1st Floor: The Viennese coffeehouse literati
Not only is the Viennese coffeehouse listed as a cultural heritage sight by UNESCO, but also an institution which offers coffee in a pleasant informal surrounding.
Today, as in the past, the price of a cup of coffee will grant one much in return. Historically, patrons indulging in a coffeehouse atmosphere enjoyed international newspapers, encyclopedia Brockhaus or even a game of chess. These unique offerings still hold true today and one finds the Viennese cafe to be a unique stimulating experience. It was this very intellectual setting which gave birth to the coffeehouse literature. The coffeehouse was the meeting venue of a group of literary figures many of whom were Jewish.
Each room on the first floor is dedicated to a coffeehouse literati. Amongst these rooms you will find their personal biographies, quotes from their works and copies of publishings.
Rooms are dedicated to: Egon Fridell, Hermann Bahr, Peter Altenberg, Friedrich Torberg, Joseph Roth, Karl Krauss, Hugo von Hoffmannsthal, Stefan Zweig and Anton Kuh.
In the library of the Papgeno lounge you will find some of the works from our highlighted authors.
2nd Floor: Secession
The motto: "To every age its art. To art its freedom” by Ludwig Hevesi adorns the facade of our visual arts neighbour to the left of us, the Secession. With its decorative cupola resembling a golden laurel tree this impressive bronze dome, often referred to by the locals as the cabbage head, pays homage to the Karlskirche and is a symbol for the free spirit Viennese artists. Financed by the members of the artist association called the Secession and curated by the Viennese Jugenstil this movement represented a protest of the younger generation opposing the traditional art of their forebears, a separation from the past towards the future.
The Secession’s 14th exhibition in 1902 was led under the direction of Josef Hoffman and was one of its most famous. The Beethoven Frieze created by Gustav Klimt sought to immortalise Beethoven’s ninth and its interpretation by Richard Wagner. It is a permanent exhibition at the Secession and can be seen in a room created especially for it.
The artist association has always been autonomous and actively decides on the acceptance of new members and the content of the exhibitions. The predominant principle is: the spirit of innovation. The hotel Beethoven is a proud patron of the Secession.
In the rooms on this floor you will find inspiration from posters from past exhibitions as well as reprints of original themes of contemporary and historical secession artists.
Rooms are dedicated to: Josef Maria Olbrich, architect of the Secession; founder of the Secession; Gustav Klimt and the Beethoven Frieze; Koloman Moser; Beethoven exhibition 1902 and Oliver Laric 2016, Friedrich Kiesler; Egon Schiele; Francis Alys; Marc Camille Chaimowicz.
3rd Floor: Ludwig Van Beethoven, his time and my cultural imprint
I can’t help but notice the parallels between the Biedermeier lifestyles of Beethoven and my own childhood with my ambitious mother Sissi. I grew up with an intense exposure and thus a great appreciation for classical music. Surrounded by biedermeier furniture and numerous musical notes, my love of Beethoven was born. My mother's passion for playing the piano and antique collecting was passed down to me and I am so happy to possess her grand piano along with several antique pieces that once stood in my parent's home. It is therefore especially touching for me to witness the joy our guests experience while listening to the chamber music concerts performed on my late mother's Börsendofer every Sunday evening.
The Viennese bourgeois of the Vonmärz period were not allowed to have any political influence and thus found themselves focusing their time and energy on their private sector and cultural affairs whereby developing traditions which are still relevant and practised today. The importance of art and culture is reflected through the foundations of many institutions such as: The Society of Friends of Music, The Vienna Philharmonic and the Establishment of the Salon Culture.
Rooms on this floor are dedicated to: the Biedermeier painter, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller, the Vienna salon, the Vienna house music, architecture and furniture, Josef Hayden, Franz Liszt, the Viennese waltz, the Strauss dynasty and naturally Ludwig van Beethoven.
4th Floor: Theatre an der Wien
Our neighbour to the right was never an imperial theatre, but one for the common folk. The audience often arrived with picnic baskets and were not shy to holler and voice their opinions during the performances which made this privately owned theatre quite popular. In the 19th century a lottery helped it to survive a financial crisis. Every lottery ticket sold helped ensure the financial stability of the theatre. This unique solution allowed each ticket purchaser to feel as if they had some ownership of the theatre. This entrepreneurial spirit led to openings of some of the most important works by Nestroy, Johann Strauss and Beethoven.
Ludwig van Beethoven took up residence in the back wing of the theatre building and conducted his Eroica at its premiere.
Rooms are dedicated to: Schikaneders Papagenotor: Mozarts Librettist, co-builder of theatre dedicated near the former baroque entrance, Fanny Elser, a world acclaimed ballerina, Theatre programs, Theatre architecture genius Loci of the new Opera House, Nikolous Harnincourt; Placido Domingo, Benjamin Britten’s Peter Grimes.
5th Floor: Vienna of love & desire
The Beethoven lies adjacent to the Vienna River in the 6th district which was in historic times considered the Waschermädl-Viertel (laundry-girl district). When Emperor Franz Josef decided to remove the wall around the first district, he commissioned many impressive buildings to be built in its place thus creating the Ringstrasse. This urban renewal brought about monumental historically inspired neo-Gothic and neo-Barogue structures. Built amongst the Opera House, Burg Theatre, and Parliment were noble villas and palais from high society.
To the west, the river cut across the city and as it was not yet regulated in the 19th century, laundry girls congregated alongside the river and were notoriously known to have free time to engage in flirtatious escapades.
The seriousness and easiness of love is part of Vienna’s charm. Sensuality, free spirit, as well as flirting with the dark side all find a place on our 5th floor.
Rooms are dedicated to: Muse Alma Mahler; Founder of Psychoanalysis and sexual research Sigmund Freud; Katharina Schratt, mistress of Kaiser Franz Josef as well as a friend of Sissi; Josefine Mutzenbacher, a fictional character created by male fantasy; Arthur Schnitzler, an author who was critical of society; The adored Hapsburger Empress and Mother Maria Theresia; Hedy Lamarr, renowned actress famous for her erotic role and naked scene who later fled Vienna for Hollywood to escape an unhappy marriage. An inventor, she is recognized for her patented invention in spread-spectrum technology.
6th Floor: Strong woman of the Fin de Siecle
We pay tribute to strong personalities of woman on the 6th floor : the inventor, femme fatale, muse, networker, reformer, Woman here play the most important role.
Rooms on this floor are dedicated to: The Red archdutchess: illegitimate daughter of Prince Rudolph and the favourite grandchild of Kaiser Franz Josef, later Windischgrätz divorced and remarried to become Elisabeth Petznek alongside her politician husband she became a leading social democrat ; artist, designer and fashion designer Emilia Flögge; first female Nobel Peace Prize recipient Bertha von Suttner; prominent Viennese Salonniere Berta Zuckerkandl-Szeps.