Tourism pioneers with vision
With courage and a pioneering spirit
The new Sonklarhof
The Karlsruhe architect Professor E. Bischoff was commissioned to plan the hotel building in the style of historicism; the first drafts were already available in 1891. Even today, the projecting Swiss style balcony structure, which was very popular in the Alps at that time, still catches the eye. Just one year later the new Sonklarhof had to be extended by a dining hall and a wing with 20 rooms, in 1902 the attached dining hall was extended. A general store was opened in the Posthäusl next door, which existed until 1987.
Within a very short time the Sonklarhof became a popular holiday destination, not just for alpinists and researchers, but also for wealthy families from home and abroad. A friendly relationship soon developed with the internationally renowned Rothschild family of bankers. Its hospitable atmosphere and culinary delights distinguished the hotel even then, the furnishings testified to the hosts’ good taste. The old Gasthof zum Steinbock was converted into a student hostel for less discerning guests and closed in 1920.
Innkeeper Elisabeth Klotz Haller
In 1915, the daughter Elisabeth Haller (1887-1932) took over the business from her parents, who wanted to give her a good education and therefore sent her to the hotel management school in Pfaffenhofen in Bavaria. She also undertook several trips with her father Stefan. She did not shirk this responsibility as a young woman and took over the Sonklarhof, which she managed with self-confidence and assertiveness.
Even after her marriage to Anton Klotz from Kalch/Calice, who himself came from an innkeeper’s family, she continued to work largely alone in the hotel. Her knowledge of Italian was of great benefit to her in the 1920s, after South Tyrol had been incorporated into Italy. Elisabeth died in 1933 at the age of 55. One year later her husband Anton got married again, namely to her cousin Maria. The Sonklarhof experienced fateful years during the interwar period and at times even a Waffen-SS special task force was quartered here until the end of the Second World War. Anton Klotz was imprisoned several times as local chairman of the VKS. Incidentally, the first road to Ridnaun/Ridanna was built in 1934.