The Beethoven – Vienna aficionados welcome

The 4-star Hotel Beethoven is nestled in culture and cuisine on the “bohemian” Naschmarkt, opposite the Papagenotor of the Theater an der Wien, just a few minutes walk from the Vienna State Opera, Musikverein, Museumsquartier, traditional Viennese coffeehouses, and vibrant shopping streets.

The hotel is family owned and operated. Barbara Ludwig explains her relationship with Vienna.

Vienna floor by floor…

"With the new room concept we wanted to capture the atmosphere of Vienna while also telling the story of the diverse culture of the city. This is why we have devoted each floor to a particular theme, and have tried to make the Viennese presence tangible with special personalities of our city.

While researching our neighbourhood, we contacted institutions and spoke to people who were able to help us develop a concept for each floor. Many ideas are based on historical facts, archival records, and reproduced art forms. We soon came to realise that there are many different perspectives to examine while discussing Vienna.

Raimund Brunnmair, Viennese at heart, is an interior designer who applied his creative expertise as well as his artisan talent to help us develop a concept using unlimited Viennese inspirations which we have dedicated to personalities of Viennese culture and history.

We have used originals and reproductions, historical limited editions of wallpaper, stage designs, theater programs, lithographs, engravings, 3D prints, photographs, prints taken from samples, portraits and biographies.

Our special thanks go to the Secession, Theater an der Wien, the Kunsthistorische Museum, and the Technical Museum.

Since autumn 2014 we have been inviting our guests on one day of the weekend to enjoy a Salon Concert, usually for for cello and piano. Viennese classical pieces will be performed. The concert starts at 5.30 pm in the Papageno Lounge. By the way, the Bösendorfer grand piano was owned by my mother Sissy, who was a great pianist."

1st Floor: The literati of  the Viennese coffeehouses

The Viennese coffeehouse is both listed as a cultural heritage sight by UNESCO, and provides an institution which offers coffee in pleasant informal surroundings. The price of a cup of coffee will grant so much in return. Historically, patrons indulging in a coffeehouse atmosphere used to enjoy international newspapers, a game of chess, or even an encyclopedia. These unique offerings still hold true today, and one finds the Viennese "Café" to be a unique and stimulating experience. It was this intellectual setting which gave birth to the coffeehouse literature.The coffeehouses were the meeting venue for a group of literary figures, many of whom Jewish.

Each room on the first floor is dedicated to one of these personalities. You will find their personal biographies, quotes from their works and copies of publishings.

Rooms are dedicated to: Egon Friedell, Hermann Bahr, Peter Altenberg, Friedrich Torberg, Joseph Roth, Karl Kraus, Hugo von Hoffmannsthal, Stefan Zweig and Anton Kuh.

In the library of the Papageno Lounge you will find some of the works by these authors.

2nd Floor: Secession 

Ludwig Hevesi's motto "To every age its art. To art its freedom” adorns the facade of our close neighbour, the Secession. With its decorative cupola made up from golden laurel leaves, often referred to by the locals as the "cabbage head", it pays homage and is a symbol for the free spirit of Viennese artists. The members of this artist association called themselves the Secession. Founding the Viennese Jugendstil, this movement represented a protest of the younger generation opposing the traditional art of their teachers, a separation from the past towards the future.

The Secession’s 14th exhibition in 1902 under the direction of Josef Hoffmann 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 on permanent exhibition at the Secession, and can be seen in a room created especially for this masterpiece.

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. 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 Joseph Maria Olbrich, architect of the Secession; the founding of the Secession; Gustav Klimt and the Beethoven Frieze; Koloman Moser; Beethoven exhibition 1902 and Oliver Laric 2016, artist Friedrich Kiesler; Egon Schiele; architect Francis Alÿs; artist Marc Camille Chaimowicz.

3rd Floor: Ludwig van Beethoven and his time 

Barbara Ludwig explains: "I can’t help but notice the parallels between the Biedermeier lifetime of Beethoven, and my own childhood with my ambitious mother Sissy. I grew up with an intense exposure, and thus a great appreciation for classical music. Surrounded by Biedermeier furniture and sheet music, my love of Beethoven was born. My mother's passion for the piano and for collecting antiques was passed on to me. I am happy to own her grand piano, along with several antique pieces from my parents' home. I am therefore especially touched to witness the joy our guests experience when listening to the "Salon Concerts", performed on my late mother's Bösendorfer grand piano every weekend.

Viennese citizens of the Vormärz period did not to have a lot of political influence. Instead they focussed their time and energy on their private lives and cultural affairs, thereby developing traditions still relevant and practised today. The importance of art and culture is reflected in the founding of many institutions such as Musikverein, The Vienna Philharmonics and the establishment of a "Salon" culture.

Rooms on this floor are dedicated to the Biedermeier painter, Ferdinand Georg Waldmüller; the Vienna Salon; Viennese "Hausmusik"; architecture and furniture of Beethoven's time; Josef Haydn; Franz Liszt; the Viennese Waltz; the Strauss dynasty and last but not least, Ludwig van Beethoven.

4th Floor: Theater an der Wien

Our immediate neighbour, founded in 1787 was always by and for the citizens of Vienna, and never an imperial theater.The audience often arrived with picnic baskets, and were not shy to holler and voice their opinions during performances. This made this privately owned theater quite popular. In the 19th century a lottery helped to overcome a financial crisis, insuring the financial stability of the theater. This unique solution allowed each ticket purchaser to feel as if they had some share in the theater. This entrepreneurial spirit led to first performances of some of the most important works by Nestroy, Johann Strauss and Beethoven.

For some time Ludwig van Beethoven resided in a back wing of the theater building, and it was here that he conducted the opening night of Eroica.

Rooms are dedicated to Schikaneder, Mozart's librettist and his Papagenotor; Fanny Elssler, a world acclaimed ballerina; theater programs; theater architecture; Genius loci; conductor Nikolaus Harnoncourt; Placido Domingo; Benjamin Britten’s opera "Peter Grimes".  

5th Floor: Love & desire in Vienna

The Beethoven hotel stands close to the river Wien. This district in former times was called the 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 structures like the Opera House, Burgtheater, and Parlament. Side to side with them high society built their villas and palais.

The river Wien cut across the city and was not yet regulated in the 19th century. Laundry girls congregated alongside the river and were notoriously known  to engage in flirtatious escapades.

Both the seriousness and the easiness of love are parts of Vienna’s charm. Sensuality, free spirits, as well as flirting with the dark side, all these are represented on our 5th floor.

Rooms are dedicated to: the muse to many creative men, Alma Mahler; the founder of Psychoanalysis, Sigmund Freud; Katharina Schratt, mistress of Emperor Franz Josef; Josefine Mutzenbacher, a fictional erotic character of Vienna; Arthur Schnitzler, a writer of socially critical literature; adored Habsburg "Empress" Maria Theresia, mother of 16;  Hedy Lamarr, famous actress who fled Vienna for Hollywood and later became a renowned inventor.

6th Floor: Strong women of the Fin de Siècle

On this floor we pay a tribute to the strong Viennese women: inventors, femmes fatales, muses, networkers, reformers, women here play the most important role.

Rooms on this floor are dedicated to: the "Red Archduchess", illegitimate daughter of Crownprince Rudolph and favourite grandchild of Emperor Franz Josef; artist, fashion designer and muse to Gustav Klimt, Emilie Flöge; first female Nobel Peace Prize recipient Bertha von Suttner; prominent Viennese salonniere Berta Zuckerkandl-Szeps.