The history of Hotel Central in Prague, masterpiece of “belle époque” in Prague
Hotel Central is an important representative Art Nouveau building in Hybernská Street. After many reconstructions during the 20th century, we still can admire one of the most beautiful architecture from “belle époque”.
Hotel Central is an important representative Art Nouveau building in Hybernská Street. The building was built in 1901 according to the design of the Austrian architect Friedrich Ohmann. The popular cabaret Červená sedma and the Municipal Theaters of Prague operated in the hotel. In 1927, the Central Hotel was bought by the Sickness Fund of Public Employees and used as an office building. Reconstructions in the back of the house, where office spaces were added, were also connected with this. Painters Karel Špillar, whose mural on the front wall of the hall above the stage depicted a mermaid dance and Jan Preisler, who was the author of Faun seducing dryad on the wall above the entrance staircase, took part in the decoration of the theater hall.
Hotel Central became the second Art Nouveau building in Prague.
Art Nouveau phase of the construction of the Hotel Central started with the creation by the street with hotel rooms and a café on the ground floor, which was followed by the Varieté hall with an exceptionally rich stucco and painted decoration in the back of the plot. Already in the early 1920s, this hall was gradually adapted. The final liquidation of its Art Nouveau form was brought about by the reconstruction into a cinema and theater according to the project of the architect Petr Kropáček in the years 1929-1930.
However, the remaining parts of the Art Nouveau hotel remained almost unchanged until the early 1990’s.
Its facade has a greenish color complemented by plastic stucco, typically Art Nouveau decor, which bears vegetative motifs of shrubs and flowers, among other things, indicates the symbolism of the tree of life. The decor is complemented by gold accents, which points to Ohmann’s inspiration from Vienna. The painters Karel Špillar, whose mural on the front wall of the hall above the stage depicted a mermaid dance, and Jan Preisler, who was the author of Faun seducing dryad on the wall above the entrance staircase, took part in the decoration of the theater hall.
After a radical reconstruction in the years 1929-1930, however, the murals have not been preserved.