History of the Charles Hotel Prague
A historical name of the building on Josefska 1/42 street in Lesser Town (Mala Strana) is the ''House at the Golden Eagle" (at the corner). The building is also known under its original name "The House at the 3 Lambs".
The house was rebuilt into a hotel with a high urban quality. The building is under the sight of the memorial office, along with other historical landmarks, and is part of the Czech National Heritage.
The first written mentions about the locality where the house was built come from the 12th century when defensive ditch and rampart was replaced with Gothic buildings and roads. Remains of previous rampart are still preserved in the basement in the central part, approximately 4 meters deep.
The first mentions about the purchasing of the house are from 1408, when shoemaker Veleslav, called Stemberk, bought the house from shoemaker Vaclav Jikrnac for an unknown price.
Originally, there were two separate buildings where The Hotel Charles stands today. The corner house "At the Golden Eagle" and the house with the entrance on the Josefska street ''The house at the Three Lambs".
These two houses were joined together during the reconstruction in 1685, the house kept the name „At the Golden Eagle."
The house consists of features of three main styles:
- Late Gothic features
- Renaissance features
- Neo-baroque features
Original surface materials have been preserved in the interior such as:
- stoned staircase
- squared wooden parquets in some parts of the rooms
- painted beam ceiling
- original wall paintings in parts of the rooms
The entire building and especially named parts of it are under the protection of the memorial office and belong to the Czech National Heritage. On the other side, its historical parts restrict the range of reconstruction and increase its price.
Because of the previously mentioned facts, the building offers an instance of architecture of Prague from the middle-ages and also an atmosphere of the city of nowadays.
The house was burned down during the Hussite wars and was renewed again in 1503.
In this time, it was still only a one-floor building. Part of it is still preserved in the basement. Evidence of it are the wide stoned gothic walls and arcades in the ground-floor.
Renaissance and baroque epoch
Expensive reconstruction took place in the second half of the 16th Century. The previous price of the building was 3,300 angel-nobles, but after its reconstruction the house was purchased for 9,100 angel-nobles.
Another floor was built in a renaissance style during this reconstruction. A remains of this is a cloistered arch in the second floor.
The third floor was built in a baroque style in 1686. Another baroque features from this time are, for example, early baroque volutes on the front part of the building facing to Mostecka street and, in the first floor, originally gothic features that were rearranged into baroque style.
The Baroque reconstruction united the building stylistically. The frontage of the house with a regular system of division, baroque rectangular gables with a tympanum and side volutes were built in Early-Baroque style.
The lion masks on the facade of the third floor facing toward street Mostecka are patrons of the building. An Early-Baroque portal with transform light is visible from Josefska street.
The new staircase which leads from the basement all the way to the attic was built in 1865.
Rebuilding the house into a hotel in turning 20th and 21st century:
At the end of the 20th century the house was used as an apartment house which was not maintained properly and for decades remained in a devastated condition. The house was privatized after the change of the political situation and in 1996 it was finally rebuilt into ****Charles Hotel. In 2008 the hotel changed owners and, at the same time, the building went though another reconstruction by which the hotel got modern features but still preserved its historic parts.
The total building volume is 9.586m3. The Hotel has 31 rooms, a restaurant in the basement and a large shop with Czech glass in the ground-floor.