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The City of Art Nouveau, Traben-Trarbach: Where once the Wine Trade bloomed
This is a true landmark for the significance wine trading once held for the Mosel region: the Art Nouveau city of Traben-Trarbach. Around the year 1900, the small city in the middle of the Mosel valley was the most important wine trading city of the world – with the exception of French Bordeaux.
It was the heyday of Mosel wine shipped from here into the whole world. More than one hundred wine cellars and wine trading companies were located in Traben-Trarbach at that time. They shipped their products to England, Russia and, of course, also widely through the German Reich.
The wealth of the wine trade soon influenced the city's architecture: Rich wine traders and wine makers had famous architects like professor Bruno Möhring from Berlin built splendous estates for them: magnificent mansions in the Art Nouveau stile as well as administrative buildings and extensive cellars. Today, a guided tour leads through the city passing the most beautiful Art Nouveau mansions like the Villa Huesgen which was built in 1904 for wine trader Adolph Huesgen – a perfect example of Art Nouveau. Or Villa Breucker, built one year later for wine trader Gustav Breucker, which is a cubically nested Art Nouveau mansion.
The city's landmark in this time, however, was the bridgetower, built in 1899 by the selfsame architect Möhring. It marks the very spot where the first street bridge across the Mosel between Bernkastel and Koblenz was built. Right next to it, Richard Feist built the Hotel "Clauss-Feist", planned by Möhring as well, which acquired a legendary reputation very soon. The building figures many elements with reference to wine – not the least is the hotel's tower which was built to remember the neck of a champagne bottle, including the cork and the wired latch.
Some of the old wine cellars are still active, today – or have been revived recently. Thus, one Adolph Huesgen still operates the wine store "Wildbad Wein" on its historic site – offering also a Riesling named "Villa Huesgen". And to whom the upper part of Traben-Trarbach is not enough, there's the underground world in addition: during the heydays in the second part of the 19th century, large parts of the city's surface were undermined by wine cellars, some of them stretching out for several floors into the earth. They also reflect the enormous significance Traben-Trarbach once had as one of the most important wine trading places in the world.