Café Mozart has been one of the first addresses of Viennese coffee culture for over 200 years. And it is also this story that gives it the relaxed atmosphere that guests appreciate so much.
Mozart cafe History
Much of what Vienna is famous for today, such as the Vienna State Opera, the Albertina museum or the ring road, did not yet exist when Georg Pöhlein opened a café in the so-called Bürgerspitalzinshaus. Opposite, on the ruins of the fortifications of the old city, from 1745 stands the Palazzo Taroucca. Here, Duke Albert of Saxony-Teschen, son-in-law of Empress Maria-Theresa, housed his art collection from 1805 onwards. From there, the current Albertina graphic collection developed, one of the most important art collections in the world, a splendid vis-à-vis for our guests.
After several changes of ownership, the café experienced its first flowering period under Simon Corra. He had it refurbished in 1836 and his Café Corra soon became one of the most important cafes in Vienna. Particularly advantageous for this success was the Schanigarten founded by Corra, which he furnished with tables, chairs, umbrellas and potted plants. Just around the corner, where the Sacher Hotel is today, is the Kärntnertortheater. Many actors and their audiences visited Café Corra and its charming Schanigarten.
Mr. Katzmayer bought the coffee shop and redesigned it with lots of marble, mahogany and red and green velvet upholstery. Like Café Katzmayer it has become one of the most important Viennese cafes and has been the meeting place for journalists, writers and artists. This intellectual public has asked the police to act as informants for Chancellor Metternich. Today such interceptors would have no chance. Café Mozart emphasizes discretion and privacy. After the K & K Hofoper opened in 1869 with Mozart's "Don Giovanni", the Kärntnertortheater was demolished to make way for the Sacher. In 1882, the Bürgerspitalzinshaus and Café Katzmayer also had to surrender. Many houses, streets and alleys were erected over this vast area. Café Katzmayer has been successfully reopened in the newly built historic building on the corner of Maysedergasse / Albertinaplatz. Among the regular guests were members of the philharmonic orchestra and opera ballet and singers.
The family of the café owner, Oskar Hornik, bought the café and named it after the Mozart monument at Albertinaplatz, which can be seen today in the Burggarten. Café Mozart flourished. But after the "union" in 1938, the Jewish owner Oskar Hornik was forced to sell the place for too low a price and was Aryanized. Shortly before the end of the war, the area around the Albertinaplatz was almost completely destroyed during heavy air raids, including the Albertina and the State Opera. In the former headquarters of the bombed Philipphof, a large apartment building opposite the Café Mozart, the "Memorial to War and Fascism" today commemorates the victims of National Socialism.
After returning the coffee to the Hornik family, it was difficult to start over. People fought for survival. Coffee became a base for value traders, inspiring writer Graham Greene to work on his novel "The Third Man". Greene also wrote the script for director Carol Reed's legendary film adaptation, which was shot in 1948 with Orson Welles and Joseph Cotten in the lead roles. They all lived next door to the Sacher Hotel, but spent a lot of time at the Café Mozart. Carol Reed fell in love with the coffee shop, so she desperately wanted to have it as the location of the film. Anton Karas, who played the famous "Harry Lime Theme" on his zither, even composed his "Cafe Mozart Waltz", with which the Schanigarten scene in the film is highlighted. With the reconstruction of Vienna, Café Mozart was also restored and subsequently managed for decades by the Hornik family.
In 1993 the Querfeld family took over the café. Under the direction of senior partner, Anita Querfeld and her daughter Andrea Winkler, it has been lovingly refurbished to bring back the traditional spirit of the Viennese café. Since then, Café Mozart has developed into a cosmopolitan and lively meeting place in the center of Vienna, appreciated by all guests. Andrea Winkler and her daughter Karoline Winkler manage it with great joy and appreciation for this treasure, which they keep and manage with diligence.