History Les Trois Rois (Drei Koenige am Rhein) Present Les Trois Rois (Drei Koenige am Rhein)

Announcemnt in 1842, explaining that the inn undergoes a renovation.

Les Trois Rois (Drei Koenige am Rhein)

Whlle accepting the official date of birth of this legendary Swiss hotel with its first mentioning in official records, we still treasure the saga that there was an inn of sorts in the medival times of the year 1026, and that within its walls in that year Emperor Conrad II, his son Henry III, and Rodolphe, the last King of Burgundy, held a conference there. So that place subsequently became known as the location where Three Kings had met.

Officially – and as a grand hotel – Les Trois Rois opened on 16 February 1844. (read more under HISTORY). Amadeus Merian was the architect, over 160 years later Christian Lang was in charge of the 2006 renovations.

herzl basel famoushotelsOver the decades the hotel found its place among other continental grand hotels. It witnessed historic moments more than once. In 1797 General Napoleon Bonaparte lodged at the Three Kings. In 1901, the father of modern Israel, Viennese journalist Theodore Herzl (left, on the hotel's balcony), stayed here during a Zionist Congress. Was this the foundation stone of the love of orthodoxe Jews for Switzerland? Today they are flocking to the Swiss mountains and lakes every summer.

The city's society holds it family events at the hotel and the most important state receptions are also held there. We love its location directly at the river Rhine, and that it is today such a splendid up-to-date hotel, a true gem in the crown of famous Swiss hotels.

A little story appeared recently: The distinguished composer and conductor Pierre Boulez was awakened by police at six in the morning in his room at the Hotel Les Trois Rois late in 2001; the officers confiscated his passport and disappeared.
It turned out that, 'some' years earlier, in 1967, Boulez had given an interview to German magazine Der Spiegel in which he stated his opinion about the architecture of the Basel Opera House, saying that "the opera houses should be blown up".
The observation had resurfaced in the media during the 1990s, and the law enforcement officials had apparently picked up on it during a routine check 34 years later of hotel guest registrations (that much about Swiss efficiency).
On this occasion, however, they decided not to pursue that matter and the passport was returned after a few days. 

The "Three Kings" is nevertheless one of the leading lights of the global hospitality industry, en par with Swiss legendary establishments such as the Des Bergues in Geneva, the two Baur (Savoy & au Lac) Hotels in Zurich, to mention the most important hotels of the country.

"Three Kings" (3 Könige am Rhein, Des Trois Rois) was first mentioned in 1681. But it was opened as a "hotel" on 16 February 1844.

1026 Emperor Conrad II, his son Henry III, and Rodolphe, the last King of Burgundy, held a conference at at the River Rhine, where, later in time, an inn became known as the Three Kings.

1681 First officially documented record of an inn called Three Kings or “Herrenherberge und Gasthof zu den drei Königen” at Blumenrain 8 in Basel.
The hostelry was always located close to the main trade and travel routes by water and over land directly at the so-called Schifflände (boat quay).

1754 Innkeeper Johann Christoph Im Hof has three figures carved out of wood to represent the three kings and mounts them on the façade of the building.

1766 On fait favoir au Public , que le Logis des Trois Rois , a Basle en Suisse, vient dt changer de Maitre i & que c'est le Sieur Kleindorff qui en est le Possesseur actuel. 

1797 General Napoleon Bonaparte lodges at the Three Kings while travelling. He is honoured with a glittering state reception.

1798 During French rule, kings are out of favour and the hotel is temporarily known as “Hotel aux trois magots” “At the three bundles”.

1841 Master tailor Johann Jakob Senn acquires the Three Kings hostelry. for 260,000 francs. Plans are revealed that a completely new building woud be built on the site of the old and former inn.

1842 Senn has the buildings torn down and commissions Basel Architect Amadeus Merian to build the new hotel.

1843 first mentioning of the "tasteful and beautiful new building Gasthof zu den drei Königen".

1844 On 16 February the new hotel Des Trois Rois opens its doors. A plain classic style distinguishes this well proportioned building.

1897 The Austrian journalist Theodor Herzl stays at the hotel from 26 to 29 August. During the 1st Zionist congress in Basel, he lays the foundations for the creation of the state of Israel.

1915 The southern section of the hotel (Blumenrain 2) is sold to the Kantonalbank and renovated accordingly.

1938 The Kantonalbank moves out and the tourist office takes over the main building at Schifflände.

1841/42-1972 Director Alfred Kienberger has a significant impact on the Drei Könige am Rhein/Hôtel des Trois Rois and rebuilds its reputation at an international level after the war.

2004 Entrepreneur Dr. h.c. Thomas Straumann acquires the Three Kings and the former southern section at Blumenrain 2. He spares no expense is restoring the buildings according to national heritage criteria with sections reconstructed according to the original plans. At Blumenrain 2, the addition of a number of rooms leads to the creation of a large ballroom, banqueting and conference rooms.

2006 Reopening on 20 March.

2016, restaurant Cheval Blanc by Peter Knogl awarded three stars by Guide Michelin.

Members of the aristocracy
Elizabeth, Queen mother of Belgium; Prince Rainier of Monaco, King Farouk of Egypt, King Feisal II of Iraq, Prince Bernhard of the Netherlands, Queen Elizabeth II of Great Britain, The Empress of Japan,

Felix Mendelssohn Bartholdy Franz Liszt Richard Wagner Robert and Clara Schumann Gustav Mahler Herbert von Karajan Duke Ellington Ella Fitzgerald Bob Dylan The Rolling Stones Bryan Adams

Literary figures
Voltaire Johann Wolfgang von Goethe Charles Dickens Theodor Herzl Rainer Maria Rilke Thomas Mann Jean Paul Sartre

Willy Brandt Lothar Späth Helmut Schmidt Valéry Giscard d’Estaing Jang Tse Ming Franz Vranitzky Dalai Lama

Pablo Picasso Marc Chagall Robert Rauschenberg Jean Tinguely Niki de Saint-Phalle Daniel Spoerri

Military leaders
General Napoleon Bonaparte General Henri Dufour General Ulrich Wille General Henri Guisan Field Marshal Mannerheim Field Marshal Montgomery of Alamein

We are told that the hotel stood here as early as the year 1026, and that within its walls in that year the Emperor Conrad II, his son Henry III, and Rodolphe, the last King of Burgundy, held a conference. Six years later Conrad won a battle over the Bergundians and annexed Western Switzerland to Germany. It was this historic meeting of three monarchs in the old inn that caused it to be named the Three Kings. This incident is so very remote that it is largely traditional, but in more recent times the hotel has entertained Kings, Grand Dukes and Princes, as well as Queens and Princesses and Grand Duchesses. Among the royal names on the register are those of King William of Wurttemberg; King Oscar of Norway and Sweden; King Christian IX, of Denmark; Carol, King of Rumania; King Peter I of Serbia; King Leopold, of Belgium; King Albert, of Belgium, and the Khedive Ishmei, of Egypt, to mention only a few.

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Les Trois Rois (Drei Koenige am Rhein)
Country: Switzerland
City: Basel
Opening date: 1681, first mentioning of inn, 1844, 16 February Grand Hotel "Des Trois Rois"

Note from the Host

General Manager

Reto Kocher

Concierge: Cristina Bally


Blumenrain 8
4002 Switzerland, Basel

Tel: +41 61 260 50 50
Fax: +41 61 260 50 60

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