Historically, Hotel Ritz has been part of Aarhus's urban development plan since 1920
“After an architecture contest in 1920, city engineer O. Jørgensen and architect A. Høeg-Hansen were appointed to prepare a development plan for the area surrounding the new Aarhus Central Station. The plan included also Park Allé and the surrounding blocks which were supposed to be built in yellow brick, in the same style as the Aarhus Central Station.
The buildings built by Master Builder Alfred Knudsen and Master Carpenter E. Petersen between Ryesgade and the western corner of the Aarhus Central Station were ready in 1929. The building to the west of the Station built by Master Carpenter Thomas Petersen, which was occupied by the new Hotel Ritz, in turn, was completed in 1931.”
The hotel started operating in 1932 and has worked as a hotel ever since.
World War II at Hotel Ritz
Hotel Ritz was a key place in Aarhus during the eventful days following the Freedom Message of 4 May 1945. The hotel was a reporting station for CB (the Civil Defence Service) which set off the sirens when ”hostile” planes approached Aarhus during the war. However, Hotel Ritz was also a meeting point for resistance leaders who met here in secret to prepare Denmark's transition to peace.
This explains why Ritz came to play an important role in the disbanding of the defeated German troops after the Liberation. This happened under the leadership of Colonel Bennike who arrived at the hotel after leading Jutland's resistance from Lyngbygård at Lading.
Plaque at Ritz
To commemorate Hotel Ritz's historical role in the first years after the Liberation, Mogens Skjøth took the initiative for setting up a bronze plaque in the hotel's reception in connection with the 50th anniversary of Denmark’s regained freedom on behalf of the Veterans of the Liberation Struggle in 1995. The plaque lists the names of the men and women who were part of the resistance movement's leadership in Jutland and the region.
The hotel was bought by Jens Rysgaard on 1 September 2013.
Hotel Ritz has been part of a large international hotel chain for many years, but from 1 January 2014, it will become a member of the Small Danish Hotels association.