Built in 1902 in the so-called “Ringstrasse Style”, the house at No. 41 Kirchgasse was originally a city palais of an industrialist under the Austro-Hungarian monarchy. He was the owner of one of the biggest firms manufacturing sanitary fixtures and used the palais in order to exhibit his products.
In the 1950s, the building was home to Pension Bellaria. In the last few years before the opening of the Altstadt Vienna, the house was inhabited by emigrants from Russia, who were in Vienna to obtain exit papers to travel to the USA, Canada or Israel.
In 1991, Otto E. Wiesenthal discovered the then vacant business. After years as a traveling businessman, and having spent countless nights in faceless hotels, he felt a need to create a refuge where, even far from home, guests could feel completely comfortable and at ease. He remodeled the guest house into the Altstadt Vienna, with 24 rooms at that time. "A home away from home" was one of his first, very apt slogans.
To that point, Wiesenthal had been a manager in the computer, banking and automotive sectors, though had always nurtured the dream of operating a hotel, one where he could also house his extensive collection of paintings.
In the course of time, the hotel grew to 61 rooms and suites, and today serves as a gathering place for art lovers, the music scene, as well as individual travelers, all of whom are in search of a house with character and extraordinarily good service.