my future mother Gertrud leased the Hirschen until 1949. 

In 1952, my father purchased it and continued to lease it until 1975. Then began my career at the Hirschen. Over time, I realized many accomplishments, and with several renovations and a new building in 1991, we achieved the success we currently enjoy today! Since 2006, the Hirschen has been a member of "Castle Hotels & Mansions" as well as "Historic Hotels of Europe". The new concept of kunst.hotel nach waelder.art came about in 2012.