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Prague: ARTĚL Style

Expert recommendations and insider tips for first-time visitors and locals alike from ARTĚL’s founder, Karen Feldman, who has lived in Prague since 1994. Click on the links below for detailed reviews – from Feldman’s own unique perspective – of all the best that Prague has to offer...

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Own a Piece of Czech Design History

Published on September 19th, 2016 in Shopping

  • Original leather armchair from Hotel Praha

  • Champagne glass with Hotel Praha logo

  • Shot glasses, Hotel Praha

  • Cutlery and other items from Hotel Praha on display at Nanovo

The Hotel Praha in Dejvice, a Prague neighborhood known for its historic diplomatic residences, was built in 1981 to serve the Communist party and VIP delegations from abroad.

 

It was considered the ultimate in high-end accommodation for the time with conference halls, restaurants, a swimming pool, and all the most modern amenities in its 136 rooms, all of which had views of Prague Castle.

 

The building's legacy, however, lies not in its political associations but its architectural grandeur. Considered a masterpiece of modern architecture in the brutalist style it featured furniture by acclaimed designer Zbynek Hřivnáč , a chandelier by renowned glass artist Stanislav Libensky, and was lauded as a shining example of Czechoslovak design.

 


Photos L-R: Hotel Praha exterior, suite from 1982, exterior (Credits: Exterior shots Ondřej Soukup for Nanovo; interior www.archingr-r.cz/)

 

 

Following the Velvet Revolution of 1989, Hotel Praha would continue operations as privately run five-star hotel until 2013 when it was acquired by Czech billionaire Petr Kellner whose plans to demolish the iconic hotel and build a school sparked outrage among preservationists and architectural historians.

 

Despite a petition to declare the Hotel Praha a cultural monument, in 2014 it was demolished; a park currently exists on the former site of the hotel.


 

 

 




But for fans of Czech design who would like to own or even just see memorabilia from the Hotel Praha, it's not too late. Old Town boutique Nanovo, a shop that restores and sells Czechoslovak design pieces from the late 20th century, is currently selling everything from armchairs to ashtrays used at the hotel.

 

 
Hotel Praha porcelain; Nanovo shop (Photo credit: Nanovo / Facebook)




Prices range from 900 CZK (33 EUR) for a tea cup to 5,267 CZK (212 EUR)  for a champagne glass embossed with the Hotel Praha logo or own the last remaining wood and leather armchair from the lobby for a cool 75,445 CZK (€2,792).

 

The store is worth a visit alone, not only to view the Hotel Praha display but to browse its collection of objects from the era. You will find an eclectic mix of items like retro schoolroom posters and glass and metal shop signs alongside lamps, clocks, and industrial design pieces.

 

Nanovo

Týnská ulička 8, Prague 1, Staré Město
www.nanovo.cz/cs
tel 777 736 955
hours  Tues-Sun 11:00
metro  Staroměstská

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