The Origin of the HOTEL ENGEL LIESTAL
(The extracts from old documents are shown in italics)
In 1697, the tanner and citizen of Liestal, Hieronymus Imhoff, came to the Council of Basel with a request:
“…for permission to open an inn at his dwelling at the Upper Gate on the high road called ‘zum Engel’.”
To avoid possible objections from local landlords, Imhoff suggested:
“… only wine, cheese and bread would be served, and all wine consumed would be purchased from nowhere other than the town of Liechstal.”
Around 1750, the baker, Johann Jakob Schaub, bought the Inn zum Engel.
On the 3rd of July 1801, the son-in-law of Johann Jakob Schaub, Martin Leutenegger, approached the governing chamber of the Canton of Basel with a request for a ten-year tavern license, in accordance with the new inn legislation:
“I would like to humbly present the councilmen with the following petition, which I have been waiting to bring for some time. I am the owner of house no. 112 next to the Upper Gate on the high road to Ließtal, in which wine has been sold on a small scale for over 50 years. As the building is so conveniently located and well equipped for people travelling through, many of them have already expressed the wish to consume hot food on my premises and requested accommodation for the night. As selling wine and running an inn are the means I have to support my family, it is my strong desire to be allowed to exercise this profession to its fullest, and in view of the fact that I have hitherto permitted no disorder or bawdiness on my premises, and every man has been content with the measure of drinks and the price, I would for these reasons beseech the councilmen to exercise the powers vested in them by the Tavern Act of 1800 to grant me a permit for ten years.”
The response to the request by Martin Leutenegger was favourable and on 20th of July 1801 he was granted the right to run an inn for ten years under the sign of an angel.
One month later, the butcher, Martin Leutenegger, bought house no. 112 from his father-in-law, Johann Jakob Schaub, for 11,400 Swiss Francs.
In 1822, the landlord of the Engel, Wernhard Stohler, received a permanent tavern license for his house in exchange for a one-off fee of 200 Louis d’or.
This put an end to the opposition to the new Inn zum Engel from the three well-known Liestal landlords, which had flared up repeatedly since the 17th Century, and laid the legal foundation that supports landlords of the Engel right up to the present day.
In 1848, the Engel was bought by the butcher, Heinrich Baumgartner.
In 1866, Gysin, Anttlin and company were named as the new owners.
In 1869, Jakob Brüderlin, the landlord of the Neuhaus Inn opposite, took over the Engel, then, in 1872, his brother, Emil, entered the business.
In 1882, Adolf Handschin-Buser became the new landlord of the Engel, then, in 1893, Albert Hess-Pfenninger bought the inn before selling it.
In 1894, Theophil Hartmann-Plattner, a landowner from Reigoldswil became the new landlord. The Engel stayed in the hands of the Hartmann family for just over 100 years, then,
in 1998, it was passed on to Jakob and Esther Grieder. The hotel was completely rebuilt under their management.
In 1999, construction began. The legendary front facade, the roof truss, with a 17-metre ridge beam, and some of the old parts of the interior were preserved.
On 15th of August 2001, the HOTEL ENGEL LIESTAL opened with a new lustre.