From the Springervilla to the “Seminar Hotel Springer Schlössl”
Seminar Hotel Springer Schlössl at the “Tivoli” in Vienna Meidling today consists of three building complexes: the Springer-Schlössl from the 19th century, the associated half-timbered building, which today houses the Julius Raab Foundation, and the Seminar Hotel (1975). The “Springer-Schlössl” was built in 1887 by the builders Fellner and Helmer. They were the best-known theatre architects of their time - they created around 50 theatres in the German-speaking world, e.g. the Ronacher, the Konzerthaus in Vienna, the Frankfurt Opera or the opera in Chernivtsi. Baron Springer had acquired the whole area from the Huegel family. Baron Huegel had been the chief garden master of the Empress Maria Theresa and had created the large park at the same time as the park of Schönbrunn. 170 natural monuments still bear witness to his gardening skills in the park of the Political Academy.
Changeable fate for the Springer Schlössl
With the union in 1938 a changeable fate for the “Springer Schlössl” began. The owner of the Schlössl, Baroness Rothschild, had already emigrated to France in 1936. At the end of 1939 the house was confiscated by the Nazis as Jewish property and converted into a house for the district school. Towards the end of the war, the district school was on the list of objects that should be bombed by the Allies. In the last months of the war, the park received its “bomb carpet”. 22 bombs landed in front of the villa, the main building itself was not hit, but the windows and door frames were unusable. In 1945, the building was looted, Soviet tanks drove down the fence, completing the impression of complete annihilation.
Springer Schlössl copied
The construction of the “Springer Villa” was so popular at that time that the house was recreated twice, by the Serbian King Milan in Belgrade and by Count Stefan von Karolyi in Hungary. The hall is particularly impressive. Its rich design is an outstanding example of Viennese historicism. The theatrical, sweeping staircase, the glass roof (which naturally illuminates the whole hall), the whole panelling in richly carved walnut wood; All this is unique and therefore rightly a protected cultural monument. The hall also served as an excellent venue for home music.
Famous guests in Springer Schlössl
Among the famous artists who were guests at this villa were Katharina Schratt, Alexander Girardi, Max Reinhardt and Baron Hasenauer, the builder of the Burgtheater, and the famous musician and composer Rugero Leoncavallo, who liked to play in the hall because of the excellent acoustics.
The education centre is created
Finally, the house served until 1953 as a student residence of the city of Vienna. The park was provisionally repaired, the bomb craters levelled, rubble and debris removed. Then the whole estate was returned to its rightful owners. In 1953, the heirs of the owner sold it to the Association of Viennese Volksheime. For many years, the People's Party of the Federal Capital held its seminars and events here. In 1975, the building decision was made for the construction of the seminar hotel “Springer Schlössl”. First, the expansion and immediately after the new construction was started. After 90 days of modification, the academy business was initiated on October 10, 1975 in the “Springer Schlössl”. In the spring of 1977, the new building was ceremonially given its purpose. The next renovation was scheduled for 2014 - the seminar hotel was completely refurbished and brought up to the latest technical standards. In April 2015, the festive reopening took place!