Summer & Less

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Summer & Less

legal form
founding 1881
resolution 1978
Seat Vienna

View of the stonemasonry in Hötzelsdorf (1898)
The office of Sommer & Less in Vienna opposite the central cemetery (1898)
Advertisement from court stonemasons Sommer & Less (1908)

During the Austro-Hungarian monarchy, Sommer & Less was a leading granite and syenite factory , stone carving and steam grinding shop in Hötzelsdorf on the Kaiser-Franz-Josephs-Bahn in Vienna .


In 1881 the company Sommer & Less took over a monument business established in 1869 by the then existing stock corporation for road and bridge construction. This was at the Vienna Central Cemetery and its size was rather insignificant. On February 24, 1882, the company was entered in the Vienna Commercial Register. According to the commercial register, the company was an open company from January 1, 1882. Open partners were Wilhelm Sommer, producer of grave monuments and trader with grave monuments and related articles, and Moriz less. Both lived in Vienna. Everyone was entitled to the right of representation and society. The main office was in Kaiserebersdorf , at that time still an independent municipality.

The new owners tried above all to raise the acquired establishment and opened the large marble quarries in Unterthumeritz in the Waldviertel in Lower Austria, where Thumeritz marble was quarried , for the purpose of extracting materials and for self-production .

Subsequently, they proceeded to set up a workplace. Hötzelsdorf on the Franz Josefs-Bahn in Lower Austria was chosen as the location for this, where a factory equipped with the latest technical and mechanical equipment was built. The number of workers employed there, which was only six at the beginning, was gradually increased and the work began on a larger scale. The marble obtained from the quarries, as well as the gabbro that was later broken in a newly opened quarry in Nonndorf , as well as Saxon and Bavarian “Syenite” (historical trivial name for some gangue stones) and also the Swedish and Norwegian stones were used to produce numerous objects.

Since a lot of Austrian capital had to be brought abroad through the import of these expensive stones, the company tried to procure an equivalent material domestically. After a long search and many tests, she managed to find stones that replaced and even surpassed the Swedish and Norwegian stones. It was extracted from the company's own quarries in Meeden in the Bohemian Forest . The rare rock augite diorite also comes from there , which was also the company's most remarkable exhibit in the anniversary exhibition.

On June 9, 1892, a branch was registered in the Royal Commercial and Exchange Court in Budapest. However, this did not last long, on September 7, 1897 this branch was deleted from the commercial register.

Sommer & Less specialized in the production of complete tombs, crypt documents and monumental works. The stone used was a specialty, a deep black Swedish gabbro (“Black Swedish”) and deep dark magmatite from quarries owned by the company. The workshops were built with steam power, which meant that production could be carried out at low prices. There was also a sculptor's atelier in Laas in Tyrol. It offered artistic designs by sculptors and architectural works, figures, busts, reliefs, emblems, coats of arms, etc. in marble and real bronze. In 1898 more than 100 employees were already working in the workshops, and more than 20,000 monuments were produced. According to self-promotion around 1910, Sommer & Less was the first and largest "establishment for crypt and grave monuments" at the central cemetery. At their warehouse in Vienna, they kept 1,000–1,500 monuments in store for customers.

The solidity of the house of Sommer & Less was also generally recognized, and its good reputation had penetrated into the highest and also into the bourgeois circles of the entire monarchy and abroad. By 1898 the company had already won medals at five world exhibitions and received the diploma of honor at the Vienna exhibition. In 1898 it was finally authorized to carry the imperial eagle in a seal and shield.

In 1905 Ludwig Sommer became a partner. On June 26, 1906, Moriz less was deleted from the commercial register as a general partner after leaving the company.

After the death of Wilhelm Sommer on January 7th, 1908 Ludwig Sommer became the owner of the company. His successor after his death was Gisela Sommer on March 28, 1933. She was briefly authorized to represent Dr. Herbert Raudorf from June 27, 1933 to May 29, 1934.

The First World War , the collapse of the monarchy, the Great Depression and the Second World War brought difficult times for the company. The company closed and was deleted from the commercial register on June 10, 1978.


The former office of Sommer & Less in Vienna opposite the central cemetery

The office of Sommer & Less at the Vienna Central Cemetery opposite the 1st gate at Simmeringer Hauptstrasse 283 was built in 1900 by Hans Richter and later repaired by Friedrich Falkner . It is a flat brick building with wooden elements and a pillared hall. Inside there is a blue and white glass dome, the floor is made of wood and the ceiling and walls are decorated with stucco . In the front garden with its neoclassical iron bars stands a larger than life stone figure of Christ , modeled after Bertel Thorvaldsen ; patterns from tombs used to surround the figure. Today, the former building is home to the “Concordia Castle” restaurant. The company also had a showroom at Kolowratring 9 (today Schubertring) in the 1st district.

Selection of works

Here is a small selection of tombs at the Vienna Central Cemetery, which were executed by Sommer & Less:

  • Group 0, Row 1, No. 63 - Memorial grave of Franz Haydinger , Viennese bibliographer, (born September 21, 1797 in Vienna; † January 15, 1876 ibid), buried on March 23, 1912
  • Group 32 A, No. 16 - tomb of Josef Lanner , composer, creator of the Viennese waltz, (* April 12, 1801, † April 14, 1843)
  • Group 0, No. 29 - Karl Baron Thiery , Baron de Vaux, Feldzeugmeister, († 1820)
  • Group 0, No. 33 - Paul Freiherr von Wernhardt , General (1776–1846)
  • Group 0, No. 61 - Johann Gänsbacher , Domkapellmeister (1778–1844)
  • Group 14 A, No. 15 - Ludwig Rotter , organist and composer (* 1810 in Vienna; † April 5, 1895 ibid)
  • Crypt row 17 b, row G 1, No. 5 - tomb of master stonemason Wilhelm Sommer and the family (high stele with bronze relief - round medallion, portrait head)
  • Crypt row 17 f, row 1, No. 5 - tomb family Dorn (bronze Madonna relief)
  • Group 56 d, Row 1, No. G 2 (corner crypt) - Tomb of the Setzer family (female figure, looking up to a marble portrait relief)
  • Group 46 b, No. 1 15/16 - Zimmermann tomb (truncated pyramid, urn; high relief: sacrificial scene, woman pours liquid from bowl into flame; next to crane)
  • Group 71 b, No. 2 (corner tomb) - Gustav and Irma Türk tomb (marble portrait head by Theodor Khuen , Stein vom Sommer & Less)

Other graves outside Vienna are:

  • In Stetteldorf am Wagram , on the grave of the Schachenhuber family from around 1916, a Christ can be seen, which was modeled on the Christ figure created by Bertel Thorvaldsen around 1820.
  • In Baden near Vienna , the tomb of the Hübsch family with a mourning figure was made from marble around the beginning of the 20th century.


  • Archive of the Vienna Burial
  • Vienna City and State Archives

Individual evidence

  1. ^ Summer & Less, in: Die Gross-Industrie Oesterreichs. Ceremony for the glorious fiftieth anniversary of the reign of His Majesty the Emperor Franz Josef I, offered by the Austrian industrialists in 1898. Volume 2. Weiss, Vienna 1898, p. 70.
  2. WStLA, Commercial Court Vienna, B75: Ges 26/203
  3. WStLA, Commercial Court Vienna, B76: A 7/94
  4. WStLA, Commercial Court Vienna, A 47: HRA 14162
  5. Bundesdenkmalamt (Ed.): Dehio-Handbuch Die Kunstdenkmäler Österreichs , Volume: Wien X-XIX and XXI-XXIII. Verlag Anton Schroll, Vienna 1996. ISBN 978-3-7031-0693-4
  6. ^ Concordia Castle. (No longer available online.) Jospek, May 14, 2009, archived from the original on April 28, 2009 ; accessed on May 14, 2009 : “Almost a landmark in Vienna.” Info: The archive link was automatically inserted and not yet checked. Please check the original and archive link according to the instructions and then remove this notice.  @1@ 2Template: Webachiv / IABot /
  7. Hans Markl, Pechans Perlen Reihe Volume 1012: Do you know the famous final resting places in the Viennese cemeteries? Volume I, Central Cemetery and Crematorium (Urnenhain), Adalbert Pechan Verlag Vienna-Munich-Zurich, 1961.
  8. The Vienna Central Cemetery. Publisher Gerlach & Wiedling, Vienna. 1907.
  9. ^ Hans Pemmer: The Vienna Central Cemetery. Its history and its monuments. Austrian school book publisher, Vienna 1924.
  10. Werner Kitlitschka . Grave cult & grave sculpture in Vienna and Lower Austria . St. Pölten, Vienna 1987. ISBN 978-3-85326-827-8

Web links

Commons : Summer & Less  - Collection of images, videos and audio files
  • Unforgettable. Martin Hieslmair, July 5, 2007, accessed on April 29, 2009 (small report with description and photos of the former office, now Restaurant Concordia.).

Coordinates: 48 ° 9 '32.3 "  N , 16 ° 26' 3.7"  E