13th century: The "Finsterwirt" is located in one of the oldest houses in Bressanone, whose origins go back to the 13th century. The long, two-storey building with a facade bay window has always been owned by the Cathedral Chapter and was actually used as the home of the canons.
Since 1743, however, the canons no longer used the house as a residence, but rather poured out the so-called "tithe wine" here, which had to be given to them as interest payment. In order to preserve the night's rest for the parish widowhood and the cathedral provostry, the bar had to be closed by nightfall and no light was allowed to be lit. But if one did not adhere too strictly to this regulation and continued to drink in the dark, the "Kapitelschenke" was popularly called "Finsterwirt" (dark landlord).
In 1770 the cathedral chapter sold the house for 1,000 gulden. In the following years the building changed hands several times.
In 1881 Anton Mayr sen. acquired the "Finsterwirt". He continued to run the inn and set up a carpentry workshop in the stables on the ground floor.
In 1904 the art-loving Anton Mayr junior, son of Anton Mayr senior and great-uncle of the present innkeeper Hermann, took over the "Domherrenhaus". As founder of the Brixen Museum, he was as committed to his artistic sense as he was to good taste, and he set up the artists' room. Soon the Brixen "Finsterwirt" was a household name throughout the entire monarchy of that time, as the guest book shows. Among others, Archduke Eugen, the heir to the throne Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife Countess Sophie von Hohenberg, Archduchess Maria Josefa, the mother of the later Emperor Karl, but also artists such as Franz v. Defregger, Köster and Riß, scholars, scientists and researchers have registered there. The "Finsterwirt" became an "institution".
Since 1970 Hermann Mayr has been running the "Finsterwirt". It has always been a concern of him and his family to develop the Finsterwirt for locals and guests alike and to keep it alive as a company. For this reason, the family has...
...reopened the former carpentry workshop on the ground floor in 1986 as "Kapitelschenke Finsterwirt". In the idyllic inner courtyard under the wine pergola, special types of beer, South Tyrolean and national wine labels are offered with small delicacies in summer.
The Mayr family is committed to the tradition of the house, passionately preserving the treasures of the past and continuing them into the future. The panelling, original paintings, historical weapons and valuable stained glass windows in the artist's room remain untouched.
In 2008, the terrace in the inner courtyard was added in keeping with the spirit of the times. The modern extension blends harmoniously with the historical structure, the transition is smooth and enhances the house and especially the courtyard.
2020 Junior boss Christoph Mayr takes over the management of Finsterwirt. On the ground floor of the historic building, he and his team also run the Vitis.
Not only because of its history but also because of its excellent and several times awarded cuisine, famous personalities like the former Italian presidents Oscar Luigi Scalfaro and Carlo Azeglio Ciampi, His Holiness the Dalai Lama with his mountain friends Reinhold Messner and Hans Kammerlander visit the house, the Pope Joseph Ratzinger when he was still Cardinal and spent his annual summer holidays in Bressanone, Otto von Habsburg, the German Prime Minister Roland Koch, the notorious Italian restaurant critic Guido Raspelli, the Ministers Frattini and La Loggia, the South Tyrolean-born and now German star chef Heinz Winkler and others still love the "Finsterwirt".