Guest Review

100 years of the Grand Hotel Praha in Jičín

Mr. architect Antonín Holeček (born on the 5th of January 1850 in Prague, Vršovice) first mentioned the construction of an embellishing corner building with tower, which was meant to be build on his estate, number 858/7 by "Sokol", in Jičín 1895. Contradictions with famous former city council (height ratios, size of the yard, etc.) hampered Mr. architect Holeček for more than 10 years. In 1906 began the construction of the Hotel Paris. In 1909, Mr. Holeček submits to the local Building Authority new plans for the French Baroque facade and in these plans he also replaces the high gables and the tower, which could be dangerous in the future  for  surroundings of the building. Along with facade, Holeček changed patriotically also the name of the hotel to the Grand Hotel Praha. On August 23, 1910 the most modern hotel in the whole northeast Bohemia was approved . The first-class hotel had 35 rooms in the  exemplary cleanness, central heating, gas lighting, spa, modern garage and telephone number “38“. Its sumptuousness was admired by the whole Czech society.

The first operator of the hotel was Mr. Alois Liška, a hotelier from Mlada Boleslav. Grand Hotel Praha used the car Laurin & Klement, a horse drawn carriage, and a twelve-seat coach pulled also by horses, which was designed to transport guests from Jičín railway station to the hotel and up to Prachov Rocks. In 1912, Mr. architect Holeček dies of a stroke and the Grand Hotel Praha was inherited by the eldest of his 7 children – by his son František Holeček (born on the 3th of December 1884) who also takes over his father's company.

František Holeček operates and rents the hotel untill the  30th of August 1918, when  he is forced during the period of rapid inflation to sell his father's masterpiece Grand Hotel Praha for 150 000 florins to the then tenant  Emanuel Ludvík  Pavikovský  and to Miss Marta Berger,  that worked as a cook in Beroun. They buy both properties simultaneously (Husova 310, Fügnerova 209) and then connect them. On the 22th of April 1920, Miss Marta marries Mr. Pavikovský, 30 years older businessman from Beroun. Together they raise two nieces of Mrs. Bergrová, because she was childless and her sister gave birth to 9 children. In 1925 Mr. Pavikovský died.

However, Marta Pavikovská soon marries a close family friend Edward May, the brewer of the Šlik Brewery in Vokšice. On the 13th of February 1925, Edward May becomes the owner of the hotel. After the death of Mr. May in advanced age, Mrs. May moves to Prague, where her stepdaughter takes care about her. She rents the hotel to hotelier Mr. Prochazka  who cares about it perfectly, even during the Protectorate and in the war period. One of the stepdaughters of Mrs. May marries Mr. Fuchs and soon a child is born to them - daughter Marta. Later, Mrs. May,  determines in the testament her favorite granddaughter Marta to be universal inheritress of the Grand Hotel Praha.

On the 3th of May 1950, the hotel was nationalized according to the ordinance of the Ministry of Interior and the original owners lost their property. On the 21th of December 1959, the state trading enterprise “Restaurants and dining rooms“ moved in and started a total devastation  of Art Nouveau elements of the hotel. Modern fibreboard doors were integrated into the interior and offices were created out of the hotel rooms. On the top of Art Nouveau floor tiles were laid asphalt and linoleum and the charm of the famous hotel extinguished.

On the 5th od November  1993, Marta Fuchs, who  received the hotel back after 1991 restitution, sells the hotel to the Czech Savings Bank Ltd., which leaves the hotel to fall into disrepair.  In 2001, the Savings Bank sells Grand Hotel Praha to the company Pod Zvičinou Ltd., which sells hotel on the 3rd of February 2006 to the newly established company in Jičín CF INVEST Ltd. (Owners: František Gabriel and Semen Zuev).  After 5 years of exacting reconstruction (dilapidated house with falling plaster - longer threatened all passers-by) by František Gabriel´s construction company, it was a great success to resurrect the Grand Hotel Praha in its present form with the maximum effort to maintain the historical elements.