The history of Prague is reflected in its hotels. The city dating back to the 9th Century, has been historically, and is today, a crossroads between ancient and modern worlds. It's a city that has throughout its existence continually reinvented itself. As a result, Prague offers an array of historical hotels representing each of its bygone eras.
Historical Sites Reinvented Into Hotels
Many of Prague's hotels were once historical sites that have been refurbished to meet the increasing needs of international travelers. For example, a 14th Century building, dating from the time of Bohemian King, Charles IV, is now the Iron Gate Hotel Prague.
Another example is the Castle Steps Hotel that is actually three separate 16th Century buildings that set at the foot of the ancient Hradcany Castle. Especially interesting is the Pension U svateho Jana (Hotel on the Saint Johns) that is a former monastery and a historical monument that is now the Waldstein Annexe Hotel.
These hotels have been renovated to meet current need, but reflect the rich history of the area. From the time of the original Bohemians throughout the history of Prussian, German and Soviet Union occupation to the current day, a reshaping is constantly taking place in Prague that points the way to a new era. Historical sites being reinvented into hotels, is one way where the old world meets the new.
Late Nineteenth Century and Early Twentieth Century Hotels
Built during a time of increased travel to Prague, a number of hotels from this era reflect the Art Nouveau architectural style, then popular throughout Europe. With the coming of a new century, the city had reinvented itself again into a worldlier destination.
For example, in 1906, it was common to find European politicians meeting at the Hotel Palace Praha. By 1920, travelers could enjoy ultra modern facilities, including a casino, at the Ambassador Zlata Husa.
All of Prague's historical hotels of this time, although reserved for the elite, were a response to the needs of a more sophisticated European traveler that demanded great luxuries. Sadly, this era ended with the coming of Communist occupation from 1918 until 1989. Today, many of these hotels, have been renovated and restored to their original glory.
Prague is in a picturesque river valley that surrounds the Vltava River. Many ancient bridges connect the east and west banks of the river and provide valuable links for maneuvering about the city. Old Town Prague originates back to the 13th Century while New Town developed in the 14th Century.
Hradcany Castle, previously mentioned, was built in the late 9th Century. Historically, it was the residence of kings but now houses offices and is the official residence of the current President of the Czech Republic. Another way the old is preserved while room is made for the new.
Prague is known for the various architectural styles contributed by each culture and era that has influenced it. It's known as an intersection in Central Europe where East meets West. Where innovation takes its shape from the foundation of the ancient.
Historical Hotels - 21st Century View
As many historic buildings have been turned into hotels and an array of century-old hotels have been remodeled in Prague, it's interesting to note what shape newly built hotels are taking. Today, the contemporary architectural styles of these hotels beckon back to the past. Many of these hotels are lovely 19th Century-type structures with all the amenities. What else could be expected from versatile Prague.
About the Author
Fionn Downhill is President of Four Corners Hotels offering hotels in cities around the world. To find out more about hotels in Prague visit