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Elisabeth Gürtler Receives United States Friendship Award

Published: June 20, 2019; 09:40 · (Vindobona)

Austrian entrepreneur Elisabeth Gürtler-Mauthner (69) received the Cultural Icon Award in acknowledgement of her achievements and long friendship with the United States of America from US Ambassador Trevor Traina.

Ambassador Traina and Elisabeth Gürtler / Picture: © U.S. Embassy Vienna / Flickr Attribution 2.0 Generic (CC BY 2.0)

Elisabeth Gürtler-Mauthner is the daughter of the trading entrepreneur Fritz Mauthner and spent a large part of her childhood in Tyrol.

The enthusiastic rider and former successful dressage rider studied economics at the University for World Trade in Vienna (now WU Vienna University of Economics and Business).

After her father's death in 1988, she became a co-owner of her father's company at the age of 38.

After the death of her ex-husband Peter Gürtler in 1990, she took over the management of the Sacher Hotels in Vienna and Salzburg as well as of various investments, which were inherited by their then minor children.

In 25 years as the director of the Hotel Sacher, nine years as the organizer of the Opera Ball (1999 to 2007), eleven years as the general director of the Spanish Riding School (2007-2018), including eight years as the organizer of the summer ball "Fête Impériale" (2010-2018), Elisabeth Gürtler worked hard as an entrepreneur and proved her discipline and her will to perfection.

An interesting connection as a sign of friendship between the USA and Austria, which the US Embassy cites, is the fact that the 450 year old Lippizans of the Spanish Riding School were rescued in 1945 during the final days of World War II by the U.S. Army under General Patton (Operation Cowboy), by smuggling them into safety and securing the legacy of the Spanish Riding School and its great heritage. You can read this story by Irina Bindlechner at: