Ritzerhaus & Ritzerbogen at Universitätsplatz

The Ritzerhaus and the arch / passageway underneath is a noteworthy building between Universitätsplatz Square and Sigmund-Haffner-Gasse. The oldest written record of the building dates back to 1249, when a certain Rudbrecht Aufner purchased it; the building as such is much older, though. The Ritzerhaus is also called Ritzerbogenhaus or Haunspergerhaus. The first two names refer to the Rüzen family, who owned the place around 1647.

The monastery of St. Peter originally had two "branches", one for men and one for women. The women (aka nuns) had a large garden on the site of today′s Universitätsplatz. As of 1620, a passageway through the Ritzerhaus and into this garden is recorded; however, after 1626 the area was massively remodelled - the Alte Universität campus was built, the garden was made a piazza; and the Ritzerhaus was opened widely with the construction of an arch to allow vehicles and large numbers of pedestrians to pass.

Story of the Chapel & Bookshop in the Ritzerhaus

In 1653, a chapel was built for the Ritzerhaus′ courtyard. This facility is clearly visible via the satellite mode of Bing Maps, by the way. Allegedly, the chapel was built by the Prince Archbishop as a compensation for the loss of space that the Ritzerhaus suffered due to the construction of the arch and passage. Today, the Ritzerhaus is inhabited by the bookshop Höllrigl, and this has been the case for quite some time.

The bookshop was originally called Kerbler and can be found right here since 1492; this means that the Höllrigl is the oldest bookshop of Austria and the second-oldest in the German speaking world. After 1770, the Ritzerhaus also accommodated a printing workshop. After 1788, the literary and philosophical papers "Oberdeutsche Allgemeine Literaturzeitung" and the "Oberdeutsche Staatszeitung" were published from here by the Jesuit monk Lorenz Hübner.

In his publications, Hübner (a close personal friend of Prince Archbishop Hieronymus von Colloredo demanded quite drastic reforms from the Catholic church: The abolition of the celibate for priests as much as an active approach to protestants. All that only a few years after Salzburg′s Prince Archbishop Firmian had made "international headlines" by expelling some 20.000 Protestants from his lands. Lorenz Hübner′s print shop also sold various other periodicals and became an intellectual centre for the southern-German area of Bavaria, Salzburg and Austria.

Hidden Treasures of Salzburg


German Wikipedia on the Sigmund-Haffner Lane

German Wikipedia on Höllrigl with picture of the Ritzerhaus

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