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Café Schwarzenberg

By bliba  
The history of Café Schwarzenberg

In 1861, the most beautiful boulevard in Europe was being built. This was also the time when a tenement building of Albrecht Zeppezauer (silk manufacturer and K&K purveyor to the court) was constructed, in which Mr and Mrs Hochleitner opened a café.

Café Schwarzenberg has had the same name since it was taken over by Josef Menschl in 1902. Before that, it was called Café Hochleitner and Café Sperrer, among other names. From 1939 until the end of the war, the name was briefly changed. During this time it was run as Café Deutschland.

After 1945 Soviet Army officers occupied the premises for their events; during one of them they destroyed the furnishings with bullets.

One relic of this time was kept until the renovations in 1979 - a mirror whose cracks and bullet holes were decorated with vines and floral designs, making a virtue out of necessity.

In 1978 the owner of Café Schwarzenberg (Kom. Rat. Waltersam) was planning to close it down and sell the premises to a car dealership. The former councilor of culture and then mayor Dr Zilk managed to spare Café Schwarzenberg from this fate. In 1979, Café Schwarzenberg was thoroughly renovated and modernised, and in 1980 it was ceremoniously reopened by the new leaseholder.

Although Café Schwarzenberg was never a coffee house of artists and literary figures, it did have a famous regular customer who stayed loyal for years: the architect Josef Hoffmann, founder of Wiener Werkstätte, would be dropped off at lunchtime by his chauffeur and came here to eat, read the daily papers or put his ideas to squared paper (Quatratel Hoffmann). Many of his extraordinary designs were created at the Schwarzenberg.
Other famous people, such as the painter Hermann Nitsch or the Burg theatre actress Adrienne Gessner and important individuals from politics and industry, also visited the coffee house.

Today Café Schwarzenberg is one of the last Ringstraße cafés, of which there were once more than 30, that continues the typical atmosphere and tradition of a Viennese Café.

Tags: Photo journalism Monochrome Viennese coffee house Bnw photography Viennese coffee house culture

Voters: mommablue, trahern, mike9005 and 57 more

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Comments


19 Nov 2019 4:25PM
Good work Oliver! Both photo and history!

Arne Smile

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19 Nov 2019 4:29PM
Like the composition here Oliver, not overlooking a splendid introduction also.SmileSmile
mac Plus
18 3 Scotland
19 Nov 2019 4:30PM
It looks an up-market cafe judging by the quality of the seats and decor. Nice historical facts about its past. Well captured.
Ian
19 Nov 2019 4:31PM
Lovely image Oliver, and I've thoroughly enjoyed reading the history of this establishment.

Angela😄
19 Nov 2019 4:40PM
That finger, is it pointing, waving, what?
That chair, lower left, I want to be in it.
Very good indeed Oliver.

Alan
19 Nov 2019 4:41PM
Another excellent mono
19 Nov 2019 4:49PM
Echt gelungen! KlausGrinGrinGrin
mrswoolybill Plus
13 1.7k 2099 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2019 4:53PM
Serious, sober conversation in a serious, sober establishment. I love the use of perspective and curves.
woolybill1 Plus
13 30 75 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2019 4:53PM
Formal in its informality - or should that be informal in its formality?
Plentiful detail in spite of the contre-jour shot. An establishment for the discerning coffee drinker; I bet it smells wonderful!
Excellent, of course.
Regards
Bill
19 Nov 2019 5:06PM
an elegant place and an excellent shot (thanks for the write-up)
and do I see earlier editions of Roman Polanski and Richard Gere engaged in a quiet conversation?
19 Nov 2019 5:15PM
Superb cafe interior shot Oliver. Love the seating.
Alfie
capto Plus
7 5.9k 13 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2019 6:09PM
A fascinating story and image.Smile
ivor
dudler Plus
16 977 1536 England
19 Nov 2019 6:25PM
I love the formality of your composition, Ollie - matching hte stateliness of the coffee house.
saltireblue Plus
9 9.9k 38 Norway
19 Nov 2019 6:25PM
An establishment where conversations are conducted in low, calm voices and the waiters are always discreetly attentive.
Excellent contre-jour shot, Ollie.
19 Nov 2019 7:08PM
Superb image, Oliver.
Perfectly presented with a compelling narrative.
19 Nov 2019 8:22PM
Marvellous shot Oliver ....great DOF looks to be a delicious place as is the scene . Thank goodness the building was saved ! Excellent work
Cheers Walt
dark_lord Plus
15 2.4k 599 England
19 Nov 2019 8:31PM
A lovely atmospheric shot Oliver.
I hope the cafe continues in existence for a long while to come.
franken Plus
17 5.0k 4 United Kingdom
19 Nov 2019 8:42PM
Interesting write up and image, Oliver.

Ken.
taggart Plus
15 47 13 United States
19 Nov 2019 9:42PM
Wonderful processing along with your very informative text--

I bet the coffee was also excellent!
20 Nov 2019 8:40AM
love it
20 Nov 2019 9:51AM
This image is timeless, Oliver. It could have been taken at any time since the invention of photography. It will be a pleasure to view for years to come.

JohnSmile
20 Nov 2019 11:06AM
Excellent capture...
TrevBatWCC Plus
11 13 12 England
20 Nov 2019 11:46AM
Quite a history to the Cafe, very interesting write-up. And a superb capture of it here, Oliver, has a timeless feel to it 👍
Trev 😀
Joline Plus
13 30 54 United States
20 Nov 2019 12:40PM
One can sense the atmosphere from this image. Serious thinkers and coffee drinkers only.
A wonderful historical account.
Chinga Plus
9 3 1 United Kingdom
20 Nov 2019 1:17PM
A lovely moment captured Oliver... Beautifully caught...
Isabel GrinGrin

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