Destruction & Reconstruction
On March, 11th 1613 a devastating fire broke out in the court house of the Twente in Schweinestrasse 5, the current Marienstrasse. Because of a strong southwest wind the fire spread to the wooden half-timbered houses, barns and stables of the old town at great speed.
Numerous town houses in Marienstrasse, Heger Strasse, Große and Kleine Gildewart, Bierstrasse and Turmstrasse, St. Mary's church and the City Scales as well as the Dominican monastery, the Hasetor and the bishop's mill completely burnt down.
Today a board in St. Mary's church reads:
„Ao. 1613 d. 11. March, this church and tower, and 942 houses in this town are reduced to ashes by the will of the Lord..."
Today the question whether also the previous building of the hotel fell victim to the fire in Bierstrasse 24 cannot be clarified with certainty. However, it is striking that the houses in Bierstrasse 7,13,14,15.17 and 19 were reconstructed shortly after the city fire. The neighbouring house of “Walhalla" in the Kleine Gildewart 11 was also built in 1616. Had Meuschen in 1690 demolished the original building, that had not been harmed by the fire, because of disrepair? The old building was built in 1530 and had been in the family for four generations. The severe bombing on September, 13th 1944 meant a temporary end for the hotel and restaurant. The beautiful Old Town of Osnabrück was in ruins. The City hall and St. Mary's church, the cathedral towers and the Episcopal office, the gabled houses at the market place, the splendid half-timbered gables of Bierstrasse, Große and Kleine Gildewart, the manor houses in Hakenstrasse, the business quarter between Nikolaiort and Neumarkt were destroyed.
Fire bombs also hit the attic of the "Walhalla". However, thanks to the determined dedication of the courageous house inhabitants the historic jewel was saved. With the renovation of the Heger Tor quarter in the years 1974 to 1976 a new period of bloom of the Old Town of Osnabrück began. Not only were the houses renovated and the Old Town was freshly cleaned, but there also originated a very lively city quarter with comfortable restaurants and bars, with classic art shops and fashion boutiques, art dealer's shops and galleries. Also a new era began for the "Walhalla" when in 1985 the businessman Günter David bought the houses in Bierstrasse 24 and in the Kleine Gildewart 12, a former shed of the house in Bierstrasse.
From the year 1985 to the year 1986 all premises have been thoroughly redeveloped, strictly following the existing monument conservation rules; during the renovation the inn business was closed down. A hotel arose with 27 rooms with contemporary comfort. Hotel guests from Germany and foreign countries soon acknowledged the friendly hospitality in the homely historic setting and the room inquiry increased. Later in 1992 Günter David acquired possession of a 200 year-old house with garden in the Heger Strasse 21 and another building in the Kleine Gildewart 10 and built an additional building which together now surround the atmospheric beer garden. The bed capacity was raised from originally 27 rooms to 66 rooms with 100 beds. In 1993 Günter Davids’ daughter Tanja Bernard took over the active managing. Since 1995 the hotel restaurant Walhalla has been managed by her and her husband Andreas Bernard, and, on the basis of constant investments, today Walhalla is a synonym for modern comfort in historic ambiance.