UNESCO & PRAHA & SAVOY
UNESCO is the acronym for the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization. The former Czechoslovakia was a founding member and the Czech Republic continues to take an active part in this international organisation to this day. The Czech Republic is among the countries with the highest concentration of world heritage monuments in the world, despite its small area and population. It has been 25 years since the first monuments and cities were registered in the UNESCO list of world heritage sites. The historical centre of Prague has been listed for the longest time.
The Savoy Hotel is surrounded by amazing history, and is a unique place for anybody who wishes to savour the most beautiful parts of the city. The hotel’s story began in 1911. It is located in the historical heart of Prague, which is registered in the UNESCO list of world heritage sites. The advantage of the hotel’s location is that you are close to everything – only 15 minutes from the airport, and tram no. 22 stops right in front of the hotel and its route runs past all the important monuments. It’s just a lovely 10 minute walk to Prague Castle, and within 20 minutes you can reach the Old Town astronomical clock.
Prague has had a sovereign position among the cities of the Czech Republic from the middle ages to the present. Throughout its history, Prague has played a representative role, while preserving the image of one of the world’s most beautiful cities. A number of world-famous landmarks are concentrated in the centre.
The view of Prague Castle is one of the most breath-taking sceneries ever. It is one of the largest castle compounds in the world, comprising historical palaces, religious buildings, gardens and picturesque nooks. Prague Castle has been a symbol of Czech statehood for over a thousand years.
The oldest bridge in Prague was built in lieu of the Judith Bridge, which collapsed in a flood in 1342. The Stone or Prague Bridge, renamed Charles Bridge in 1870, was founded in 1357 by Charles IV and completed in 1402. It features numerous baroque statues and two medieval towers.
The National Theatre is the representative stage of the Czech Republic, built from nation-wide collections and opened for the first time in 1881. After a fire, the theatre was rebuilt in 1883. Attending a theatrical, opera or ballet performance in the theatre’s beautiful setting guarantees an unforgettable experience.
“15 of 10 respondents recommend the Savoy. I’ve had coffee at the hotel with practically every important personality on the planet, except for Jára Cimrman and Cinderalla,” says Jirka, who has been working at the hotel for a whole century minus 86 years.
The world-famous concert hall and home of the Czech Philharmonic Orchestra, which performed here for the first time in 1896 under the baton of Antonín Dvořák.
The strictly geometrical, early baroque garden was established simultaneously with the construction of the Wallenstein Palace in 1623-1629. At first glance, the eye falls on the monumental tri-axial structure - the Sala Terrena, the only one of its kind at the time, and the artificial grotto with stalactites. In summer, the garden serves as a venue for concerts and theatre performances.
“The Savoy is a unique place with luxurious facilities, and it’s the ideal starting point for discovering the charms of Prague. I’ve had the opportunity to massage the Grand Duke of Luxembourg Henry I, his wife and his youngest daughter. Other special guests include the commander of the armed forces of India Dalbir Ingh and his wife Namita,” says Denisa, who has been working at the hotel for 2 years.
The Petřín lookout tower, one of the most prominent landmarks of Prague, was built during the Jubilee Exposition in 1891 as a rough copy of the Eiffel Tower in Paris (at a height ratio of 1:15). It is 63.5 m high and 299 steps lead to its peak, which is at the same altitude as the real Eiffel Tower. The view from the top spreads not only across the entirety of Prague, but in fine weather also over most of Bohemia.
LESSER TOWN BRIDGE TOWERS
Two towers of different styles and different heights connected by a gate form the entrance from Charles Bridge to the Lesser Town. The smaller Romanesque tower dates back to the 12th Century and its current Renaissance form is from 1591. The taller tower dates back to 1464 and its late Gothic architecture follows up on Parléř’s Old Town Bridge Tower on the opposite end of the bridge. Its observation deck offers a stunning view of the flowing Vltava River and the historical centre of the city.
The Archbishop’s Palace in Prague is the current seat of Prague’s archbishops. The baroque building stands on Hradčany Square right next to the main gate to Prague Castle. The Archbishop’s Palace was built in the 17th Century in baroque style, but has been reconstructed many times to this day. It is the third seat of the bishops and archbishops of Prague.
“The Savoy is a lovely hotel in a very interesting location,” says Jarda, who has been with the hotel for 5 years.
The building is one of the most beautiful Renaissance structures from the second half of the 16th Century. The palace exteriors are lavishly decorated with figural sgraffito, while the interiors conceal well-preserved and unique beamed Renaissance ceilings. One rarity is the spatial layout of the building, which corresponds to the layout of the Royal Palace at Prague Castle.
CHURCH OF ST. NICHOLAS - LESSER TOWN
The most famous baroque cathedral in Prague is among the most valuable baroque buildings north of the Alps. The dome has an astonishing diameter of 20 metres and the interior height to the peak of the lantern is over 49 metres, making it the highest Prague interior. It is also an excellent example of high baroque ornamentation. The church hosts year-round concert cycles featuring the historical 18th Century pipe organ.
“The Savoy is a beautiful hotel with superb dining. Everything is amazing,” says Lesya, who has been working at the hotel for 11 years.
This Marian pilgrimage site with a copy of the Holy House (Santa Casa) and the baroque Church of the Nativity is surrounded by chapels and an arcade corridor that opens onto a spacious courtyard. The bell tower houses a carillon with 27 bells that play the Marian song “We Salute You a Thousand Time” (on the hour from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m.). Equally rare is the Loreto Treasure, a collection of sacral objects from the 16th to the 18th Centuries, of which the most famous it eh Diamond Monstrance embellished with 6,222 diamonds.
The Premonstratensian monastery was founded in 1140. The complex includes the Church of the Assumption of the Virgin Mary, the rare Strahov Library with a vast number of medieval manuscripts, maps and globes, the baroque Theological Hall, the classicist Philosophical Hall embellished with frescoes, and the Strahov picture gallery, one of the most important Central European collections of gothic painting, Rudolfinian art and baroque and rococo painting.
“The Savoy is a luxury hotel in the stunning vicinity of Prague Castle. During my career at the hotel, I’ve had the honour of welcoming many prominent guests, including former president Mr Václav Klaus or Swedish King Charles XVI Gustav, as well as the football teams Lazio Roma and FC Inter Milan.” Gabriela has been working for the hotel for 6 years.
STRAHOV LIBRARY AND THE SYMBOL OF CZECH STATEHOOD
The library of the Premonstratensian monastery in Strahov is one of the most precious and best preserved historical libraries - the collection includes more than 200,000 volumes. The oldest part of today’s library, the baroque Theological Hall, was constructed in 1671-1674. The main classicist vaulted Philosophical Hall dates from 1794 and its height surpasses two storeys of the building.
“The Savoy is a legend! I’ve had the honour of meeting many famous people. We’ve hosted actor Bruce Willis, singer Bryan Adams, the Spice Girls, R.E.M. and Depeche Mode, to name a few. I’ve escorted them all to their rooms, and had the chance to exchange a few pleasantries with some of them. When Sean Connery stayed at the hotel, I brought him his golf clubs every morning. Singer Tina Turner had me clean her shoes, I actually packed David Bowie’s suitcase, and I received a plate with a dedication from former French president Jacques Chirac,” says Petr, who has met countless people during his 23 years with the Savoy Hotel.
“A Petr the bellman is also a legend...” Savoy Hotel.