History of Güterhof

From historical storehouse to modern hotspot, Güterhof in Schaffhausen has witnessed a lot in its many years of existence. Learn more about the history of Güterhof, which spans over 200 years.

Built in 1787, Güterhof is located at Freier Platz, directly in front of the Schifflände boat landing in Schaffhausen. In the 18th century, the Rhine River was the most important transport route for goods of all kinds. Now, more than two hundred years later, it is hard to imagine that Güterhof was originally built as a storehouse for salt.

1787: Construction and storehouse

The construction of Güterhof in 1787 was a milestone event for the city of Schaffhausen. For the first time, the old city walls were razed and the moat was filled; Güterhof was built on top of them. The architecture was designed according to the fashion of the times: trapeze-shaped with a small courtyard. Güterhof was built with a flat gabled roof, unlike the surrounding buildings with their steep post-gothic roof style. The number of windows and the style of their arrangement reflect the late baroque period in which it was built.
Originally the south side of the Güterhof was directly on the Rhine, allowing cargo barges to be loaded and unloaded directly from the ground floor. The boat landing as we know it today was first built in the 1960s as part of the construction of the power plant and Rhine bridge. 

1848–57: An era of change

In 1842 the inhabitants of Schaffhausen wanted to give their city more breathing room. The landing area on the Rhine was redesigned. An open square named Freier Platz was created between Güterhof and the older Schweizerhof, also an old storehouse. 
After 1848 Güterhof was rebuilt into a warehouse. A canopy was added to protect goods during loading and unloading. In 1849 a small ridged turret with a clock – supplied by a company named Mäder, located in Andelfingen – was added. The bell came from the old interior Rhine gate, which had been torn down.
In 1857 the Rheinfallbahn was constructed: the first railway line to reach Schaffhausen. This quickly led to the decline of the Rhine and the Güterhof as important centres of transport.

1936: The next renovation

The next major renovation of Güterhof took place in 1936. Emil Gürtler, the cantonal architect at the time, decided to expose Güterhof’s large limestone bricks and the timber frame in line with the traditional local style. As numerous window panes were missing, the windows were simply shuttered, giving the Güterhof a rather cheerless appearance until it was completely renovated in 2007–2008.

2006: Modern hotspot

Things started changing in 2006, when the city transferred the rights to the building to Kornhausliegenschaft AG. Güterhof was completely renovated over a two-year period, totally transforming the structure. In 2008 the company prager.gastronomie ag, led by Verena and Linda Prager, opened an approximately 1,000 m2 restaurant on the ground floor. The offices of international companies occupied the space on the top floors. Thanks to the passion, dedication and leadership of prager.gastronomie ag, Güterhof became one of Schaffhausen’s trendy hotspots.

2018: A new era

In January 2018 SV Schweiz took over the management of Güterhof, by this time well-known within Schaffhausen and introduced numerous changes.

2019: Grand re-opening

In early 2019 Güterhof underwent a two-month renovation period. The building was completely redone while still preserving its old charm. Various changes have breathed new life into the restaurant: a generous space concept, modern flooring and new furniture. The unique interior design concept was created by Nader Interior GmbH in Zurich.
Güterhof is keeping up its traditions and continues to offer up the hospitality for which it is so well-known. We intend for this historical jewel on the banks of the Rhine to remain a popular local hotspot for years to come.