Palais-Hotel Erzherzog Johann Graz
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History

Our hotel tells many stories

Original, classic, traditional or as younger generations call it: vintage.

The Palais-Hotel Erzherzog Johann finds its roots in the 16th century, when it was already one of the largest inns within the city walls of Graz at that time. 

The 16th century inn

In 1596 the house at Sackstrasse 5 was turned into an inn. Located in the city centre it could only be reached passing over the Mur Bridge built in the 14th century for which high tolls were charged. Documents from the time state that the inn, even back then was “suitable to accommodate ladies and gentlemen of highest nobility”.

Feudal palace during the 18th century

In the 18th century, the house was expanded into a stately palace. The spacious chambers, the magnificent representation rooms, a separate chapel and the splendid wrought-iron work for the railings in the inner courtyard were created, which are still completely preserved today. Another relic from that time are the arcades of our traditional coffee house. By the way, at that time they were used as a shelter for the horses of the gentry.

The Erzherzog Johann Hotel during the 19th century

Until the mid 19th century the house changed ownes several times. In 1852 Ferdinand Sonnhammer rented the building and finally purchased it in 1877. It was him that converted the feudal palace into an elegant hotel, still nameless at the time. He eventually petitioned the ‘Styrian Prince’ Archduke John – brother of King Francis II – to assume the patronage for the hotel. The popular sovereign gladly gave his consent and the hotel was given his name. From then on, not only the archduke liked to visit the noble house in Sackstraße, but also prominent people from the nobility, business and culture met here. 

Do you want to find out more about Archduke John’s story? Our gallery offers the perfect way to do so with several stations exploring the life and work of the ‘Styrian Prince’ in depth.

Becoming a top address in the 20th century

In the 20th century the Erzherzog Johann Hotel became well-known among aristocrats and artists. Interesting personalities chose our hotel as accommodation or as a place to meet. Due to the ever-growing numbers of visitors additional space was needed to accommodate the illustrious guests.

Soon the buildings at Badgasse 4 and Sackstrasse 3 were integrated and already presented the same façade as today. Fritz Müller, a great uncle of today’s owners, purchased the hotel from Ferdinand Sonnhammer’s widow. The hotel has been family owned for the last 100 years.

Vintage since 1852

Throughout the years, the hotel has been renewed peu à peu and with care, without ever losing the charm and character of the historic house. Old parquet floors, historical paintings, finely decorated radiators, ceilings with stucco, antiquarian furniture and all this combined with the comforts of today. Yes, the house is old, it lives, tells many stories and it can happen that floors creak, bathrooms sometimes still resist renewal or something works differently than expected - but that is exactly what historic houses bring with them and it is important to us to preserve the old building and its charm. All our rooms and suites are different, no two are alike. From splendid & stylish to simple & basic. 

The heart of our house is the winter garden, which is adorned with plants from all over the world over several floors. Beautiful and unique. In this wildly romantic winter garden, breakfast is served and good old coffee house culture is enjoyed during the day. In the evening you should visit the Ernst Fuchs Bar. Many say it is magical. On the one hand, this is due to the wonderful ambience, which it owes to the Austrian painter, architect and visionary Ernst Fuchs, who designed the interior. On the other hand, it is a place where horizon-expanding culinary pleasure meets bar-cultural craftsmanship.

The Palais-Hotel Erzherzog Johann - a truly exceptional, historic house in the heart of downtown Graz.

Erzherzog Johann
Fassaden Ansicht im Jahr 1900
Fassaden Ansicht im Jahr 1988
Old world beauty

"Talk about old world beauty. This hotel is old. Creaky gorgeous wood floors and old shutters. However it is modernized enough to provide a beautiful sheik setting right in the center of town. The view of the streets from our window was lovely. The gorgeous atrium made our fancy breakfast even better. We loved this hotel! I’d recommend it to anyone. The beds were so comfortable and our suite was extremely spacious." [source: Hotel.com, März 2022]

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