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The building began as a home for hiring sailors back in the 13th century and has always offered hospitality for the inhabitants of Cologne and its visitors. The house enjoys protected monument status, has been restored many times over the centuries and emerged largely unscathed from the ravages of the world wars.

Stairs and doors dating since time immemorial still remind the visitor today of the legend of the "Heinzelmännchen" of Cologne, dwarfs who departed from the banks of the Rhine to leave our city forever. The traditional art of cooking, inherited recipes and time-honoured methods of preparation means Cologne cuisine at its best.

Why the beer, schnapps and the home-made sausages have traditionally been served here by the metre is a question that the old lantern man would answer as follows: the reason is that different measurements used to be used! They were understandable and visible for everybody! There was the "Elle" (cubit), the width of a hand or thumb and the beer, too, was measured in metres. However, the metre beer is a great favourite not only with the true Cologne inhabitants, but with the guests that come from all over the world, too!

What's more, in those days not everybody could read and there were no newspapers so hired scribes would write news and adverts on metre boards. This enabled day labourers, dock workers and sailors waiting for work on the pier to sell their labour to the well-to-do guests in the Haxenhaus for a few pennies.

Let's go back in time...

In 1231 the Haxenhaus was mentioned for the first time in documents as "Huus am Bootermaate". Since then, the old tavern serves and served as a home for sailors, as lodgings for pilgrims, as a brassiere for the French and opens its doors daily for you, the welcome guests to the heart of the old town of Cologne.

The building is a protected monument and has borne many names over the centuries:

  • "Huus am Bootermaate"
  • "Brauhaus Könixstein"
  • "Zum Verlorenen Sohn"
  • "Der Wappenhof"

and last, but not least: "Haxenhaus zum Rheingarten"

The beer brewers and traders, matchmakers, ship-owners and landlords - all of them have left their mark on the vibrant history of the old town district. The building has been restored many times, escaped the ravages of the world wars largely unscathed and thus preserved for future generations the traditional roof, its vaulted cellars and its unrivalled charm. Stairs and doors dating from time immemorial still remind the visitor today of the legend of the "Heinzelmännchen" of Cologne, dwarfs who departed from the banks of the Rhine to leave our city forever.

The traditional art of cooking and inherited recipes, the "Cologne Leg" and time-honoured methods of preparation prove:
good plain Cologne food harmonises the excellent taste of the cooks from the patrician families and the mastery skill of all cooks that have enriched Cologne with their knowledge over the centuries.

Why the beer, schnapps and the home-made sausages have traditionally been served here by the metre is a question that the old lantern man would answer as follows: the reason is that different measurements used to be used! They were understandable and visible for everybody! There was the "Elle" (cubit), the width of a hand or thumb and the beer, too, was measured in metres.

What's more, in those days not everybody could read and there were no newspapers do hired scribes would write news and adverts on metre boards. This enabled day labourers, dock workers and sailors waiting for work on the pier to sell their labour to well-to-do guests in the Haxenhaus© for a few pennies.

These old traditions were integrated into special, historically based programmes to transport the guest into the entertaining and cheerful past:

  • The "krumme Krapfen" round as an afternoon past-time of our ancestors in which tasty Krapfen (doughnuts) would be eaten over a round of wheel of fortune;
  • the city tour of medieval Cologne including a visit to the city museum followed by a medieval feast;
  • the "Luoderei", a lavish feast with theatre and music,
  • the "Freyzech", in which our guests can experience an age in which the city officers still patrolled the Cologne taverns, punished the landlord and turned a wheel. The table at which the wheel then stopped did not have to pay their drinks bill.
  • or, a new addition to our programme: a storyteller entertains guests during their delicious meal

The turbulent history of the city has left many traces in the old town centre of Cologne. Every tour of discovery through the old town also leads the visitor inexorably towards Haxenhaus zum Rheingarten.

For 19 years now the Haxenhaus zum Rheingarten has invited today's generations by means of stories to rediscover and to appreciate the history and tradition of the past where it happened. A restaurant in which great value is placed on service and hospitality, in which our cooks are always refining the delights of the region and house specialities, where guests can come together, be a part of the atmosphere and can't wait to come back, because...

TRADITION TASTES GREAT!