History & Architecture

Nine houses – one hotel – 700 years of history

Just imagine who might have lived in your room hundreds of years ago... Over the years, these nine medieval townhouses have been home to gentry, merchants, artisans and heads of the local guilds, all of whom left their mark by building, living in, decorating and modifying their residences.

But to preserve these nine disparate historic houses while transforming them into a luxury modern hotel was a challenge – to which the well-known Swiss architect Tilla Theus had the answer. She has threaded the houses through with interconnecting passageways, creating gradual transitions where one house merges into the next. Chrome, steel and glass have been introduced to complement the old stone walls and wooden beams. Theus also selected a particular type of wood and a specific kind of stone for use in each house. This ambitious conversion took a decade and was completed in 1995. More than 1,000 conservation builders and designers were involved in helping to fuse these nine entities into a single hotel. Restoration in order to preserve; innovation where construction required. This proved the only way to maintain the physical substance and core layout of the buildings, and so to conserve their 700 year-old spirit. And what does the name ‘Widder’, or ‘ram’, have to do with all this? Quite simply, the name of the hotel refers to the ‘Zum Widder’ guild of butchers, based in nearby Widdergasse since 1401. Stay unique.

Haus zum Augustiner

The rich ornamentation of the Haus zum Augustiner was created between the 16th and 18th centuries, spanning the Renaissance and Baroque periods.

Haus zum Pferch

The Haus zum Pferch was built ca. 1300 and received its baroque embellishments in the 17th century.

Haus zum Bankknecht

A house of mystery… No one knows exactly how this quaintly fetching house received its name. It was probably inhabited by journeymen in the butcher trade.

Haus zur Widder Zunft

A true piece of history, the Haus zur Widder Zunft was acquired by the butchers guild in 1401.

Haus zum Tatzfuss

The noble stonehouse was the living place of several guilds in the 14th to 16th century.

Haus zur Pfeife

The enigma… The Haus zur Pfeife has an unusual name, and yet it stands unobtrusively between its neighbors. There is more than meets the eye in this historic building.

Haus zum Erzberg

The family house… The Haus zum Erzberg is named after a butcher called Erzli who lived here with his family in the 16th century.