< GERMANY | MUNICH: Hotel Vier Jahreszeiten Kempinski
The Bavarian King Maximilian II wanted to follow in the footsteps of his father, Ludwig I., and create a monument within the city of Munich itself – in the form
of a beautiful boulevard, named after him. Following the greatest architectural competition of that time, he had the winner of the tender, Friedrich Bürklein, design all the buildings
of the future Maximilian Strasse – apart from the sophisticated hotel that had been planned, and the Museum of Ethnology.
A truly elegant hotel was required, since in about the middle of the last century, the modern world had entered the city on the Isar, which had been rather sleepy until then – one of the first international trade fairs was held here in 1854, with 6,500 exhibitors. Munich had been connected to the European railway network, and the telegraph, followed by the telephone, heralded the arrival of the telecommunications era. Prominent guests from the nobility and the bourgeoisie, and from the worlds of art, science and technology increasingly need to be accommodated in accordance with their status.
Thus the hotel planned within the Maximilian Strasse project was, in the King's words, to become "the most beautiful hotel in the city". The royal requirement was met by the architect Rudolf Gottgetreu in terms of outstanding architecture, the finest fittings and the most stylish furniture – and it also took into account the latest technical innovations of the dawning industrial era, such as electricity, running water and paternoster lifts.
The hotel, which was opened with great pomp and ceremony in 1858, was instantly acclaimed by the highest people in high society. And today, it is still what it was designed to be from the very start: "the best hotel around". Today, the unique combination of traditional and modern is one of the factors that helps meet the needs of our clientele. Famous guests include Alfred Hitchcock, King Karl Gustav, Leonard Bernstein, Andy Warhol, Jean-Paul Belmondo, Ludwig Erhard, Anthony Perkins, Heinz Rühmann, Yehudi Menuhin, Anthony Quinn and the Rolling Stones.
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