J & L Lobmeyr - A Chandelier Emporium Suspended in Time
If you love chandeliers, you must absolutely add Vienna to your list of places to visit. The imperial style of architecture and palatial interior designs include unfathomable chandeliers everywhere from the Vienna State Opera House to restaurants and even shopping centers.
One landmark not to miss is the legendary J&L Lobmeyr shop. J&L Lobmeyr is a family business with a rich heritage over 100 years old. The shop was built in 1895 and is the last "originally kept" shop remaining in Vienna. Watch the video and look at the design to see what that means. The style of the sales floor is quite purposefully open; Lobmeyr was and is a place for the wealthy to see each other and be seen. More privacy is available upstairs for the shyer clientele.
We met with owner Andreas Rath (a 6th generation descendant of the original Lobmeyrs who runs the store with his two cousins), who explained that Lobmeyr's chandeliers are restored and/or created in a workshop just ten minutes away. The artists make a point of creating the chandeliers in the same way they were made in their originating time period. A Baroque chandelier, for example, will be made as it was during the Baroque era. Lobmeyr's is the last workshop in the world doing several of these procedures (such as old-style gilding), as this often involves dangerous chemical poisons. "We have several skilled people, and one unskilled one," joked Rath.
As icing on the cake, in addition to restoring antiques, creating "new antiques" and producing some of the finest custom glassware available, they carry several major European porcelain manufacturers, including Royal Berlin, Herend and Bernardaud. Watch the video above for a glimpse inside this elegant emporium of light-giving starbursts and opulent mirrors and glass, and be sure to visit J&L Lobmeyr's main store at Kärntnerstraße 26 yourself when you get a chance.
Gallery: Chandeliers Around Vienna
My visit to Vienna was sponsored by the Vienna Tourist Board, but the opinions expressed in the article are 100% my own.