< CZECH REPUBLIC | PRAGUE: Art Deco Imperial Hotel
The first written reference to the house standing on the corner of Na Porici and Zlatnicka streets dates back to 1383, when the existing building was joined with
its neighboring construction into one single complex.
At the end of the thirty-year war during the Swedish siege of Prague the house burned down. Later, thanks to the extensive reconstruction work around 1730, it was turned into an Inn entitled ´The Black Eagle´. The yard wings were enlarged during building renovations carried out in 1840 subsequent to which it became well-known as the ´Hotel At the Black Eagle´.
One of the prominent owners of the hotel was Barbara Serafinova, who generously sponsored the charity activities of her sister Anna Naprstkova, and as a part of her inheritance the Hotel At The Black Eagle became the property of the Naprstek family. This provided the hotel with its most famous owner in 19th century - Vojtech Naprstek - the famous Czech writer, politician and patron who devoted much of his time and experiences to travelling and collecting valuable items worldwide.
Later in the 19th century, the hotel came under ownership of the Czech Industrial Museum Foundation, established by Vojtech Naprstek, but was later demolished as a part of Prague´general urban renewal in 1913.
In 1914, the Imperial Hotel opened its doors. The hotel enjoyed many years of glory, among numerous famous guests of the interwar period was the first president of Czechoslovakia Tomáš Garrigue Masaryk, writer Franz Kafka or composer Leoš Janáček.
During the Second World War, the hotel became popular place for German soldiers and was abandoned by the Czech visitors as a consequence. After the war ended, the Imperial regained its prominence amongst Prague premier hotels.
From 1948, when the Trade Unions´ Association had taken over its management, the hotel provided preferential accommodation for the guests and members of the trade unions, until its operation as a hotel was disrupted in the 1980s.
Between 2005 and 2007, extensive reconstruction work was undertaken to restore this precious and internationally-recognized unique gem of 20th century architecture to its former glory, re-establishing the Prague Imperial´s reputation as the most outstanding and spectacular luxury hotel in the city.
Frequented by the many eminent guests, hotel's Café Imperial has been the most famous and most popular “Grand Cafe House” and restaurant in Prague for the past 100 years. Crowned by large street windows, the Café Imperial still feature original 1914 Art Nouveau ceramic wall tiling and mosaic ceiling.
Additional literature: n/a