Since April 2015, we have been opening the door to the top floor of a tradition-rich house at the heart of the Bregenz Forest, in the so-called “Postneubau” [new construction of Post]. The idea grew out of our love for this particular part of earth, our passion for travel, beautiful living, design and art. And, because this place is closely linked with the history of our family. The story of this house begins in the year 1908, when my great-grandfather Franz Josef Natter built this house.
In Vienna, Gustav Klimt paints his masterpiece “der Kuss” [the kiss] and Adolf Loos declares in his lecture “Ornament & Verbrechen” [Ornament and Crime”] that the era of the Art Nouveau has ended. Herbert Karajan is born and in China, the only eight-year-old Pu Yi is crowned to be emperor. In 1908, Toblerone is invented and “Kempinski” is registered as a trademark for delicacies. The first cable car of the world approved for passenger transport starts its operation, connecting Bozen with Kohlererberg. The first Ford model T is manufactured in Detroit.
The Bregenz Forest is characterised by timber industry and agriculture; the textile industry of Vorarlberg enjoys a worldwide reputation and the expansion of the pass routes and tunnels is promoted. Since 1902, the Wälderbähnle railway line connects the region with Bregenz and the world. In Schoppernau, sophisticated hunting companies from all over the world, as well as the German Kronprinz Wilhelm, who was the first to reach the Bregenz Forest by motorised means in 1908, use Villa Maund. At this time, there are carriages with harnessed horses here. This is the time of the awakening into the modern world, with innovative technical achievements and possibilities. The first world war is not yet perceptible. The world is in order.
Bezau’s imperial and royal Post landlord Franz Josef Natter is fascinated by the new technical possibilities. After construction of Hotel Post, he breaks down the “Lamm” guest house built by his father Konrad in the year 1850 and builds a massive house there in 1908. It is unusually high for its surroundings, with stucco ceilings and an impressive staircase. Until today, the name “Postneubau” has stuck in the vernacular.
Not only the post office, but also a few of Bezau’s enterprises reside in the stately building over the years, e.g. a doctor’s practice, various law firms, a milk & cheese shop, a hairdresser and a tiny soap and household goods shop. And the house with its generous floor plans is always used as a residential house.
In 1930, Franz Josef Natter leaves the house to his third wife Antonia Natter. Her daughter, tobacco merchant Herma Moosbrugger takes over the “Postneubau” in 1948. Since the 1970s, Herma operates Traffic shop in the front part of the house. She and other family members also live here. Until today, the house is owned by the family.
Earlier, there was a little, iron-fenced front yard on the road side. The entrance was on the side and was accessible with a small staircase. The access was shifted to the back side of the house in the 1980s as a result of changed use requirements.