Investor wants to build hotel on sacred Wagner site

Investor wants to build hotel on sacred Wagner site


norman lebrecht

July 14, 2018

From the Bayreuth conductor Hartmut Haenchen:

WAGNER-WAGEN, am größten Wagner-Denkmal im Liebethaler Grund in der Sächsischen Schweiz, wo Wagner die ersten Skizzen zu “Lohengrin” schrieb. Mehr Romantik geht nicht. Die Ruine der Lochmühle will der Wagner-Liebhaber Hermann Häse zum Hotel ausbauen.

This is the idyllic location in Saxony where Wagner conceived the idea for Lohengrin. Might it be ruined by tourism?


  • Elizabeth owen says:

    Sacred? Funny word to choose. As long as he does it tastefully it should be fine and I don’t think the town’s council would allow him to build a theme park but then the whole town is “dedicated” to him.

    • John Borstlap says:

      But it is something else if such associations are commercialized and debase, through reference, the composer’s work. As if the Mozart Kugeln are not bad enough.

      In Wagner’s time this already happened: restaurants offered Rheingoldwein and Wallkurekoteletten (!), stationery was sold with ‘Hojotoho!’ at the top of the pages, and lady’s corselettes with quotes from Tristan (on the outside).

      Wagner’s ideal of opera for the entire community symbolizing general concerns of all people, find in such expressions a quite unexpected realization. Which means that the idea he fought against, that of opera as an elitist art form, appears to be inevitable, although ‘elite’ seen as an elite of people understanding the intention and meaning of high art.

  • Caravaggio says:

    Never seen the locale in person but, from the video, looks beautiful and pristine and worth preserving as is. Why even think of disrupting and spoiling it? Vulgar greed? The individual behind the initiative should pay close attention to the Master’s tetralogy. He might learn something before it’s too late.

  • Doug says:

    Seems to me this is just another example of replacing worship of God with worship of man.

    • John Borstlap says:

      It’s not the worship of man but of the spiritual element in W’s works which points towards something else. Wagner was not the God of his works but its priest.

  • Hilary says:

    Please leave it as it is.

  • Walt says:

    Who the hell is Wagner?

  • BillG says:

    Google translation for those of us stuck with 1-1/4 languages neither of which is German

    WAGNER-WAGEN, the largest Wagner memorial in the Liebethaler Grund in the Saxon Switzerland, where Wagner wrote the first sketches for “Lohengrin”. More romance is not possible. The ruin of the Lochmühle wants to expand the Wagner lover Hermann Häse to the hotel.

    • Glerb says:

      And now a human translation:

      WAGNER VENTURE at the largest Wagner memorial in the Liebenthaler Grund, Sächsische Schweiz, where Wagner wrote his first sketches for Lohengrin. It doesn’t get more romantic than this. Wagner-lover Hermann Häse plans to develop the Lochmühle into a hotel.

    • Donald Wright says:

      The translation offered by Google Translate now, though still a bit off, is significantly better than it was a few days ago when I encountered the passage and submitted a correction! It at first translated “Wagner-Wagen” as “Wagner Car”; “Liebethaler Grund” as the “Love Valley Reason” (I’m not kidding); and attempted to translate the surname “Häse” in some silly way. It didn’t seem to understand that proper nouns sometimes should not be translated. It also translated “Mehr Romantik geht nicht” as something like “No more romance goes”! I wish I’d saved their original rendering, which was priceless as bad translations go.

  • Pianofortissimo says:

    It looks like a very good idea.

  • Michael Hurshell says:

    There are several misunderstandings here. The site is not “sacred” to anyone, since this is not where he wrote the Lohengrin sketch (that was in the nearby vilage of Graupa, some 4 km distant); this was a place where he liked to go hiking, and the “Lochmühle” was once a popular picnic spot. RW went there a few times in 1846 – to ejoy the scenery and have a snack, not to compose. The mill fell into disuse and is mostly crumbled away now. In 1933 the huge Wagner monument by Richard Guhr, designed in 1912 but not bought by anyone, was set up near the Lochmühle. The mentioned investor is a local Wagnerite who wants to build a hotel up above the Lochmühle (not on the river, but above on a rock pinnacle), to re-invigorate tourism. Yes, the locale is very romantic and lovely (I myself find the monument bombastic), but won’t be much affected by a hotel, except perhaps by an influx of tourists (which is what local gov’t would like).

  • David A. Boxwell says:

    I approve, but only if they have a swan boat ride for guests.

    • barry guerrero says:

      There also needs to be a cyber dragon that kids can slay with their alternate reality goggles on. They can pull Nothung out of a cyber tree stump or rock.

  • barry guerrero says:

    “I approve, but only if they have a swan boat ride for guests”

    Then everyone will get a chance to say, “what time does the next swan depart?”

  • barry guerrero says:

    I wonder if Wagner would have liked the Wienerwald chain of restaurants?

    • Donald Wright says:

      I analogously find myself wondering from time to time whether Mozart would have liked, um, Mozartkugeln …

  • John Borstlap says:

    I imagine a Wagner Hotel with trumpet fanfares every morning at 8 and young women in wallküre gear serving at the meals, and with discrete loudspeakers in every room automatically rendering the latest Bayreuth Ring fragments and of all the other W operas, and with rooms named and designed according to the various works – so you will have a Ring Suite for the rich with 4 rooms decorated with animal skins, a Tristan room next to an Isolde room with connecting door, and with free strong drinks in the fridge, a Lohengrin room where the lamps take the form of a swan and swans carrying the bed frame, and an ‘open air’ room for the Flying Dutchman (only for visitors from the Low Countries). There may be more risky themes for rooms associated with Flower Maidens and Venus Grotto, but I will stop here for propriety’s sake.