As you enter the Swiss market town of Solothurn through one of the gates on the East side the first view of the town is the Hotel Krone on the Solothurn market place. According to what I found on Internet it has been in Solothurn as a guest house since 1418, a long time. I do know that even Napoleon booked for a meal on 2nd March, 1798, but it seems that the towns of Bern and Solothurn did not appreciate his visit and he only stayed for a glass of water. He received an invoice for the preparations made for his visit, but it seems he never payed.
The hotel has now been in the possession of a family, but confronted with the high renovation costs the hotel could not be maintained. It has now been bought by the town and Kanton of Solothurn for the price of nine million Swiss francs and will be modernised. It remains closed until Autumn 2014.
I know the building well. As a working woman in a Swiss tool manufacturing company, responsible for export, I attended many tutorials and workshops in the large rooms which were available for the purpose. The buiding is very old, but the rooms had a nostalgic feeling, solid and the walls decorated with old pictures and portraits. Now and again I had a meal there and the food was always good. The hotel always had a good reputation, not cheap, but priceworthy. During the Summer you could sit outside and take a drink and watch the world go bye. I took this photo about a month ago.
Of course it was also a popular place for wedding feasts, christenings, birthdays and all sorts of celebrations. The opera ball belonging to Solothurn's Open Air Opera Festival was also held in this hotel. The house opposite the hotel is known as a place where Casanova once stayed the night, being friendly with Lady von Roll, one of our past nobler families. Even Casanova had taste. The town was also visit by the Polish general Kociusko, who even lived and died in Solothurn, and I am sure he was one of the visitors for a meal in the Krone in the past, although that bit was added by me.
Interesting is the fate of the inventary of the hotel: the tables, chairs, cutlery and crockery, as well as some of the paintings and electric installations. The owner of the hotel was approached by a Chinese businessman who bought all the interior fittings and is transporting them to China. In China he wants to build a replica of the hotel, either in his home town, or perhaps in Shanghai, and furnish it with the original items. At the moment the goods in question are being packed in cases ready for their transport.
Here you can see one of the chandeliers ready for its journey overseas, being packed in its case, surrounded by Sagex polster.
The actual building will remain in Solothurn, but the hotel will be modernised to meet today's requirements.
Solothurn is one of the oldest towns in Switzerland, the Romans discovered it and a lot of the town is under monument conservation. Each time building work starts on something new, it has to be stopped because they find a few Roman remains, even a few skeletons.
So just a little bit of our local news, which I am sure will never reach one of the international newspapers.