Landhotel Hirsch – history and tradition

In the year 1823, the settlement clustered around the monastery at Bebenhausen became a parish like any other. Around 200 people lived within its walls.

Born in Altdorf in 1777, Reichlin had been the landlord of the Hirsch since 1813. His predecessor, Johann Jakob Ziegler, had had the makeshift guest house converted in 1790. It was situated on the edge of Bebenhausen, just inside the final section of the village wall to be added at the end of the Middle Ages. The building served as a gatehouse on the road to Lustnau and presumably also offered accommodation to lower-class visitors to the monastery. Travellers coming from Tübingen along the old Roman road through the Schönbuch forest could not help but pass by the Hirsch.

A fine location and the documented right to cater for guests on a regular basis – ideal conditions for an inn. Throughout the entire 19th century, however, business never went particularly well for any of the chefs, and the inn changed hands at least seven times during that period. Lustnau brewer Louis Heinrich, who bought the inn in 1897, was the last in a long line of owners. Right at the beginning of the new century, the hotel was taken over by the family that owns it to this day.

It was perhaps just a simple holiday postcard that opened the new chapter in the story of the Hirsch. Sent on 15 April 1899, it read as follows: “We have arrived safely and are having lunch at the Hirsch. Once again, there is a new chef in the kitchen; the food is good. How are you keeping, my dears?” One of the “dears” to whom the postcard was addressed was Lisette Feyerabend, who knew the Hirsch well. Her husband, Johannes Feyerabend, was coachman to Baron von Plato, Master of the Royal Württembergian Hunt. In 1901, he resigned his position to become landlord of the Hirsch.

It would be half a century before the next generation took over control of the family business. In the meantime, two world wars, the end of an empire and a kingdom and the Fascist era were to cause considerable disruption in the development of the hotel – these were hard times indeed.

The 1920s – considered a “golden age” in Germany – were similarly bright for the Hirsch: the guest rooms in the “Posthäusle” opposite were always fully booked, and the guest house could easily have catered for many more visitors, particularly at weekends. The Hirsch was literally bursting at the seams, and in 1928 plans were commissioned for the modification of the building. The result – on paper – was a huge complex in the historicising style that was popular at the time.

During the Second World War, the all too familiar problems obtaining supplies presented the hotel proprietors with a new challenge. By now, though, they were able to count on the support of their children. Hans Feyerabend could only help out at weekends; during the week he managed the Derendingen oil factory owned by his father-in-law. Daughter Else was also married – to an expert in the business, Erich Fleck. He went on to run the Hirsch until 1978.

Feyerabend – Fleck – Fischer
At the end of the 1970s, the third generation took over the Hirsch. For the Flecks it was clear from the very beginning that their daughter Brigitte would one day take charge of the hotel.

It became apparent that the Hirsch was reaching the limits of its capacity. The expectations of the guests were changing too. They found the rooms to be too small and rather plain. The kitchen also lacked space to allow it to meet increasing demands. Brigitte knew this, and so did her husband, Ernst Fischer. He, too, came from a background in the hotel and catering sector; his parents Ernst and Roswitha Fischer ran the hiker’s inn on the Roßberg for eleven years, before taking over the Rosenau country inn in Tübingen. Ernst Fischer junior brought his international experience into the business: apprenticeship in Stuttgart, head chef to the second-wealthiest man in England, chef at the Operakälleren restaurant in Stockholm and at the Georges V in Paris – just a few of the assignments in the career of today’s master of kitchen and restaurant services.

It was only a matter of time before the craftsmen returned to the Hirsch once more to begin work on modernising the whole building.

They have created a top-class restaurant and modern country inn, which clearly still remains true to its tradition.

Brigitte Fischer’s top priority:

“Our guests should feel at home.”

Landhotel Hirsch
anno dazumal

Familie Feyerabend

Else & Erich Fleck

Brigitte Fischer, geb. Fleck

Brigitte & Ernst Fischer 1987

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