The History of the Holländer Hof Hotel

Our hotel, rich in tradition, is located in Heidelberg’s Old Town, directly at the Old Bridge on the Neckar River. All travellers coming from north of the Neckar River used the Old Bridge as the gateway to the city so this was the perfect spot for an inn.

In a tax book dated 1607, the so called „Stegenbuch“ there are many details referring to the 1600 century. In 1588 two Inns are mentioned at the location where now is the Holländer Hof Hotel. One was named “Herberge zum Schwert” The Sword which was renamed a short while later to “Zum Schwarzen Adler” The Black Eagle, the other Inn was called “Herberge zum Bären” The Bear. A bakery and maybe a butcher were directly adjacent to the two inns. Across from the inns was the urban granary, temporarily also a brewery. At the beginning the innkeepers and their maids also lived at the inns, after 1600 they could afford their own flats in the Old Town or even in the Main Street of Heidelberg.

We do not know if the inns were continuously in service afterwards however one single new house was built on the site of the two inns in 1787 with its front facing the river Neckar. Obviously it was also designed to serve as an inn which was called “Goldener Hecht” Golden Pike. In 1836 it was renamed Holländer Hof The Dutch Inn by its owner Louis Spitz as the inn was mostly frequented by Dutch skippers and Dutch travellers. Spitz’ heirs sold the hotel to the association “Herberge zur Heimat” which continued the hotel business and built a so called “Hospiz” hospice in the rear house for travellers, pilgrims and students which was managed in accordance with Christian rules. In 1904 the association added another floor and the roof-top terrace to the building offering a unique view over the Old Town and the Neckar Valley. Shortly after that the Holländer Hof Hotel was among the first Heidelberg buildings having a phone connection.

From 1945 to January 1955 the hotel served as homes for the US Armed Forces. After that it was again a Christian hospice. After numerous renovations the Holländer Hof was reopened as a hotel by its current owner in 1981.

The hotel can present various famous guests who stayed here:

On 24 June 1598 “Kurfürst Friedrich IV.” Elector Friedrich IV. Wrote that he was a guests in the garden of the Sword Inn, 1817 there was a big banquet from the Heidelberg University for Jean Paul, after 1854 German poet and novelist Joseph Victor Scheffel stayed at the Holländer Hof several times. In that location most songs of the Gaudeamus Collection came to life, among them the piece “Numero acht im Holländer Hof zu Heidelberg” Number eight at Holländer Hof in Heidelberg. In 1871 Wilhelm Busch, a German humorist, poet and painter also stayed at the Holländer Hof.