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Hotel Bemelmans-Post

A history that goes back centuries…

We, the Senn family, are pleased to welcome you to our 4-star Hotel Bemelmans-Post, steeped in tradition and located at the centre of Klobenstein. Since we bought the hotel in 1968, we have been passionately working to ensure the well-being of our guests, and we attach special importance to genuine hospitality and the use of local produce in our kitchen.
The story began long before we, the Senn family, took over the Bemelmans-Post: the building existed as far back as the 14th century in Klobenstein as a horse-changing and post station. At a time when the Imperial Road still ran from the Brenner Pass and over the Ritten to Rome (as the Eisack Valley had still not been drained), princes, bishops and traders all had to come this way to travel south or north. At the commendam in Lengmoos numerous coats of arms indicate the visits of noble guests. The horses, drivers and their entourage were fed and housed in the nearby post station.

When the Eisack Valley was drained and the main road constructed down there, the Ritten became more and more a recreational area for the wealthy merchants of Bozen and for aristocrats from the Habsburg Empire in search of relaxation.

Before the turn of the century in 1900 the hotel was run by the famous “Wirtsmandl” (landlord) Felix Mair, who extended the dining room and created the park. “Lix”, as he was known, was a hard-nosed individual, wont to making statements such as “Making money is easy if you show people no mercy” - and living by them. His heirs however could not continue the business and had to sell the hotel.

It was purchased by hotel owner Hans Bemelmans, successful, sophisticated and originally from Flanders. He owned numerous hotels on the Arlberg, in Meran and in Bad Ischl. Hans Bemelmans was an uncle of the famous writer Ludwig Bemelmans.

Under his leadership the post hotel blossomed and became the holiday destination of famous personalities from Tyrol, Prussia and Bozen, for example Sigmund Freud, the world-renowned psychologist and father of psychoanalysis.

In August 1907 a new cog railway was opened, taking guests to the hotel from the Waltherplatz in Bozen via Maria Himmelfahrt and Oberbozen all the way to Klobenstein (guests from Italy first came to the Bemelmans-Post after 1960 when the road on the Ritten was built).

The hotel was temporarily closed due to the turmoil of the Second World War. Reopened in the 1950s, it could no longer recapture its heyday.

The hotel was subsequently up for sale for many years until it was finally bought in 1968 by Klara Senn, the paymaster of the Raiffeisenkasse, and her children. Initially the hotel was jointly run by Klara Senn and her children Theo, Herrmann and Brigitte. Since then the Bemelmans-Post has been under the aegis of Theo Senn and his wife Annemarie.

Another son of Klara Senn, Gregor, until 2011 ran the famed “Poststube”, the bar housed in an extension to the Bemelmans-Post. Gregor Senn sadly died of cancer in October 2011, but the Poststube continues in his spirit – now with some modern and innovative accents.

Today the long history of the Bemelmans-Post is also reflected in its magnificent Art Nouveau dining room and its wine cellar, housed in the 17th century vaults, and the old “Stuben”. The latter are three interconnected rooms, each with its own history: the Freud Veranda, today particularly popular with guests for reading, was where Sigmund Freud celebrated his silver wedding anniversary in 1911; the Biedermeier stube, whose walls are some 400 years old, boasts original Biedermeier-epoch furniture; while the small stube, just as old as the Biedermeier stube and featuring heavy wall panelling and a hand-carved door dating from the year 1619, is today used as a TV room.