A true Work of Art
THE PARKHOTEL LAURIN IN BOLZANO IS A VERITABLE JEWEL DESIGNED BY AUSTRO-HUNGARIAN ARCHITECT GUSTAV JOSEF LUDWIG, COMMISSIONED BY THE STAFFLER FAMILY OF BOLZANO, BUILT IN 1909 AND INAUGURATED IN 1910. WHEN IT CAME TO BAPTISING THE ELEGANT AND FIRST BUILDING ON THE SQUARE, THE STAFFLER FAMILY RESORTED TO THE LEGEND OF LAURIN, THE DWARF KING OF THE CATINACCIO ALSO BECAUSE BOLZANO WANTED TO POSITION ITSELF AS ‘LAURIN’S CITY’ THANKS TO THE UP-AND-COMING TOURISM INDUSTRY.
Due to the devastating turmoil left by the Great War, the ambitious plans in Bolzano and South Tyrol came to a standstill; yet, in spite of this, art became one of the hallmarks of the extraordinary flair of the Parkhotel Laurin since its inauguration in 1910. So much so that the passion for visual arts shared by the hosts of the hotel gave life to a spectacular collection in the rooms, halls, and gardens of the venue which included around 200 original works of art from the 20th century, ranging from wood-carved objects to canvases, from Impressionism to Neo-Realism. Works from Kokoschka, Kubin, Weiler, Plattner, Flora, Oberhuber, Manzù, Bonell and many more represent the crowning jewel of the heritage collection of the Staffler Family and enrich the inner rooms of this majestic hotel in a unique way.
Some unique art projects which have to be mentioned sprang to life thanks to joint projects such as the one with the Free University of Bolzano. That’s how an exhibition on the topic of emotions awoken during travelling – and the emotion of travelling came to life on the pavement in front of the hotel. 100 plaques with words on the Topic of travelling were left on the pavement in front of the hotel entrance. Artist Marilù Eustaccio has livened the walls of the Laurin with her work, ‘Alberi in sequenza’ (Sequence of trees).
The South Tyrolean Artist, who lives in Rome, was inspired by the trees of the Laurin park and created a feeling of depth and lightness thanks to the layers of colours in her thirteen paintings. The monochrome theme ensures for clarity and allows the viewer to freely interpret the paintings in line with the main idea of the artist: lighten to enrich, simplify to enhance.
The bar not only represents the pride and joy of the Parkhotel Laurin, but has also become part of Bolzano‘s cultural heritage. In the evening, visitors are taken into a world bridging old and new, a Meeting point for night owls and music lovers under the capable Management of HANNES NIEDERMAIR behind the bar. The former Herrensalon, today’s air conditioned Smokers’ Lounge, is clearly reminiscent of the charismatic ‘The Traveller’s Club’ in London.
The design of the bar is unique – the frescoes were painted in 1911 by renowned artist Bruno Goldschmitt and give the Laurin Bar, which previously had been the entrance of the hotel, its extraordinary and unmistakeable character. Bruno Goldschmitt, one of the most important Art Nouveau representatives of South Tyrol, recounts the famous legend of the Dwarf King Laurin in his frescoes, named after the craggy Dolomite massif rising to the southwest of Bolzano. According to legend, King Laurin, the famous Dwarf King of the Catinaccio, transformed his golden, diamond, and bejewelled kingdom into rocks and mountains to spite his adversary, Dietrich von Bern, thus concealing the treasures of the Catinaccio. Only by the glow of dawn or dusk can one catch a glimpse of their former glory, the treasure that was – and still is – the Catinaccio.