|COFFEE FOR THE AGES--The first coffeehouse was opened at this location in 1794, three years after the death of W.A. Mozart.|
The current location of the Café Mozart was for centuries the civic hospital apartment block-a building complex between Lobkowitzplatz, Kärntnerstrasse and Gluckgasse which could be traced back to a convent and hospice founded by Rudolf III in 1305. From 1783 to 1790, the civic hospital was rebuilt into a huge apartment block (10 courtyards, 20 staircases, 220 apartments and numerous businesses).
The most prominent tenants were Ferdinand Raimunds father, Franz Grillparzer and Johann Emanuel Schikaneder (librettist of the magic flute), and, speaking of the magic flute, three years after Mozart's death a certain Georg Pöhlein opened a coffeehouse in the civic hospital apartment block.
This was taken over in 1825 by Simon Corra, who created the first classic 'Schanigarten' in Vienna with tables, chairs and potted plants on the street. In 1840 the Café was taken over again, and from then on carried the name of the new owner, Café Katzmayer, and became a meeting point for journalists, actors and writers.
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Between 1873 and 1883 the civic hospital apartment block was demolished in the course of the city renewal (demolition of the coffeehouse in 1882), rows of new houses were built and on the grounds, as well as the new streets Tegetthoffstrasse, Führichgasse and Maysedergasse. In the newly constructed block on the corner of Maysedergasse and Albertinaplatz another coffeehouse opened following the Katzmayer, which in 1929 received the name Café Mozart. In the same year this was taken over by the Hornik family who ran it until 1985, after which Café Mozart was bought by a Japanese department store chain. Eventually, in 1994, the Café was taken over by the Querfeld family who renovated it and restored the richly traditional spirit so typical of real Viennese Cafés. A sophisticated coffeehouse culture is ensured by the manager Andrea Winkler (née Querfeld).
Just how much Café Mozart is linked with the history of Vienna is shown by its role in the legendary film 'The Third Man' (with Joseph Cotton and Orson Welles in the leading roles, and directed by Carol Reed).
The screenplay for this piece of film history was written by the British author Graham Greene, who in 1947 lived at the Hotel Sacher in Vienna, and loved to enjoy his coffee at the Café Mozart, this fondness also being reflected in the screenplay by the scene in the Schanigarten of the Café Mozart. Not just Graham Greene was so taken by the Café Mozart however, also Anton Karas who wrote the world-famous theme music for the film was so taken that he also composed a Café Mozart Waltz.
The Café Katzmayr located here was a popular meeting point for writers, artists, and actors during the Biedermeier period. In 1882 the old baroque house was torn down, and a Café was opened again in the present building which received the name Café Mozart in 1929. Here is where Graham Green worked on the screenplay of 'The third man' in 1947. A scene of this great classic film takes place in the street serving area of the Café Mozart.
After “Third Man” characters Martins and Calloway have a discussion in the bar, Martins is put up by Calloway at the Hotel Sacher (the reputed inventor of the famous Sachertorte). While going up to his room, Martins gets a phone call from a Baron Kurtz, a friend of Lime's, and they agree to meet at the cafe Mozart.
There actually is a Cafe Mozart attached to the west end of the hotel, but that is not the location of the Cafe Mozart in the film. At the time the street around the real Cafe Mozart had been heavily bombed, and now is the location of a memorial to the hundreds killed in the basement sheltering during an air raid, and is also a monument to the treatment of the Jews during the war.
The Hotel Sacher apparently formed the base for the all of the filming. They put on up to 5 meals a day for the various film crews (a miracle in post war Vienna for the Viennese crews).