Short history of the Traube (grape) complex

The building in which the “Traube” restaurant and hotel are situated, dates back to the eighteenth century.

Vedere generala Hotel Traube in 1925

The year 1800 is mentioned in the documents of the building as the construction year, which is plausible, taking into account the general aspect of the building. The building, historic monument, is made up of three parts constructed in different edification phases and has undergone several changes. Construction elements from various periods have been preserved, from the foundation until the second half of the twentieth century. The building has a traditional structure – the basement and the groundfloor  walls are from brick and stone, load–bearing walls and partition walls made of brick, brick arches in most of the areas from the basement and groundfloor, wooden plates or – for the recent units – reinforced concrete, wooden staircase, shaped stone and reinforced concrete, wooden framing with brick coating.

New holes, reinforced grinder, metal poles (in the restaurant), new construction elements embedded in the traditional structure have occured as a result of the changes made.

Traube hotel-restaurant complex is an imposing construction, which blends elegantly in the northern part of the King Ferdinand Square.

Viewed from the Square, the arch of the main entrance divides the architectonic ensemble into two sections. On the right side of the entrance, large windows invite guests into the bright restaurant. The sharp gable with two huge windows rises above the dining room, behind which, the so-called “Kasino” could be found in 1925. Under the window sill, the name of the complex “Grape Hotel – Traube Restaurant” was inscribed with capital letters.

Some time ago, the cafe and the pub could be found on the left side of the entrance. The hotel was situated above them, on the first floor and at the attic, which had 28 rooms at that time. During the summer, a covered terrace was designed in front of the restaurant and of the pub, in order to provide a pleasant stay in the shadow for the guests. From the main yard, one could reach the restaurant  kitchen, in fact, the “command bridge” of the entire complex, since from here acted the person who coordinated the whole activity.

In 1925, this person was the wife of the owner, Luise Kartmann, who – placed between the kitchen and the dining room – spent 24 years of the life, from morning until late in the night. In exceptional cases, she was replaced by a reliable person, usually by her aunt, Mrs. Josefine Kandert.

Cei patru copii ai familiei Kartmann in 1935

Her four children were an ideal companion for the four boys of the owner´s family: Kurt, Erhard, Bruno si Rolf.

Of the eight children, only five still live, all living in Germany; only the youngest of them (now 72 years old) occasionally visits Medias.

From the same court, one could also reach the Performance Hall of the town, the so-called “Traube Hall”, situated in the close vecinity of the main building. The scene building used to dominate the other building taking into account the height; it was situated on the first floor, just like the entire performance hall. Different various buildings could be found here: the summer kitchen, the basement with ice, warehouses, stables, loundry, garages. Another gate leads to the Summer house. From the main court one could also reach the  game hall – rummy, cards, billiards – these small rooms were connected to the cafe.

The premises for a modern gastronomic complex were created by Daniel Kartmann, the last leaseholder before the nationalization. Following frequent visits to Wien, in order to study some similar places that he used to revise with great interest, Kartmann reconstructed the hotel and the restaurant, which he endowed according to his taste back then, in a modern style. Even today, the restaurant and the hotel can stand comparison with other high class premises.

Hotelierul Daniel Kartmann si sotia sa Luise Kartmann

The hotel keeper, Daniel Kartmann, his wife Luise Kartmann, a cook, six cook´s mates, four waiters, a receptionist, three maids, a cafe cook, tow cafe waiters, two waittresses at the pub, an administrator, a wine cooper and two washer women were the ones who permanently looked after the guests.

Every night, in the dining room, various ensembles of musicians played music for amusement and danced for the guests and used to create an atmosphere of general good mood. Various groups of musicians were employed repeatedly, like for example, during the summer holidays, students from the Conservatory in Cluj. Besides the core clientele, there was also a group of visitors who used to come regularly: personalities from the neighbouring towns and merchants attending the fair weekly, guests who visited the cafe and the game rooms daily. Different unions and associations also organized their meetings here, in a festive atmosphere. Booths reserved for evening parties served this purpose. Countless anniversaries, weddings, balls, baptising, masked balls and other special events took place along many years, to the satisfaction of thousands of visitors and guests, under the skilled coordination of Daniel Kartmann and his wife, Luise.

Lista de bucate din anul 1938

A wide range of culinary dishes was served every day. Clients could choose their meals from the list of dishes, which was daily published in three languages: Romanian, German and Hungarian.

Daniel Kartmann was born in 1892 in Hetzeldorf (Atel), and his wife, Luise, was born in Chrestel, in 1900, also in Atel. The spouses rented – after their marriage in 1921 – a restaurant in Bross (Orastie). In the year 1925, when Traube was offered to lease by the administration from Medias, they decided to set up the fair, to be closer to their native village.

The first lease agreement was concluded on a period of 3 years, on 23rd September 1925. It was then extended several times in a row, which proves that the townhall was satisfied with the way in which the institution was administered to the benefit of the town and its citizens. The original copies of these Lease Agreements are to be found in the Archives of the Townhall in Medias.

The agreements contained each time transformation and modernization works, which Daniel Kartmann had carried out along the years. In 1929, the capacity of the hotel was doubled by adding an extra floor, which at that time was a major investment. The attics fit harmoniously in the style of the facade, and since then, they are well-known to the inhabitants of Medias, as if they have been there since ever.

The last lease agreement was concluded in 1945, valid until 1949. This proves that Daniel Kartmann first had the courage, under those uncertain circumstances, to continue his activities. Despite dangerous situations and difficulties, the Traube complex continued to function. It must be noted, that during the period immediately following the war, Traube was the only food unit that functioned without any interruption. Only the hotel was closed during the Red Army occupation, being turned into a lazaretto (hospital for contagious diseases).

This last agreement was about to be cancelled, by the townhall itself. In May 1948, Daniel Kartmann was arrested. Because of his public activities to the benefit of the Evangelical Church and of the Transylvanian Saxonic population, he fell in the disgrace of the new authorities. But despite the arrest, which lasted until 1951, his wife Luise continued to maintain the entire complex, until July 1948, when she was forced to sign a so-called “contract”, by means of which, she had to surrender it to the people of the new regime. Luise never received any compensation for the inventory, all the goods displayed at that time inside the complex and which were their private property.

Thus, an institution which played an important part in the economic and social life of the town and of the entire county over the decades, ceased to exist. Once the Traube complex was closed, the other particular food places ceased to exist as well.

Traube Hotel and restaurant have had a great significance during their time also because Daniel Kartmann was the president of the Gastronomic Association, made up of 37 units: restaurants, bakeries, pubs, taverns, etc. These pieces of information were provided to us by his son, Erhard Kartmann, who had often been sent by Daniel, his father, either with invitations or other addresses to the other members of the Association.

In 1944, George Togan wrote in his work entitled “Medias – history described in the form of fiction”: “Walks on “Corso” are divided. On Saturday evening, middle class people: maids who threw their peasant-like clothes, rosy dressmakers with blue eyes and factory workers. Those girls live a pompous life and eat cheap icecream. When couples are tired of walking, they look for shelter under the cooling birch-trees fom the “Summer garden”. Wine and dance make them hot here. A white cover of stars up on the sky. The Milky Way crooks over the market and stopped on top of the Tower of Trompeters.

On Sundays, it was the intelligent who walked on “Corso”. Twice a day – once when they left church, where they listened to the religious service, and the second time in the evening. Bustle had long started. The Milky Way was slowly descending. White table cloths were laid on the terrace of the “Grape” Hotel, bread baskets, cheese from Braila, produced in Bucharest, a bundle of three olives displayed along the toothpeek and mugs of “Luther” beer. From time to time, the saxophonist player would send a harsh sound to the ears of those still walking, inviting them to the tables that were long time ready waiting for them.

A famous orchestra was playing in that elegant restaurant, conducted by a real artist of the fiddle, also famous abroad. His ancestors were second to none.

It was a June evening and we listened to „The Serenade“ by Braga. The conductor´s fiddlestick did no longer play the violin, but it played on a special fiddle of the heart. Emotions were so great, that everything started flowing inside the soul…

Traube Hotel in the twenty-first century

If you come with family and friends or if your interests are business related, our 15 double rooms offer you everything, so that your rest and interests should be fully satisfied.

An old saying goes like this, that when you eat you have to relax and enjoy not only the taste of the food, but also the atmosphere. The terrace, restaurant, wine cellar and the bar of our hotel contribute to this experience.

When your visiting our town is related to business, besides the other facilities we have already mentioned, you can also use the conference hall.


Photo gallery Traube Hotel & Restaurant today

Tur virtual 360°

Short history of the Traube (grape) complex
Do you like it? Feel free to share: