Who is the Till Eulenspiegel?
A portrait of the famous wandering storyteller, the Eulenspiegel, adorns the restaurant’s façade and others graces its interior. Many people have walked in and out of the Eulenspiegel; some good, others bad, some rich, others poor and many are still to come. For he who has not paid a visit to the Eulenspiegel at the ‘Löchlbogen’ does not know Salzburg.
The restaurant's name derives from Till Eulenspiegel, an unusual young man with spirit and wit. He was born at around 1300 near Braunschweig in Germany but was never captivated by his hometown. Instead, an irresistible urge to wander drove him from place to place. The Eulenspiegel set out to speak the truth but knowing that it would not be easy to hold people’s attention, he went about wearing a colourful cap and bells on his head; for he saw the opportunity to openly converse as a jester. His emblems were an owl (Eule in German), the symbol of wisdom, and a mirror (Spiegel in German), which he held up in front of people. Of course he did not want to confront people too directly; that would have been too indiscreet. So he devised several jokes to open the eyes of his contemporaries to see their true selves.
The Eulenspiegel performed so many jokes that people began to record them. In 1515, the first book on Eulenspiegel's tricks appeared. His tricks were printed again and again for the old and young, the wise and the very wise. Unsurprisingly, the Eulenspiegel inspired the most renowned writers and musicians. From poets, like Gerhart Hauptmann and Erich Kästner, to composers like Richard Strauss, Béla Bartók and EN von Reznicek who even wrote an opera entitled, ‘Till Eulenspiegel’. And all these works are filled with the spirit of lightheartedness that also surrounds the guest in the Salzburgian Eulenspiegel. When the glasses clink together, the jingle bells of Eulenspiegel's hat ring at the same time. Does he not peep from behind that barrel or out under the chimney? But here he does not hold up a mirror in front of you; here he offers you a menu. It reflects your culinary wishes and we realise them. Leaf through it, make a selection ... and get to know yourself in doing so; for not only in wine do you find truth.
The history of an ancient Salzburgian House and its world renowned restaurant
About the Eulenspiegel
Salzburg’s old town is rich in monumental buildings and marked by many old corners, alleyways and houses of proud citizens. Let us cast a retrospective glance at the history of House No 2 on Hagenauerplatz, where you will find the most original tavern in Austria, ‘Zum Eulenspiegel’, opposite the place where on 27 January 1756 the most famous son of the city, Wolfgang Amadeus Motzart, was born.
This house at the town wall between ‘the gateway and the public bath at the riverside’ was first documented in 1414. In 1425, the house was known as ‘Zuengleinhaus’. In 1484, it was bought by Hans Atheimer, a belt maker, and subsequently by Ludwig Alt, a veil maker, in 1485. In 1598, Achatzi Loszbichler, a rope maker, bought it and this was the time when a proper gate was made for horses to access a watering spot at the river during the loading and offloading of carriages. From that time onwards the house bore the name ‘Löchlbogen’. A document exists from as early as 16 November 1600, in which the Prince-Archbishop of Salzburg, Wolf Dietrich von Raitenau, records that the gate of the house of a very loyal citizen, Achatien Loszbichler, was broken down and a new wall had to be erected to enable him to make a new entrance gate for his house. In 1636, the house was still in the possession of the Loszbichler family but ownership changed frequently thereafter. The building was eventually bought by Mathias Staudinger in 1871 and his descendants owned the house for several years.
Matthias Köttl had married the widow of Gabriel Sailer, cheesemaker, in Viehausen. They moved into the ‘Löchl’ and started an original ‘cheese shop’, still one of the most famous local shops in town. The business was handed over to his relatives in 1908. For decades, a watchmaker worked in the very narrow shop next to it. The story told is that he died there while standing. Above the first floor, Georg Hartl started to trade in bed-springs. At that time a butcher and the miller, Staudlinger, worked vis-à-vis the ‘Löchl’. His widow transformed the business into a general store in which souvenirs of high quality are still being offered.
The House and Its Connection to Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart
Opposite of the ‘Löchlbogen house’ stands the house in which Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart was born. The Löchlbogen house was Johann Georg Leopold Mozart’s (Wolfgang Amadeus’ father) first apartment. Moreover, it is documented that the family Mozart also lived in the Löchlbogen house for a while.
Leopold Mozart wrote to his wife from Venice in 1771, while renovations were being carried out in their home: ‘I think that we cannot stay at home as we have slept like soldiers together; we cannot go on like this as Wolfgang is no longer seven years old. I think it best I take an apartment in the ‘Löchl’, then it is not far to go to Hagenauerhaus’ (Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart's birthplace).
In 1949, the owner at the time Hans Grassl, and architect, Hochreither, renovated the 500-year-old patrician home into an original restaurant with unique atmosphere and style. The dining rooms on the second floor represent a medieval residence, ‘Eulenspiegel's private and intimate apartments’. The charming individual dining rooms with a delightful view over the city of Salzburg and the rushing Salzach river consist of ‘the study’, ‘the wine room’, ‘the lady’s room’ and also a cosy little bar. The comfortable dining rooms with original wooden furniture, full of local colours, carved wood, weapons and open fireplaces will impress and please you. There is a real cosiness which invites you to enjoy your meal. We should also not forget to mention the lovely and original interior artwork by the Salzburgian painters Wilhelm Kaufmann and Leonhard Stemeseder.
The restaurant has won worldwide acclaim in the meantime, owing to the delicious food on offer. The high standard of the cuisine is characterised by, Hans Grassl, the former owner's, appointment as ‘Chevalier Chaîne des Rôtisseurs’.
In 1989 Walter Ritzberger-Wimmer took over the Eulenspiegel. He is endeavouring to run this internationally renowned house in a traditional manner and to maintain its high standard. This is the short history of a Salzburgian patrician house over the last 680-plus years.