Vienna is home to many historical landmarks, not to mention world class buildings. But did you know that there are also many companies that are over a hundred years old? Here are ten of these century old Austrian companies:
- Julius Meinl, established way back in 1862, initially sold green coffee.
Eventually, it specialized in roasting green coffee beans. The owner then pioneered in selling freshly roasted high quality coffee. It was later in 1891 when Julius Meinl started a coffee roasting plant. By 1918, the company expanded its stores and its products to cover general food retailing in Central Europe and by 1939, there were already more than 1,000 franchise stores in existence.
Even the Julius Meinl logo is old. Famous Viennese artist Josef Binder designed the coffee boy logo for Julius Meinl in 1924. In 2004 Stardesigner Matteo Thun modernized the logo into its current edition.
Today, Julius Meinl is a leading supplier not only of coffees but as well as teas, jams and other fine food and with attractive packaging to boot. A Julius Meinl gourmet store is now in place in Vienna’s city center still carrying the original coffee logo that speaks of quality and excellence.
- Palais Coburg is a former palace turned luxury hotel.
The Palais used to be owned by the Kohary branch of the House of Saxe-Coburg and Gotha. Its neo-classical design was created by architect Karl Schleps in 1939 but it was still a year later when construction began. The white magnificent palace which was ordered built by Prince Ferdinand actually took five years to complete. It stands on top of the Brown Bastion in Vienna and features freestanding columns on its façade. Because of the many columns, the building was later given the name Spargelburg or castle of asparagus owing to their shape. Today, the historic building is a luxurious hotel featuring modern rooms ideal for the most discerning travelers. The palace has a total of 35 suites with a spacious spa, sauna and indoor pool. It provides an elegant ambience, VIP service and security at the highest level and is a member of the Relais & Chateaux association.
- Piatnik is most famous for the playing cards.
Piatnik also produces various types of board games and jigsaw puzzles. Founded in 1924 by Anton Moser, the company is named after its card illustrator Ferdinand Piatnik who was born in Budapest and who took over the company after his death.
- Manner is the famous chocolate and chocolate wafer manufacturing company founded by Josef Manner some 120 years ago.
It is well known for its quality but affordable five-layered chocolate cream wafers with hazelnuts from the Naples region. Known as the Neapolitaner Schnitte No. 239, this top product was first created in 1898 and became an instant hit not only in Austria but in neighboring countries notably in Germany. The product is now known as Mannerschnitten. Today, Manner offers a wide range of sweet treats that still include its ever popular chocolate.
- Schlumberger is the oldest manufacturer of sparkling wine in Austria.
The man responsible for putting up the first sparkling wine cellar in the capital Vienna was Robert Schlumberger. Trained in France at an old champagne winery, the founder moved to Vienna where he gained fame for his wines and became a supplier to the imperial court and other aristocratic families in Europe. Schlumberger today is recognized as a leading producer of sparking wine throughout Europe.
- Lobmeyr is Austria’s renowned glass company founded in 1823 by Josef Lobmeyr.
It was responsible for delivering the first large table service to Emperor Ferdinand in 1835. The glass firm was also commissioned by Emperor Francis Joseph in 1848 to provide the banqueting service for his coronation. Lobmeyr also created table settings and chandeliers for the Schönbrunn Castle in Vienna. Even today Lobmeyer drinking glasses, vases and other glassware are highly sought after.
- Swarovski is a company in Austria that creates high quality crystal glass and other luxury products.
Founded in 1895, the company name was taken from Daniel Swarovski who learned the art of glass cutting from his father who then owned a small glass factory in the Czech Republic. It is now engaged in the manufacture of crystal jewelry, coutoure, home décor, chandeliers, sculptures and miniatures, and made crystal jewellery a hip fashion accessoir today. The headquarter of the company is still in Wattens, Tyrol, but the worldwide group employ over 24,000 people worldwide. The Swarovski flag ship store can be found in Vienna, of course.
- The Wiener Zeitung is one of the oldest and most renowned newspapers in Austria and in Europe.
Founded in 1703 originally as Wienerisches Diarium, the newspaper is the official publication used by the Austrian government since 1812 when it needs to make formal announcements. Its first issue was released on August 8, 1703 and it changed its name to Wiener Zeitung in 1780.
- The Dorotheum is one of the oldest auction houses in the world.
Established in 1707, it is based in Vienna and has the largest auction house in German speaking countries in Europe. With its neo classical architectural design, the Dorotheum building is a popular attraction not only among local residents but even among tourists. Apart from holding auctions, the Dorotheum is also into the retail selling of art, antiques and jewelry.
- Café Demel is Vienna’s famous chocolatier.
Established in 1786 on the Michaelerplatz, the bakery also called Der Demel was later moved by Christof Demel to Kohlmart where it still stands until today. After 1972, ownership of the company went to different groups and in 2000, Do&Co took over this traditional cafe. The Cafe Demel still is a favorite meeting place for Vienna’s upper class.