Schwarzer Bock means Black Goat.
Why would you call your hotel ‘Black Goat’? Well, let me tell you the story that explains it all.
I love hotels with a story.
Modern design hotels with all facilities you can think of are great. But hotels carrying an authentic story are far more interesting don’t you think?
Our hotel in Wiesbaden is considered the oldest luxury hotel in Germany. I don’t think there is an official definition of ‘luxury hotel’ but it sounds very pleasant….
The hotel has no official star ranking (you can make your own decision after reading this review), but I believe the history and its stories are a far better way to rank it.
To start with, let me share the story behind the name of the hotel. You have seen the black goat appearing in the hotel logo already. However, the origin does not involve a black goat at all!
The hotel name originates from the nickname of the first owner. Mr. Philipp zum Bock was a man with long, black hair. He started the hotel back in 1486 and because of his appearance everybody called him the Black Goat. It was sufficient enough to indicate your whereabouts just by saying “I am at the Goat”.
Unfortunately the current building does not date back to 1486 because, sadly enough, the hotel was (partly) destroyed…..twice: in 1578 due to a massive fire in the town of Wiesbaden, and in 1637 because of devastations during the Thirty Years War.
Being build, destroyed, rebuild, destroyed and rebuild again actually resulted in a very characteristic building. One of the remarkable things is that no single room is exactly the same. Each floor has a different height where the same rooms on different floors still can look completely different. The many corners and angles in the fabric of the building makes it unique and separates it from your regular hotel hallways.
Most of the rooms currently are in classic style (except for the bathrooms which are modern and well equipped). The classic style is part of the overall hotel atmosphere but honestly the interior of the rooms can be modernized.
The hotel manager told me that they are currently renovating all the rooms. That’s good news. He even provided me with a picture that shows one of the first rooms that were renovated.
A historic building with lots of history indeed: Goethe took a cure at the hotel in 1818 and Dostoyevsky worked here on his famous novel “The Gambler” back in 1865.
Still today you can find something of its history. Inside the hotel you will find some special rooms like the Capricorn restaurant and the historic ballroom with wooden wall panels that date back to the 16th century.
The Capricorn restaurant with its squeaking wooden floors is the place where also breakfast is served. This room is relaxing, elegant and fits perfectly with the ambiance of the hotel. On a very early morning you tend to carefully place your feet in order not to squeak and disturb the morning peace.
The most impressive room however is another one: the Ingelheimer room. When you want to see this room, just ask for it (tell them I told you so). It’s one of the most classic rooms, especially because of the 16th century carvings.
There is another story to tell about this room. During World War II the US forces occupied the hotel and the Ingelheimer room was the actual US Headquarters for more than 10 years!
Did I already mention this hotel has its own spa? The Schwarzer Bock has its own spa! There is a pool filled with natural spring waters (the water that Wiesbaden is famous for: “Wiesbaden – the city that runs on water”). You can also treat yourself to a sauna visit, get a massage or be more energetic and go jogging.
We enjoyed our stay in two rooms with a connecting door. Very suitable for families. We could even enter the balcony where the kids felt like a King and Queen, waving to the people on the streets.
From the hotel you have a beautiful view on the Kochbrunnen platz, a small square were thermal water directly spurts out from below ground.
Staff at the Schwarzer Bock were very kind. I mean, who lets us store our rental bikes in the lobby area…..
Or click here for the ultimate overview of things to do in Wiesbaden.