< AUSTRIA | SALZBURG: Hotel Goldener Hirsch
The historical Hotel Goldener Hirsch building, first documented in 1407, assumed a public role when it opened as an inn, the Güldener Hirsch in 1564—a time
when the Salzburg’s population numbered just 5,000.
The city began its ascend with the rise of Mozart, who was born a minute's walk from the Hotel Goldener Hirsch in 1756. In 1920, it declared itself a leader of the international music and drama scene by introducing the Salzburg Festival, which has become a city institution and global attraction.
The Hotel Goldener Hirsch was established as the festival’s premier residence following its purchase in 1939 by Countess Harriet Walderdorff. After World War II, Countess Walderdorff began her quest to refurbish the interior with simple and contemporary décor, creating a country residence in the city center.
In contrast to the overt extravagance of Salzburg at that time, Countess Walderdorff opted for indigenous Austrian furniture and antiques, replacing Persian carpets with traditional rag rugs. Boasting a new pink exterior, the hotel re-opened on April 29, 1948. Its casual yet sophisticated style soon became the model for Western Austrian hotels.
Nicknamed “The Golden Stag”, the Hotel Goldener Hirsch has become the home-away-from-home to the Salzburg Festival’s most prominent stars as well as international celebrities ranging from Elizabeth Taylor and Pavarotti to the Rothschilds, Gettys, and the Prince of Wales. American ex-president Richard Nixon personally wrote to Countess Walderdorff to thank her for the hotel’s supreme hospitality.
Little has changed since Countess Walderdorff purchased the hotel; the facades of the original and adjoining building—acquired in the 1970s—remain simple and the interior elegantly eclectic. Guests marvel at the carefully acquired décor: a painting, a wooden sculpture, a bar constructed from an antique trunk. The Refektoriumtisch, an old table built from a monastery’s refectory, is especially popular with regular guests, and the spot where the new Festival Hall location was negotiated.
The Hotel Goldener Hirsch is Salzburg’s premier host for both a stay in the city and an unforgettable, authentic Austrian meal.
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