8 Dec

Salamanca Place – Lenna of Hobart

A stay at a heritage hotel like Lenna of Hobart is an experience to savour. This elegant sandstone building, constructed in 1874 as a private mansion, was once the only home on this exclusive Hobart waterfront site. The restored heritage hotel is located on the doorstep of Salamanca Place, and its history is intimately connected with that of old Hobart Town.

The sandstone for Lenna of Hobart was sourced from what is now Princes Park right next door and the bricks were hand cut. The building displays a level of craftmanship unique to the era. Despite the age and history of the hotel, the accommodation on offer is modern and spacious. The hotel offers elegantly appointed penthouse apartments, family suites or hotel rooms. There are plenty of room and suite options to choose from at Lenna of Hobart.

The history of the Hobart waterfront and Salamanca Place are embedded in the hotel’s walls which would have witnessed many grand parties and balls. If only those walls could talk! Glimpses of this distant time can still be seen in the sweeping staircase, original chandeliers and lofty turret used by merchant Alexander McGregor to watch for his returning ships.

It’s only natural that those staying at Lenna of Hobart will feel curious about the history of the heritage hotel and the area. Today Salamanca Place is the site of Australia’s largest outdoor market, with many fine restaurants, cafes, craft stores and art galleries. Once it was a much rougher place, frequented by sailors and colourful characters.

Some interesting facts about Salamanca Place:

  • The name comes from the Battle of Salamanca in Spain, which was won by the Duke of Wellington during the Napoleonic wars.
  • It was established in the late 1820s when the Old Wharf in Hunter Street was overwhelmed by the increase in ships carrying whaling products, goods, convicts and immigrants into and out of the harbour. It quickly became one of the worlds great whaling ports.
  • Most of the land at Salamanca Place was reclaimed by convicts in 1830. Hundreds of convicts were needed to cut the stone from nearby cliffs for the sandstone warehouses used to store whale oil, grain, wool and imported goods. The hulks housing the convicts were moored at New Wharf in what can only have been terrible conditions.
  • The whale populations around Tasmania shrank dramatically in the nineteenth century as a result of whaling, leaving some species close to extinction.
  • Hobart’s days as a whaling port were over by the last decades of the 1800s, and the warehouses were instead used to process fruit and produce jam. Tasmania’s climate made it ideal for growing small fruits, and the industry grew rapidly in the 1890s as demand rose. Over the next 50 years, the buildings at Salamanca Place were modified and extended to meet demand. Hundreds of workers produced millions of tonnes of tinned fruit and jam for international export.

While the warehouses and wharf have evolved again to meet the changing needs of the city, echoes of the past are still to be found on the Hobart waterfront and at Lenna of Hobart, where guests can climb up the turret of the heritage hotel, smell the salty sea air and strain their ears for shouts of long-ago sailors on the wharf.

If you would like to find out more about our hotel and the beautiful room, suite and penthouse apartment options available, contact us at Lenna of Hobart
Lenna of Hobart
Ph: 1800 030 633 (within Australia)
Ph: +61 36232 3900 (international)

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