… a history spanning more than 250 years
In 1738 Mathias Wilhelm opened the tavern – and he bought the building in 1746. His son Josef takes over the wine tavern in 1785 after his parents had died.
After Josef Wilhelm’s death, the building as well as the tavern were sold to Josef Laurent in 1829, about whom not much is known apart from the fact that he died as quickly after the takeover as 1834. Christian Hummel now took over trying to expand the license to include the permission to serve warm food. His efforts took time, but he eventually received it and many requests later he was also able to exchange the original drinking license for a restaurant one – meaning that he now could serve the hod food that the people selling their goods at the market had long been demanding.
Eduard Hummel, his son, then decided to purchase the other half of the house from shoemaker Johann Schmid in 1870 for the price of around 12.000 Guilders. He added the entire ground floor to the current establishment after he had taken over his father’s business in 1863. This is the form in which all Freiburgers now know the wine tavern on the Münsterplatz (cathedral’s square). “The Hummels at Münsterplatz” was a phrase familiar to all Freiburgers.
Elise and Karl Oberkirch took over the house in 1936 and continued to manage the wine tavern. During the heavy bombing of Freiburg, which took place during 1944, rumour has it that Karl Oberkirch put out a fire in the historic store on Münsterplatz using wine from his own wine cellar. Incredibly Oberkirch’s own house remained completely undamaged. From 1951 onwards his daughter Helga began to help run the business and during this year an additional building was added: the former horses’ stable for the Sickinger Palace (now the country court) had burned to the ground during the war and was now rebuilt as part of the hotel, which opening was celebrated in 1951.
Helga Oberkirch married Herbert Johner in 1957 and the couple have both worked in the business since then. In 1967 they leased the hotel from Helga´s parents and in 1984 it was passed on to them.
In 1991 the house was handed down their son, Helmut Johner, who managed the hotel and restaurant together with his partner, Doris Hunn, until his death in 1997. In 1992 the house on Münster Square underwent successful renovation and the hotel rooms and restaurant now offer modern comfort together with the atmosphere befitting of this house steeped in tradition.
Since 1998 Doris Hunn has run the tavern.
The Oberkirch and its rich tradition go on…